Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

David Rowitch, MD, PhD

David Rowitch, MD, PhD

University of California - San Francisco

Dr. Rowitch is developing a neuroprotective drug for premature infants.

David Rowitch, MD, PhD, is Chief of Neonatology and Professor of Pediatrics and Neurological Surgery, University of California – San Francisco.

His laboratory investigates common mechanisms in vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) development that also play a role in human neurological diseases.

Sonic hedgehog (Shh), a secreted protein, is required for pattern formation in the embryonic CNS. Morphogen Shh induces critical neural and glial progenitors in the ventral brain and spinal cord related to the establishment of neural circuitry.

Dr. Rowitch and his team are investigating the mechanism that converts specific levels of Shh signal into distinct transcriptional programs and how cell-specific neural programs determine specific neuronal fates. Given the importance of Shh-dependent cell types in a number of neurological pathologies, including Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s diseases, these studies ultimately will enhance development of cell-based treatments.

Premature infant brain injury is the leading contributor to the increased incidence of cerebral palsy in the United States. Dr. Rowitch recently founded a novel brain bank that collects tissue samples for pediatric neurological diseases, which provides critical material for in-depth analysis of pathobiological mechanisms.

Dr. Rowitch earned his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, U.K. He completed an internship and residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in Newborn Medicine, both at Children's Hospital, Boston, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, Boston.

Dates to Know

April 5, 2017
Letter of Intent Deadline

LOI Guidelines
Download the Application Guidelines (PDF)

May 31, 2017
Full Application Deadline (For those invited)

December 2017
Awardees Notified

Harrington Project

The Harrington Discovery Institute is the nonprofit arm of the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, an international initiative supporting breakthrough research by physician-scientists. The Project is a new and powerful approach to address some of the challenges hindering advancement of medicine today.

The Harrington Grant is an important part of the overall pharmaceutical research initiative created by The Harrington Project.

For Questions

For questions about the Scholar-Innovator grants or the application process, please email HDIquestions@HarringtonDiscovery.org.