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Joan Han, MD

Director, Pediatric Obesity Program, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
Associate Professor, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology

Patient Care Emphasis:

Type 2 diabetes and other disorders associated with obesity
Endocrine and metabolic complications associated with brain tumors and brain trauma

Research emphasis:

NIH Clinical Research Protocols (Principal Investigator):
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Obesity and Neurocognitive Function
WAGR Syndrome and Other 11p Contiguous Gene Deletions: Clinical Characterization and Correlation with Genotype
Nutrients and Hormones: Effects in Boys with Disordered Growth – Pilot Study

NIH Clinical Research Protocols (Associate Investigator):
Eating Behavior in Adolescents
Clinical and Immunological Investigations of Subtypes of Autism
Natural History Study of the Clinical and Molecular Manifestations of Smith-Magenis Syndrome
Endocrine Studies in Health and Disease
Clinical and Molecular Investigations into Ciliopathies

Other grant funding:

NIH Bench-to-Bedside Award
Foundation for Prader-Willi Research
Prader-Willi Syndrome (US)
Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation


Joan Han, MD

Director, Pediatric Obesity Program, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
Associate Professor, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
848 Adams Ave.
Memphis, TN 38103
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Medical School

Harvard University (undergraduate) and Harvard Medical School

Board Certification

American Board of Pediatrics, Sub-board Pediatric Endocrinology

American Board of Obesity Medicine


Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center


Clinical Research Fellowship, Division of Endocrinology, Nemours Children’s Clinic

Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, National Institutes of Health

Awards and Honors

National Institutes of Health Merit Award for Clinical Patient Care and Research

National Organization for Rare Disorders Rare Disease Day Research Hall of Fame

Ethan Sims Obesity Society Young Investigator Award

Professional Memberships

Society for Pediatric Research
American Society of Human Genetics
Obesity Society
Pediatric Endocrine Society
Endocrine Society
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Medical Association

Selected Research

Han JC, Balagopal P, Sweeten S, Darmaun D, Mauras N. Evidence for Hypermetabolism in Boys with Constitutional Delay of Growth and Maturation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2006;91(6):2081-6. PMID: 16551727

Gray J, Yeo GS, Cox JJ, Keogh JM, Morton J, Adlam AR, Yanovski JA, El Gharbawy A, Han JC, Tung YC, Hodges JR, Raymond FL, O’ Rahilly S, Farooqi IS. Hyperphagia, severe obesity, impaired cognitive function and hyperactivity associated with functional loss of one copy of the BDNF gene. Diabetes 2006;55(12):3366-71. PMCID: PMC2413291

Fleisch AF, Agarwal N, Roberts MD, Han JC, Theim KR, Vexler A, Troendle J, Yanovski SZ, Yanovski JA. Influence of Serum Leptin on Weight and Body Fat Growth in Children at High Risk for Adult Obesity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007;92(3):948-54. PMCID: PMC1862865

Drinkard B, Roberts MD, Ranzenhofer LM, Han JC, Yanoff LB, Merke DP, Savastano DM, Brady S, Yanovski JA.Oxygen-Uptake Efficiency Slope as a Determinant of Fitness in Overweight Adolescents. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007;39(10):1811-6. PMCID: PMC2266873

15) Olney RC, Prickett TC, Yandle TG, Espiner EA, Han JC, Mauras N. Amino-Terminal Propeptide of C-Type Natriuretic Peptide (NTproCNP) and Linear Growth in Children: Effects of Puberty, Testosterone and Growth Hormone. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007;92(11):4294-8. PMID: 17684048

Han JC, Rutledge MS, Kozlosky M, Salaita CG, Gustafson JK, Keil MF, Fleisch AF, Roberts MD, Ning C, Yanovski JA. Insulin Resistance, Hyperinsulinemia, and Energy Intake in Overweight Children. J Pediatr 2008;152(5):612-7. PMCID: PMC2276579

Han JC, Liu QR, Jones M, Levinn RL, Menzie CM, Jefferson-George KS, Adler-Wailes DC, Sanford EL, Lacbawan FL, Uhl GR, Rennert OM, Yanovski JA. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Obesity in the WAGR Syndrome. N Engl J Med 2008;359(9):918-27. PMCID: PMC2553704

Xu S, Han JC, Morales A, Menzie CM, Williams K, Fan YS. Characterization of 11p12-14 deletion in WAGR syndrome by array CGH for identifying genes contributing to mental retardation and autism. Cytogenet and Genome Res 2008;122(2):181-7; erratum in: Cytogenet Genome Res. 2009;124(1):112. PMID: 19096215

Roberts MD, Drinkard B, Ranzenhofer LM, Salaita CG, Sebring NG, Brady SM, Pinchbeck C, Hoehl J, Yanoff LB, Savastano DM, Han JC, Yanovski JA. Prediction of maximal oxygen uptake by bioelectrical impedance analysis in overweight adolescents. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2009;49(3):240-5. PMCID: PMC3027125

Savastano DM, Tanofsky-Kraff M, Han JC, Ning C, Sorg RA, Roza CA, Wolkoff LE, Anandalingam K, Jefferson-George KS, Figueroa RE, Sanford EL, Brady S, Kozlosky, Schoeller DA, Yanovski JA. Energy Intake and Energy Expenditure among Children with Polymorphisms of the Melanocortin-3 Receptor. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90(4):912-20. PMCID: PMC2744620

Solomon BD, Pineda-Alvarez DE, Balog JZ, Hadley D, Gropman AL, Nandagopal R, Han JC, Hahn JS, Blain D, Brooks B, Muenke M. Compound heterozygosity for mutations in PAX6 in a patient with complex brain anomaly, neonatal diabetes mellitus, and microophthalmia. Am J Med Genet A. 2009 Nov;149A(11):2543-6. PMCID: PMC2783496

