Dr. Han received an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed residency in the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston and Boston Medical Center. She received clinical research training at Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and completed pediatric endocrinology fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Since December 2009, she has been an Assistant Clinical Investigator and Head of the Unit on Metabolism and Neuroendocrinology in the Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Her translational research aims to gain insight into the neuroendocrine regulation of human energy balance and neurocognitive function. Clinical studies focus on patients with genetic disorders (e.g. MC4R mutation, Alstrom, Bardet-Biedl, Prader-Willi, Smith-Magenis, and WAGR/11p deletion syndromes) 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 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.