Associate Professor
Physiology (Joint Faculty)
Director, Pediatric Obesity Program

MEMPHIS TN 381032893
Tel: (901) 287-6408


  • Board Cert., National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, Pediatric Endocrinology
  • PostDoc, Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, Endocrinology
  • Board Cert., Boston Children's Hospital, Pediatric Residency
  • M.D., Harvard Medical School, Medine
  • A.B., Harvard College, Biochemical Sciences

My Current CV

Research Description

The goal of my translational research program is to gain insight into the neuroendocrine regulation of human energy homeostasis and cognitive function. My clinical studies focus on the genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence the development of obesity and responses to obesity treatments. I study both general forms of obesity as well as rare genetic disorders associated with obesity and intellectual, psychiatric, or behavioral abnormalities. During my 10 years at the NIH, I developed expertise in providing clinical care and conducting metabolic/neurocognitive research for patients with Alström, Bardet-Biedl, and Prader-Willi syndromes, hypothalamic injury-related obesity, and monogenic defects of the leptin signaling pathway, including LEPR, POMC, and MC4R mutations. The focus of my laboratory investigations is elucidation of the mechanisms by which these genetic variants alter metabolism and neurodevelopment. Since my arrival at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in July 2014, I have established a multidisciplinary weight management program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for children with common and rare forms of obesity that integrates patient care and research investigations with the aim of developing personalized treatments based on individual genetic and phenotypic characteristics.

Research Keywords


Energy balance


Insulin resistance


Mouse models of obesity 

FTO gene polymorphisms

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor



Prader-Willi syndrome


WAGR syndrome

11p deletion syndrome


Hypothalamic obesity

Alstrom syndrome

Bardet-Biedl syndrome

Smith-Magenis syndrome

Research Interest/Specialty

Dr. Han is the director of the UTHSC/Le Bonheur Pediatric Obesity Program, which encompasses a Healthy Lifestyle Clinic, Metabolic Research Center, community outreach, and medical education. Dr. Han’s translational research focuses on the neuroendocrine regulation of human energy homeostasis and cognitive function. Clinical studies examine the genetic determinants of obesity in the general population and in patients with rare disorders associated with obesity, such as Alstrom, Bardet-Biedl, Prader-Willi and WAGR/11p deletion syndromes.

Clinical Care Specialty/Interest


Rare genetic disorders associated with obesity (e.g., Alstrom, Bardet-Biedl, Prader-Willi, Smith-Magenis, and WAGR/11p deletion syndromes)

