Message From The Chair

Donna Ferriero, MD, MS

Children give us joy in the present and hope for the future. Here in the UCSF Department of Pediatrics, we make sure that future is as bright as possible for every infant, child and young adult struggling with illness.

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David Rowitch, MD, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics and Neurological Surgery

Chief of Neonatology

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

Contact Info

University of California, San Francisco
533 Parnassus Ave, UC Hall U503
University of California, San Francisco, Box 0734
San Francisco, CA. 94143–0734
Phone: (415) 476-7242


  • University of California, San Diego, CA, B.A., 1978-82
  • University of California, Los Angeles, CA, M.D., 1982-84 & 1987-89
  • University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge, UK, Ph.D., 1984-87
  • Children's Hospital, Boston, Department of Medicine, Pediatrics Internship, 1989-90
  • Children's Hospital, Boston, Department of Medicine, Pediatrics Residency, 1990-92
  • Children's Hospital, Boston, Department of Medicine, Newborn Medicine Fellowship, 1992-96
  • Harvard College, Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Cambridge, MA, Postdoctoral Fellow (Laboratory of Andy McMahon), 1993-1998

Board Certification

  • American Board of Pediatrics, Sub-board in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, 1995, renewed 2002

Clinical Expertise

  • Neonatology

Research Interests

  • Central nervous system development
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Brain cancer

UCSF Program Affiliations


Dr. David Rowitch is chief of neonatology at UCSF. Rowitch earned his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge in England. Subsequently, he completed an internship and residency in pediatrics and fellowship in newborn medicine at Children's Hospital in Boston. Rowitch was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard College in the laboratory of Andrew P. McMahon. He began his own laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and was a Harvard Medical School faculty member an Attending Neonatologist at Children?s Hospital, Boston, from 1996-2006.

Current Research

By applying principles of basic brain development, we may be able to better understand the neurological problems faced by premature infants as well as others central nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis and brain cancer. Dr. Rowitch leads a laboratory in the UCSF Institute for Regeneration Medicine that investigates genetic factors that determine cellular development in neural stem cells of the brain and the response to injury. His work in the field of neurobiology has earned him numerous awards, including the National Institute of Health Clinical Investigator Award, Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Award from the March of Dimes Foundation, Kimmel Foundation Scholar Award and the James S. McDonnell Foundation Research Award. He was appointed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2008.

Recent Publications (PubMed)

Last updated 02-13-2012