Bennett Novitch*

Bennett G Novitch

Professor, Neurobiology, University of California Los Angeles


650 Charles E Young Dr. South
Department of Neurobiology
Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Address:
650 Charles E Young Dr South
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Email Address:


Member, Brain Research InstituteCTSICell & Developmental Biology GPB Home AreaEli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell ResearchGene Regulation GPB Home AreaJCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program AreaNeuroscience GPB Home Area

Research Interests

The primary goal of my laboratory’s research is to determine the molecular pathways that direct the differentiation of neural stem and progenitor cells (NPCs) and the assembly of neural circuits, particularly those that control motor functions such as locomotion and breathing. To achieve this goal, we focus on identifying the growth factor signals, transcriptional networks, and downstream effectors that control the formation of neurons and glial cells in the spinal cord and brain. Insights into these fundamental mechanisms are essential for determining the function of NPCs in both normal development and diseased states, and for developing new methods to manipulate NPCs to facilitate the repair of damaged neural tissues.


Dr. Novitch’s interest in developmental biology and stem cell research grew out of work he did as a graduate student, studying the gene regulatory network that enables the formation of skeletal muscle. As a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Novitch identified growth factor signals and transcription factors that direct the formation of motor neurons in the spinal cord. His long-term goal is to discover how developmental mechanisms can be harnessed to program stem cells to form mature cells types with therapeutic and disease-modeling potential. His research already has led to the establishment of methods by which different classes of neurons, such as motor neurons, and three-dimensional brain structures can be generated in culture from pluripotent stem cells. In addition to being a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, Dr. Novitch also is affiliated with the Brain Research Institute, UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Molecular Biology Institute and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. He also is a member of the Society for Developmental Biology and the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Dr. Novitch is currently a Professor of Neurobiology and holds the Ethel Scheibel Chair in Neuroscience. Dr. Novitch joined the UCLA faculty from the University of Michigan, where he was an Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. He earned his Master’s degree in Medical Sciences in 1993 from Harvard Medical School and his Doctoral degree in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in 1998 from Harvard University. He also completed postdoctoral training at the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University. Dr. Novitch’’s work is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institude of Child Health and Human Development, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.