Find Faculty Members at MUSC.

Christopher Cowan PhD

Christopher W. Cowan PhD

Chair, Department of Neuroscience

Provider Image
  • Professor
  • College of Medicine
  • Neuroscience
Academic Focus
  • activity-dependent synapse development and autism spectrum disorders
  • epigenetic mechanisms in substance use disorder
  • neural mechanisms of mood-related disorders
Faculty email addresses should not be used to seek medical advice or to make medical appointments. Please visit MyChart for medical appointments or to contact your provider.


Office Location


Dr. Christopher Cowan joined the Medical University of South Carolina as the William E. Murray SmartState Endowed Chair in Neuroscience in 2016, and he serves currently as Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at MUSC. Dr. Cowan earned his BA from Wesleyan University (CT) and his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital in the area of molecular neurobiology. He was a faculty member at UT Southwestern Medical School and Harvard Medical School prior to moving his lab to MUSC. Dr. Cowan’s NIH-funded research lab focuses on both neurodevelopmental disorders and substance use disorder, and it utilizes an integrated approach to study these disorders – spanning from genetics and epigenetics, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, electrophysiology to complex behavioral analyses.