Tom Nowakowski

Assistant Professor, UCSF

Investigator, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub

Allen Institute for Brain Science, Next Generation Leader


Department of Anatomy, Department of Psychiatry, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF, Psychiatric Cell Map Initiative, Weill Institute for Neurosciences


Dr. Nowakowski received his B.Sc. in Biological Sciences in 2007, and Ph.D. in 2012 from the University of Edinburgh, and his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Arnold Kriegstein at UCSF in 2017 where he pioneered the use of single cell RNA sequencing to study the heterogeneity of cellular populations, and later used that technique to characterize molecular heretogeneity of cell types across developmental stages and cortical areas.

Tomasz Nowakowski’s goal of his research group is to understand the mechanisms of human cerebral cortical development, and how genetic and environmental risk factors result in intellectual and neurodevelopmental disorders, including cognitive changes in psychiatric disorders. He is  a co-investigator for the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN), and a member of the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) PsychENCODE Consortium. In addition, his group is funded by a Convergence Neuroscience grant Psychiatric Cell Map Initiative to functionally characterize gene networks involved in psychiatric disorders. He is a Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator working with experts in microscopy, molecular genomics, and machine learning to study intercellular interactions at single cell resolution. 

Honors and Awards

Allen Institute for Brain Science, Next Generation Leaders Council, 2018

Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology 2018

Chan-Zuckerberg Investigator, 2018

NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2018

Cajal Club Krieg Cortical Explorer Award, 2017

Broad Foundation Innovation Award, 2017

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), Bridge to Independence Award, 2017

Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD Studentship, 2007

Significant Publications

For full list of publications please follow: Pubmed

Nowakowski, TJ* (2018). Building blocks of the human brain. Science 362, 169.

Nowakowski TJ#, Bhaduri A*, Pollen AA*, et al. (2017) Spatiotemporal Gene Expression Trajectories Reveal Developmental Hierarchies of the Human Cortex, * co-first author; **co-corresponding author Science 358(6368):1318-1323 #- co-corresponding author PMID:2921757

Nowakowski TJ#, et al. (2016) Transformation of the Radial Glia Scaffold Demarcates Two Stages of Human Cerebral Cortex Development. Neuron 2016; PMID: 27657449; #-co-corresponding author