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Department Faculty

Dandan Sun, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurology
Phone: (412) 624-0418

Specialized Areas of Interest
Stroke; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; glioblastoma multiforme; trauma

Dandan Sun, MD, PhD, is professor of neurology, UPMC endowed chair.

Dr. Sun received her medical school training from Harbin Medical University in China and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After completing her postdoctoral training at Northwestern University and University of California-Davis, she joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997, and moved up to the rank of professor in 2007. Dr. Sun was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh in 2011.

Dr. Sun has received numerous awards including NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship (1994-1997), a Scientist Development Grant Award from the American Heart Association (AHA, 1997-2000), a Faculty Development Grant Award under the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Resources Program for Medical Schools (1998-2000), a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (2000-2004),an Established-Investigator award from the AHA (2005-2009), and Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Awards at UW-Madison (2000-2008). She has been a principal investigator for multiple NIH/NINDS R01 grant awards. Dr. Sun has served on multiple study sections of NIH/NINDS and peer review groups of the AHA.

The Sun laboratory is interested in understanding the role of ion transporter proteins (sodium-potassium-chloride cotransporter, sodium/proton exchanger, and sodium/calcium exchangers) in ionic dysregulation and neurodegeneration associated with stroke and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. In particular, they study how changes of cytosolic ionic concentrations (Na+, H+, Ca2+) as well as organelle Ca2+ (ER and mitochondria) cause nerve cell death and pro-inflammatory responses in ischemic brains.  With respect to glioblastoma multiforme brain tumors, Dr. Sun studies how the chloride cotransporter functions in regulating chloride and cell volume in GBM cancer cell survival. These proteins may be potential ''targets'' for therapeutic intervention. The Sun lab includes postdoctoral fellows, graduate, and undergraduate students, and employs in vivo models of cerebral ischemia and in vitro culture models with a variety of biochemical assays, and live cell imaging techniques.

Dr. Sun's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Professional Organization Membership
American Physiological Society
Society for Neuroscience
Society for the Cerebral Blood Flow, Metabolism & Function
Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America

Editorial Service

Frontiers in Physiology (Membrane Physiology and Biophysics)

Ad Hoc Reviewer:

American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology
European Journal of Neuroscience
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism
Journal of Neurochemistry
Journal of Neurophysiology
Journal of Neuroscience

Dr. Sun

Dr. Sun