Dr. Cowan is a neurologist with board certification in neurology, pain medicine, and headache medicine. He is a professor in the Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences and (by courtesy) in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine. He is Director of Headache Research and holds the endowed position of the Betty Higgins Family Foundation Directorship in Headache Research.
Dr. Cowan has held several nationally elected positions, including chair of the sections on Chronic Daily Headache and In-office Patient Education for the American Headache Society. He is past president of the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. He has served on the boards of the Alliance for Headache Diseases Advocacy, the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific, the American Headache and Migraine Association, and the American Council for Headache Education.
His research focuses on advancing the understanding of chronic daily headache. He has received grants to support his research from the National Institutes of Health, foundations, and industry, as well as private grants and gifts.
Dr. Cowan is widely published in peer-reviewed journals, including Headache and Neurology. He reviews articles for Headache and other publications and is an editor for Headache Currents. He has authored the book The Keeler Migraine Method and Chronic Daily Headache, as well as multiple textbook chapters.
He has presented his work at meetings of the American Academy of Neurology and International Headache Society, and other organizations, and lectures both nationally and internationally on diverse headache topics. He has appeared on network television and been featured in articles in publications ranging from the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times to Vogue Magazine.
Dr. Cowan educates the headache specialists of the future as a professor in the School of Medicine, as a senior fellow in the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, and as a mentor for the American Brain Foundation.
He is a member of the American Headache Society, American Academy of Neurology, and Headache Cooperative of the Pacific.
He has volunteered his time and expertise to serve the Alliance for Patient Access, Veterans Administration, and community health programs.