Pediatric endocrinology


  1. Han, JC, Atkinson, RL, Macdonald, IA, Pietrobelli, A. Necessity for a paradigm shift in the treatment of pediatric obesity. Int J Obes (Lond), 42 (11), 1821-1822, 2018.
  2. 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, 43 (10), 1033-1042, 2018.
  3. 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, 125 (1-2), 181-191, 2018.
  4. 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.
  5. McAllan, L, Maynard, KR, Kardian, AS, Stayton, AS, Fox, SL, Stephenson, EJ, Kinney, CE, Alshibli, NK, Gomes, CK, Pierre, JF, Puchowicz, MA, Bridges, D, Martinowich, K, Han, JC. Disruption of brain-derived neurotrophic factor production from individual promoters generates distinct body composition phenotypes in mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2018.
  6. 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, 103 (7), 2707-2719, 2018.
  7. Hanish AE, Han JC. Delayed Onset of Sleep in Adolescents with PAX6 Haploinsufficiency. Biological Research for Nursing, 2 (20), 237-243, 2018.
  8. Burton, ET, Smith, WA, Thurston, IB, Gray, E, Perry, V, Jogal, S, Han, JC. Interdisciplinary Management of Pediatric Obesity: Lessons Learned in the Midsouth. Clin Pediatr (Phila), 9922817730345, 2017.
  9. Brofferio, A, Sachdev, V, Hannoush, H, Marshall, JD, Naggert, JK, Sidenko, S, Noreuil, A, Sirajuddin, A, Bryant, J, Han, JC, Arai, AE, Gahl, WA, Gunay-Aygun, M. Characteristics of cardiomyopathy in Alström syndrome: Prospective single-center data on 38 patients. Mol Genet Metab, 121 (4), 336-343, 2017.
  10. Hellings, JA, Arnold, LE, Han, JC. Dopamine antagonists for treatment resistance in autism spectrum disorders: review and focus on BDNF stimulators loxapine and amitriptyline. Expert Opin Pharmacother, 18 (6), 581-588, 2017.
  11. Hanish, AE, Lin-Dyken, DC, Han, JC. PROMIS Sleep Disturbance and Sleep-Related Impairment in Adolescents: Examining Psychometrics Using Self-Report and Actigraphy. Nurs Res, 66 (3), 246-251, 2017.
  12. Mantilla, C, Jones, T, Decker, KM, Jacobo, AM, Sontheimer, SY, Mirro, MR, Hare, ME, Han, JC. Diabetes Prevention Program in Youth (Insulin Superheroes Club) Pilot: Improvement in Metabolic Parameters and Physical Fitness after 16 Weeks of Lifestyle Intervention. Diabetes Care, 40 (6), e63-64, 2017.
  13. Uppal, S, Jee, YH, Lightbourne, M, Han, JC, Stratakis, CA. Combined pituitary hormone deficiency in a girl with 48, XXXX and Rathke's cleft cyst. Hormones (Athens), 16 (1), 92-98, 2017.
  14. Knani, I, Earley, BJ, Udi, S, Nemirovski, A, Hadar, R, Gammal, A, Cinar, R, Hirsch, HJ, Pollak, Y, Gross, I, Eldar-Geva, T, Reyes-Capo, DP, Han, JC, Haqq, AM, Gross-Tsur, V, Wevrick, R, Tam, J. Targeting the endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor system for treating obesity in Prader-Willi syndrome. Mol Metab, 5 (12), 1187-1199, 2016.
  15. Gadalla, SM, Khincha, PP, Katki, HA, Giri, N, Wong, JY, Spellman, S, Yanovski, JA, Han, JC, De Vivo, I, Alter, BP, Savage, SA. The limitations of qPCR telomere length measurement in diagnosing dyskeratosis congenita. Mol Genet Genomic Med, 4 (4), 475-9, 2016.
  16. Han, JC. Rare Syndromes and Common Variants of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Gene in Human Obesity. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci, 140, 75-95, 2016.
  17. Stephenson, EJ, Ragauskas, A, Jaligama, S, Redd, JR, Parvathareddy, J, Peloquin, MJ, Saravia, J, Han, JC, Cormier, SA, Bridges, D. Exposure to environmentally persistent free radicals during gestation lowers energy expenditure and impairs skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in adult mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 310 (11), E1003-15, 2016.
  18. Mou, Z, Hyde, TM, Lipska, BK, Martinowich, K, Wei, P, Ong, CJ, Hunter, LA, Palaguachi, GI, Morgun, E, Teng, R, Lai, C, Condarco, TA, Demidowich, AP, Krause, AJ, Marshall, LJ, Haack, K, Voruganti, VS, Cole, SA, Butte, NF, Comuzzie, AG, Nalls, MA, Zonderman, AB, Singleton, AB, Evans, MK, Martin, B, Maudsley, S, Tsao, JW, Kleinman, JE, Yanovski, JA, Han, JC. Human Obesity Associated with an Intronic SNP in the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Locus. Cell Rep, 13 (6), 1073-80, 2015.
  19. Hanish, AE, Butman, JA, Thomas, F, Yao, J, Han, JC. Pineal hypoplasia, reduced melatonin and sleep disturbance in patients with PAX6 haploinsufficiency. J Sleep Res, 2015.
  20. Adler-Wailes, DC, Alberobello, AT, Ma, X, Hugendubler, L, Stern, EA, Mou, Z, Han, JC, Kim, PW, Sumner, AE, Yanovski, JA, Mueller, E. Analysis of variants and mutations in the human winged helix FOXA3 gene and associations with metabolic traits. Int J Obes (Lond), 39 (6), 888-92, 2015.
