David H. Rowitch, MD, PhD

David H. Rowitch, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UCSF


Phone: (415) 476-7242 (voice)
Box 0734, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0734

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Cancer Center Membership

Program Member » Neurologic Oncology» Pediatric Malignancies

Research Summary

I am a physician-scientist interested in overlapping mechanisms in CNS development and disease. I have a long-term interest in signaling pathways that regulate gliogenesis, and how insights from development can be applied to glioma, multiple sclerosis (MS), and cerebral palsy (CP). I am committed to training the next generation of investigators, and have mentored physician-scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students in neuroscience; I direct a T32-funded training program for neonatal translational science. I have had a longstanding collaborative relationship with my colleagues in Maternal Fetal Medicine, and am well suited to assisting with neonatal aspects of MFMU Network trials.


University of California, San Diego, B.A., 1982, Biochem/Cell Biology
University of Cambridge, U.K, M.Phil, 1985, Biochemistry
University of Cambridge, U.K., Ph.D., 1988, Biochemistry
University of California, Los Angeles, M.D., 1989, Medicine

Professional Experience

  • 1989-1992
    Internship and Residency, Dept. of Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA,
  • 1992-1995
    Fellow in Newborn Medicine, Joint Program in Neonatology, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • 1993-1998
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Andrew P. McMahon, Ph.D., Dept. of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • 1996-1999
    Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 1999-2004
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 2004-present
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
  • 2006-present
    Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 1982
    Magna Cum Laude and Departmental Honors with Distinction, University of California, San Diego
  • 1985-1987
    Oliver Gaty Studentship in Biophysics, University of Cambridge, U.K.
  • 1987-1989
    Medical Scientist Training Program, UCLA School of Medicine
  • 1993-1996
    Postdoctoral Fellowship for Physicians, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • 1997-2000
    N.I.H. Clinical Investigator Award (Individual)
  • 1998-2000
    Claudia Adams Barr Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • 1998-2000
    Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Award, March of Dimes Foundation
  • 2000-2002
    Kimmel Scholar, Sidney Kimmel Foundation
  • 2000-2005
    Harry Weaver Junior Faculty Award, National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • 2002-2007
    James S. McDonnell Foundation Research Award

Selected Publications

  1. Astrocytes: The Final Frontier…. Neuron. 2016 Jan 6; 89(1):1-2.
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  2. Dysregulation of locus coeruleus development in congenital central hypoventilation syndrome. Acta Neuropathol. 2015 Aug; 130(2):171-83.
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  3. Dysregulation of astrocyte extracellular signaling in Costello syndrome. Sci Transl Med. 2015 May 6; 7(286):286ra66.
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  4. Disease specific therapies in leukodystrophies and leukoencephalopathies. Mol Genet Metab. 2015 Apr; 114(4):527-36.
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  5. Postnatal growth of the human pons: A morphometric and immunohistochemical analysis. J Comp Neurol. 2015 Feb 15; 523(3):449-62.
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  6. Astrocyte development and heterogeneity. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2015 Jan; 7(1):a020362.
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  7. Oligodendrocyte-encoded HIF function couples postnatal myelination and white matter angiogenesis. Cell. 2014 Jul 17; 158(2):383-96.
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  8. Hypomyelinating leukodystrophies: translational research progress and prospects. Ann Neurol. 2014 Jul; 76(1):5-19.
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  9. An amino terminal phosphorylation motif regulates intranuclear compartmentalization of Olig2 in neural progenitor cells. J Neurosci. 2014 Jun 18; 34(25):8507-18.
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  10. Astrocyte-encoded positional cues maintain sensorimotor circuit integrity. Nature. 2014 May 8; 509(7499):189-94.
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  11. Parallel states of pathological Wnt signaling in neonatal brain injury and colon cancer. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Apr; 17(4):506-12.
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  12. Olig1 function is required to repress dlx1/2 and interneuron production in Mammalian brain. Neuron. 2014 Feb 5; 81(3):574-87.
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  13. Evolving concepts of gliogenesis: a look way back and ahead to the next 25 years. Neuron. 2013 Oct 30; 80(3):613-23.
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  14. Cerebellar cortical lamination and foliation require cyclin A2. Dev Biol. 2014 Jan 15; 385(2):328-39.
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  15. A dramatic increase of C1q protein in the CNS during normal aging. J Neurosci. 2013 Aug 14; 33(33):13460-74.
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  16. The role of Tal2 and Tal1 in the differentiation of midbrain GABAergic neuron precursors. Biol Open. 2013; 2(10):990-7.
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  17. Expression profiling of Aldh1l1-precursors in the developing spinal cord reveals glial lineage-specific genes and direct Sox9-Nfe2l1 interactions. Glia. 2013 Sep; 61(9):1518-32.
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  18. Nuclear localization of the mitochondrial factor HIGD1A during metabolic stress. PLoS One. 2013; 8(4):e62758.
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  19. Missense mutation in mouse GALC mimics human gene defect and offers new insights into Krabbe disease. Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Sep 1; 22(17):3397-414.
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  20. Separated at birth? The functional and molecular divergence of OLIG1 and OLIG2. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 Dec; 13(12):819-31.
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