amy rowat

Amy Rowat


UCLA College of Life Sciences

Amy Rowat, Ph.D., M.Sc., is Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology, UCLA. She is also a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Broad Stem Cell Research Center, Bioengineering Department, Center for Biological Physics, and Business of Science Center and a faculty member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. She is the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in research innovation and teaching, including the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award. Rowat has pioneered the use of food to teach sophisticated concepts in science, and has both written and lectured on the topic of science and food to hundreds of UCLA students and public audiences. Rowat is also Founder and Director of the Science&Food non-profit organization and leads the Food Pod of the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCLA.


The Rowat lab aims to characterize the physical and mechanical properties of biological matter, infer their molecular origins, and uncover their role in physiological processes, focusing on two broad questions: (1) What are the molecular origins of cell and nuclear physical properties? (2) What are the consequences of cell and nuclear physical properties in physiology and disease? The physical properties of cells and nuclei are central to genome integrity, gene expression, and mechanotransduction; while altered cell mechanotype is the hallmark of a wide variety of diseases from cancer to laminopathies, the origins and consequences of these physical changes are incompletely understood. To achieve this goal, Rowat studies the mechanical properties of populations of single cells, using insights from physics and engineering to design new experiments and analyze biological processes ranging from metastasis to mechanotransduction.  Her focus on cell mechanotype in physiology and disease is multifaceted and involves the integration of mechanotyping results with data from gene and protein expression, bioinformatics analyses, and functional assays. These new experiments enable her to build a deeper fundamental understanding of the origins of cell mechanical properties and advance mechanotype for clinical applications.


B.Sc., Physics (honors, With Distinction), Mount Allison University 1998
B.A., Asian Studies, French, & Math (honors), Mount Allison University 1999
M.Sc., Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark 2000
Ph.D., Physics, University of Southern Denmark 2005