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. Kelley KW, Rowitch DH. Astrocytes: The Final Frontier…. Neuron. 2016 Jan 6; 89(1):1-2.
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  2. Nobuta H, Cilio MR, Danhaive O, Tsai HH, Tupal S, Chang SM, Murnen A, Kreitzer F, Bravo V, Czeisler C, Gokozan HN, Gygli P, Bush S, Weese-Mayer DE, Conklin B, Yee SP, Huang EJ, Gray PA, Rowitch D, Otero JJ. Dysregulation of locus coeruleus development in congenital central hypoventilation syndrome. Acta Neuropathol. 2015 Aug; 130(2):171-83.
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  3. Krencik R, Hokanson KC, Narayan AR, Dvornik J, Rooney GE, Rauen KA, Weiss LA, Rowitch DH, Ullian EM. Dysregulation of astrocyte extracellular signaling in Costello syndrome. Sci Transl Med. 2015 May 6; 7(286):286ra66.
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  4. Helman G, Van Haren K, Bonkowsky JL, Bernard G, Pizzino A, Braverman N, Suhr D, Patterson MC, Ali Fatemi S, Leonard J, van der Knaap MS, Back SA, Damiani S, Goldman SA, Takanohashi A, Petryniak M, Rowitch D, Messing A, Wrabetz L, Schiffmann R, Eichler F, Escolar ML, Vanderver A. Disease specific therapies in leukodystrophies and leukoencephalopathies. Mol Genet Metab. 2015 Apr; 114(4):527-36.
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  5. Tate MC, Lindquist RA, Nguyen T, Sanai N, Barkovich AJ, Huang EJ, Rowitch DH, Alvarez-Buylla A. 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. Bayraktar OA, Fuentealba LC, Alvarez-Buylla A, Rowitch DH. Astrocyte development and heterogeneity. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2015 Jan; 7(1):a020362.
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  7. Yuen TJ, Silbereis JC, Griveau A, Chang SM, Daneman R, Fancy SP, Zahed H, Maltepe E, Rowitch DH. Oligodendrocyte-encoded HIF function couples postnatal myelination and white matter angiogenesis. Cell. 2014 Jul 17; 158(2):383-96.
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  8. Pouwels PJ, Vanderver A, Bernard G, Wolf NI, Dreha-Kulczewksi SF, Deoni SC, Bertini E, Kohlschütter A, Richardson W, Ffrench-Constant C, Köhler W, Rowitch D, Barkovich AJ. Hypomyelinating leukodystrophies: translational research progress and prospects. Ann Neurol. 2014 Jul; 76(1):5-19.
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  9. Meijer DH, Sun Y, Liu T, Kane MF, Alberta JA, Adelmant G, Kupp R, Marto JA, Rowitch DH, Nakatani Y, Stiles CD, Mehta S. 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. Molofsky AV, Kelley KW, Tsai HH, Redmond SA, Chang SM, Madireddy L, Chan JR, Baranzini SE, Ullian EM, Rowitch DH. Astrocyte-encoded positional cues maintain sensorimotor circuit integrity. Nature. 2014 May 8; 509(7499):189-94.
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  11. Fancy SP, Harrington EP, Baranzini SE, Silbereis JC, Shiow LR, Yuen TJ, Huang EJ, Lomvardas S, Rowitch DH. 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. Silbereis JC, Nobuta H, Tsai HH, Heine VM, McKinsey GL, Meijer DH, Howard MA, Petryniak MA, Potter GB, Alberta JA, Baraban SC, Stiles CD, Rubenstein JL, Rowitch DH. 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. Freeman MR, Rowitch DH. 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. Otero JJ, Kalaszczynska I, Michowski W, Wong M, Gygli PE, Gokozan HN, Griveau A, Odajima J, Czeisler C, Catacutan FP, Murnen A, Schüller U, Sicinski P, Rowitch D. Cerebellar cortical lamination and foliation require cyclin A2. Dev Biol. 2014 Jan 15; 385(2):328-39.
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  15. Stephan AH, Madison DV, Mateos JM, Fraser DA, Lovelett EA, Coutellier L, Kim L, Tsai HH, Huang EJ, Rowitch DH, Berns DS, Tenner AJ, Shamloo M, Barres BA. 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. Achim K, Peltopuro P, Lahti L, Tsai HH, Zachariah A, Astrand M, Salminen M, Rowitch D, Partanen J. 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. Molofsky AV, Glasgow SM, Chaboub LS, Tsai HH, Murnen AT, Kelley KW, Fancy SP, Yuen TJ, Madireddy L, Baranzini S, Deneen B, Rowitch DH, Oldham MC. 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. Ameri K, Rajah AM, Nguyen V, Sanders TA, Jahangiri A, Delay M, Donne M, Choi HJ, Tormos KV, Yeghiazarians Y, Jeffrey SS, Rinaudo PF, Rowitch DH, Aghi M, Maltepe E. Nuclear localization of the mitochondrial factor HIGD1A during metabolic stress. PLoS One. 2013; 8(4):e62758.
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  19. Potter GB, Santos M, Davisson MT, Rowitch DH, Marks DL, Bongarzone ER, Petryniak MA. 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. Meijer DH, Kane MF, Mehta S, Liu H, Harrington E, Taylor CM, Stiles CD, Rowitch DH. 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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