Tanofsky-Kraff M*, Han JC*, Anandalingam K, Shomaker LB, Columbo KM, Wolkoff LE, Kozlosky M, Elliott C, Ranzenhofer LM, Roza CA, Yanovski SZ, Yanovski JA. The FTO Gene rs9939609 Obesity Risk Allele and Loss of Control over Eating. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:1483–8. (*these authors contributed equally) PMCID: PMC2777464

Gustafson JK, Yanoff LB, Easter BD, Brady SM, Keil MF, Roberts MD, Sebring NG, Han JC, Yanovski SZ, Hubbard VS, Yanovski JA. The stability of metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2009;94:4828-34. PMCID: PMC2795665

Van den Berg L, Delemarre-van de Waal H, Han JC, Ylstra B, Eijk P, Nesterova M, Heutink P, Stratakis CA. Investigation of a Patient with a Partial Trisomy 16q including the Fat mass and Obesity Associated gene (FTO): Fine Mapping and FTO Gene Expression Study. Am J Med Genet A 2010;152A(3):630-7. PMCID: PMC3031344

Han JC, Lawlor DA, Kimm SY. Childhood Obesity. Lancet 2010; 375: 1737–48. PMCID: PMC3073855

Han JC, Muehlbauer MJ, Cui HN, Newgard CB, Haqq AM. Lower Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in Patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) Compared to Obese and Lean Control Subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2010;95(7):3532-6. PMCID: PMC2928902

Shomaker LB, Tanofsky-Kraff M, Young-Hyman D, Han JC, Yanoff LB, Brady SM, Yanovski SZ, Yanovski JA. Psychological Symptoms and Insulin Sensitivity in Adolescents. Pediatr Diabetes 2010;11:417-23. PMCID: PMC2942090

Han JC, Damaso L, Welch S, Balagopal P, Hossain J, Mauras N. Effects of Growth Hormone and Nutritional Therapy in Boys with Constitutional Growth Delay: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Pediatr 2011;158:427-32. PMID: 20961566

Feuillan PP*, Ng D†, Han JC†, Sapp JC, Wetsch K, Spaulding E, Zheng YC, Caruso RC, Brooks B, Johnston JJ, Yanovski JA, Biesecker LG. Leptin Resistance in Patients with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011; 96(3):E528-35 (*submitted posthumously in her honor; †these authors contributed equally). PMCID: PMC2928902

Olney RC, Permuy JW, Prickett TC, Han JC, Espiner EA. Amino-terminal propeptide of C-type natriuretic peptide (NTproCNP) predicts height velocity in healthy children. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2012;77(3):416-22). PMCID:PMC3466812

Drgonova J, Jacobsson JA, Han JC, Yanovski JA, Fredriksson R, Marcus C, Schiöth HB, Uhl GR. Involvement of the neutral amino acid transporter SLC6A15 and leucine in obesity-related phenotypes. PLoS One 2013; 8(9):e68245. PMCID: PMC3762852.

Sherafat-Kazemzadeh R, Ivey L, Kahn SR, Sapp JC, Hicks MD, Kim RC, Krause AJ, Shomaker LB, Biesecker LG, Han JC, Yanovski JA. Hyperphagia among patients with Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Pediatr Obes 2013; 8(5):E64-7. PMID: 23776152

Stofanko M, Han JC, Sarah H. Elsea SH, Pena HB, Gonçalves-Dornelas H, Pena SDJ. Rapid and inexpensive screening of genomic copy number variations using a novel quantitative fluorescent PCR method. Disease Markers 2013; 35(6):589-94. PMCID: PMC3830787.

Han JC, Thurm A, Williams CG, Joseph LA, Zein WM, Brooks BP, Butman JA, Brady SM, Fuhr SR, Hicks MD, Huey AE, Hanish AE, Danley KM, Raygada MJ, Rennert OM, Martinowich K, Sharp SJ, Tsao JW, Swedo SE. Association of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) haploinsufficiency with lower adaptive behavior and reduced cognitive functioning in WAGR/11p13 deletion syndrome. Cortex 2013; 49(10):2700-10. PMCID: PMC3762943

Gill R, Cheung YH, Shen Y, Lanzano P, Mirza NM, Ten S, Maclaren NK, Motaghedi R, Han JC, Yanovski JA, Leibel RL, Chung WK. Whole-exome sequencing identifies novel LEPR mutations in individuals with severe early onset obesity. Obesity 2014; 22(2):576-84. PMCID:PMC3791145

Heymsfield SB, Avena NM, Baier L, Brantley P, Bray GA, Burnett LC, Butler MG, Driscoll DJ, Egli D, Elmquist J, Forster JL, Goldstone AP, Gourash LM, Greenway FL, Han JC, Kane JG, Leibel RL, Loos RJ, Scheimann AO, Roth CL, Seeley RJ, Sheffield V, Tauber M, Vaisse C, Wang L, Waterland RA, Wevrick R, Yanovski JA, Zinn AR. Hyperphagia: Current Concepts and Future Directions - Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Hyperphagia. Obesity 2014; 22:S1-S17.

Hohenadel MG, Thearle MS, Grice BA, Huang H, Dai MH, Tao YX, Hunter LA, Palaguachi GI, Mou Z, Kim RC, Tsang MM, Haack K, Voruganti VS, Cole SA, Butte NF, Comuzzie AG, Muller YL, Baier LJ, Krakoff J, Knowler WC, Yanovski JA, Han JC. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Human Subjects with Function-Altering Melanocortin-4 Receptor Variants. Int J Obes (Lond); doi: 10.1038/ijo.2013.221 (in press). PMID: 24276017


Commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service (2004-2010)