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Fellows Directory

David Rowitch

David Rowitch

Professor David Rowitch FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2021


David Rowitch is a paediatrican and a developmental neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge. Originally from California, he obtained his MD from UCLA and PhD (biochemistry) from the University of Cambridge.

David's laboratory investigates genetic factors that determine diversity of glia, which comprise 90% of cells in the human brain. He established how embryonic central nervous patterning specifies myelinating oligodendrocytes through essential functions of Olig2, a study that helped initiate genetic methodologies in glial biology, and how astrocyte functional diversification is critical for support of neural circuits in spinal cord. He has applied a developmental neuroscience perspective to better understand human neonatal brain development and white matter injury in premature infants, multiple sclerosis and leukodystrophy.

As a physician-scientist, David's interest focuses on functional genomic technologies to better diagnose and treat rare neurogenetic disorders in children, and he is helping to develop the new NHS Cambridge Children's Hospital. He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2018 and appointed to the National Advisory Council for Child Health and Development (USA) in 2020.

Professional positions

Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, The GW Hooper Research Foundation
Professor of Paediatrics and Head of Department, Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Developmental biology
  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Cellular neuroscience
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