After spending seven years at Ridley College, Gowan graduated in 1998. He then read Psychology, Philosophy, Physiology at Oxford University in the UK. He subsequently was awarded his PhD from Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory for his work on dissecting the function of complex neural circuits by manipulating neurotransmission in genetically defined neurons.
Gowan is a Research Scientist at the Janelia Research Campus, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He and his research partners are trying to comprehend how different parts of the brain work, specifically those involved in memory, learning and decision making. Gowan is currently interested in how rodents learn and act and is pursuing this interest by investigating the role of the medial prefrontal cortex in a behavioral task in which rats compete against a computer opponent. This allows him to examine how rodents learn in an adaptive environment. Gowan’s long term goal is to understand this in the context of social interaction.
Gowan lectures and teaches internationally. He would be delighted to speak to those with a passion for science who are looking to enter into a career in research. He is able to help an alumni by describing the benefits and challenges of pursuing academic and research careers.
With more than 700 students from over 50 countries, the largest boarding programme in Ontario and the third largest in Canada, Ridley College is a truly international, co-educational, day and boarding school of the world that prepares students for the world. It has provided enriching learning and life-shaping experiences focused on the arts, academics, and athletics since 1889. Ridley’s Lower School offers JK-Grade 8, its Upper School consists of Grade 9-PG, and Ridley graduates attend some of the top universities and colleges around the world. Ridley is the onlyco-ed independent boarding school in Canada and one of only three in North America authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programme.