6710B ROCKLEDGE DRIVE
BETHESDA MD 20817
Helena Ahn, Ph.D., joined GHDB in 2021. She oversees the gynecologic pain portfolio, which includes chronic pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, and vulvodynia.
Dr. Ahn began her NIH career as a biologist with Dr. Yarimar Carrasquillo in the Division of Intramural Research within the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). She worked to identify the anatomical, molecular, and cellular mechanisms underlying the role of the amygdala in pathologic pain using histological, behavioral, and electrophysiologic approaches in a mouse model. After acquiring clinical research and regulatory project management experience in industry, she returned to NCCIH in 2018 as a program specialist to the scientific director and the director of the NIH Pain Research Center.
Dr. Ahn received her doctorate in neurobiology, with a focus on the pharmacologic effects of drugs on voltage-gated potassium channels, from the Catholic University of Korea in 2006. Moving to the United States in 2007, she pursued postdoctoral work at the University of Connecticut Health Center, where she continued her work on neuronal electrophysiology. She began to develop an interest in central and peripheral pain mechanisms during her work at Yale University in 2008, by conducting research to characterize pathogenic mutations within sodium channels identified in patients with severe pain syndromes.