Joan C. Han, MD

Faculty Photo
Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics
University of Tennessee Health Science Center




LeBonheur Children's Research Hospital
476r Le Bonheur Research Center
Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 287-6408


  • MD Institution: Harvard Medical School
  • PhD Institution: Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, Endocrinology
  • Residency Training: Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA

Research Interests

The goal of my translational research is to gain insight into the neuroendocrine regulation of human energy homeostasis and cognitive function. My clinical studies focus on patients with genetic disorders that are associated with childhood obesity and who frequently also display intellectual, psychiatric, and behavioral abnormalities. Candidate genes identified from these studies are further investigated in non-syndromic populations to determine if common genetic variants are associated with differences in body composition and neurocognition. The focus of my laboratory investigations is elucidation of the mechanisms by which these genetic variants alter metabolism and neurodevelopment, with the goal of identifying deficit-specific therapies for obesity and neurocognitive impairment.

Representative Publications

  • Han JC, Atkinson RL, Macdonald IA, Pietrobelli A. Necessity for a paradigm shift in the treatment of pediatric obesity. Int J Obes (Lond). 2018 Oct 9. doi: 10.1038/s41366-018-0232-9. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30301960.
  • Kamody RC, Thurston IB, Pluhar EI, Han JC, Burton ET. Implementing a condensed dialectical behavior therapy skills group for binge-eating behaviors in adolescents. Eat Weight Disord. 2018 Sep 21. doi: 10.1007/s40519-018-0580-4. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30242784.
  • Waldman M, Han JC, Reyes-Capo DP, Bryant J, Carson KA, Turkbey B, Choyke P, Naggert JK, Gahl WA, Marshall JD, Gunay-Aygun M. Alström syndrome: Renal findings in correlation with obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and cardiomyopathy in 38 patients prospectively evaluated at the NIH clinical center. Mol Genet Metab. 2018 Sep;125(1-2):181-191. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2018.07.010. Epub 2018 Jul 24. PubMed PMID: 30064963.
  • Han JC, Reyes-Capo DP, Liu CY, Reynolds JC, Turkbey E, Turkbey IB, Bryant J, Marshall JD, Naggert JK, Gahl WA, Yanovski JA, Gunay-Aygun M. Comprehensive Endocrine-Metabolic Evaluation of Patients With Alström Syndrome Compared With BMI-Matched Controls. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Jul 1;103(7):2707-2719. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-00496. PubMed PMID: 29718281.
  • Delahaye LB, Bloomer RJ, Butawan MB, Wyman JM, Hill JL, Lee HW, Liu AC, McAllan L, Han JC, van der Merwe M. Time-restricted feeding of a high-fat diet in male C57BL/6 mice reduces adiposity but does not protect against increased systemic inflammation. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018 Oct;43(10):1033-1042. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0706. Epub 2018 May 2. PubMed PMID: 29717885.
  • Hanish AE, Han JC. Delayed Onset of Sleep in Adolescents With PAX6 Haploinsufficiency. Biol Res Nurs. 2018 Mar;20(2):237-243. doi: 10.1177/1099800417753670. Epub 2018 Jan 17. PubMed PMID: 29343077; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5942528.

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