Sheldon Rowan, PhD

Sheldon Rowan, PhD, is a scientist (II level) in the Nutrition and Vision Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), and an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Rowan’s research examines the impact of dietary carbohydrate quality on age-related eye disease; primarily age-related macular degeneration. He has found that mice consuming high glycemic index diets develop macular degeneration, whereas shifting their diets to a healthier one protects the mice from eye disease. Dr. Rowan has authored more than 20 publications in the fields of eye and cancer research. His publications have appeared in several high impact journals, including Genes & Development, PNAS, EMBO Journal, and Nature Genetics. He has pioneered the use of transgenic mice for the study of eye development, and his animals have been used in more than 160 publications. Dr. Rowan, originally from Canada, received his BSc degree in molecular biology and biotechnology from McMaster University (Hamilton, ON, Canada) and his PhD degree in genetics from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA). Dr. Rowan completed his dissertation with Dr. Constance Cepko at Harvard Medical School, a renowned developmental geneticist, and his postdoctoral training with Dr. Richard Maas at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, prior to joining the faculty at the HNRCA in 2012. Dr. Rowan lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife and two young children. In his spare time, he plays bassoon and performs with the Harvard University Dudley House Orchestra in Cambridge.