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Weihong Pan MD, PhD

Weihong Pan MD, PhD

Weihong Pan, MD, PhD is a practicing sleep neurologist at Biopotentials Sleep Center and a part-time basic neuroscience researcher. For the latter, she is a full professor at Louisiana State University – Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She started research training in Neuroscience at Tulane University by studying cytokine transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in mouse models of inflammation and spinal cord injury 20 years ago, and has continued working in the field of neuroendocrine immune regulation since then. Along with her earlier mentors Abba J. Kastin MD and William A. Banks MD, a main contribution she made to the BBB research community is in the area of the pharmacokinetics and cell biology of cytokine trafficking across the blood-brain and blood-spinal cord barriers. During the past decade, her lab group has two major lines: the role of astrocytes and leptin signaling in neuroendocrine regulation, and the crosstalk of neuroimmunity and neurodegeneration exemplified by interleukin-15 signaling. She had long-term collaboration with the late Franz Halberg, father of Chronobiology who influenced her to take a global approach to biological rhythms. Clinically, she graduated from Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, had residency in Neurology at Tulane University, and trained in Sleep Medicine with Drs. Jean Matheson, Robert Thomas, and Thomas Scammell at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Harvard Medical School. Her recent papers address how chronic sleep restriction and disruption change BBB function and neuroimmunity. She has published more than 150 papers and 15 book chapters, serves as associate /senior editor for two journals, and is on more than 10 editorial boards. She provides service as a reviewer for many grant agencies and journals, and as a volunteer in the medical community. Having trained many postdoctoral researchers, some are already successful mentors and principal investigators themselves.


Served as consultant for BioMarin, ProteoTech, and Acorda Pharmaceuticals.

Recent Contributions to PracticeUpdate:

  1. Sleep and Alzheimer's disease