  21. Hellings, JA, Reed, G, Cain, SE, Zhou, X, Barth, FX, Aman, MG, Palaguachi, GI, Mikhnev, D, Teng, R, Andridge, R, Logan, M, Butler, MG, Han, JC. Loxapine add-on for adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders and irritability. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol, 25 (2), 150-9, 2015.
  22. Hutchison M, Pei J, Leung WZW, Mackenzie M, Hicks MD, Thurm AE, Han JC, Haqq AM. Parental Ratings of Children and Adolescents with Prader-Willi Syndrome on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 2 (8), 55-71, 2015.
  23. 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), 38 (8), 1068-74, 2014.
  24. 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 (Silver Spring), 22 (2), 576-84, 2014.
  25. 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 (Silver Spring), 22 Suppl 1, S1-S17, 2014.
  26. 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, 8 (9), e68245, 2013.
  27. 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, 8 (5), e64-7, 2013.
  28. Stofanko, M, Han, JC, Elsea, SH, Pena, HB, Gonçalves-Dornelas, H, Pena, SD. Rapid and inexpensive screening of genomic copy number variations using a novel quantitative fluorescent PCR method. Dis Markers, 35 (6), 589-94, 2013.
  29. Han, JC, Thurm, A, Golden Williams, C, 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 behaviour and reduced cognitive functioning in WAGR/11p13 deletion syndrome. Cortex, 49 (10), 2700-10, 2012.
  30. 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), 77 (3), 416-22, 2012.
  31. Feuillan, PP, Ng, D, Han, JC, Sapp, JC, Wetsch, K, Spaulding, E, Zheng, YC, Caruso, RC, Brooks, BP, Johnston, JJ, Yanovski, JA, Biesecker, LG. Patients with Bardet-Biedl syndrome have hyperleptinemia suggestive of leptin resistance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 96 (3), E528-35, 2011.
  32. 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, 158 (3), 427-32, 2011.
  33. 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, 11 (6), 417-23, 2010.
  34. Han, JC, Muehlbauer, MJ, Cui, HN, Newgard, CB, Haqq, AM. Lower brain-derived neurotrophic factor in patients with prader-willi syndrome compared to obese and lean control subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 95 (7), 3532-6, 2010.
  35. Han, JC, Lawlor, DA, Kimm, SY. Childhood obesity. Lancet, 375 (9727), 1737-48, 2010.
  36. van den Berg, L, de Waal, HD, 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, 152A (3), 630-7, 2010.
  37. 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, 94 (12), 4828-34, 2009.
  38. 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, 90 (6), 1483-8, 2009.
  39. 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, 149A (11), 2543-6, 2009.
  40. 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, M, Schoeller, DA, Yanovski, JA. Energy intake and energy expenditure among children with polymorphisms of the melanocortin-3 receptor. Am J Clin Nutr, 90 (4), 912-20, 2009.
  41. 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, 49 (3), 240-5, 2009.
  42. Xu, S, Han, JC, Morales, A, Menzie, CM, Williams, K, Fan, YS. Characterization of 11p14-p12 deletion in WAGR syndrome by array CGH for identifying genes contributing to mental retardation and autism. Cytogenet Genome Res, 122 (2), 181-7, 2008.
  43. 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, 359 (9), 918-27, 2008.
  44. 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, 152 (5), 612-7, 617.e1, 2008.
  45. Olney, RC, Prickett, TC, Yandle, TG, Espiner, EA, Han, JC, Mauras, N. Amino-terminal propeptide of C-type natriuretic peptide and linear growth in children: effects of puberty, testosterone, and growth hormone. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 92 (11), 4294-8, 2007.
  46. 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, 39 (10), 1811-6, 2007.
  47. 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, 92 (3), 948-54, 2007.
  48. Gray, J, Yeo, GS, Cox, JJ, Morton, J, Adlam, AL, Keogh, JM, 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 brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene. Diabetes, 55 (12), 3366-71, 2006.
  49. 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, 91 (6), 2081-6, 2006.
  50. Han G, Blalock R, Payne V, Han J. Use of thiopropyl sepharose for preparation of 2-nitro-5-thiobenzoic acid. Microchemical Journal, 3 (65), 305-309, 2000.
  51. Han, J, Clark, C, Han, G, Chu, TC, Han, P. Preparation of 2-nitro-5-thiobenzoic acid using immobilized Tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine. Anal Biochem, 268 (2), 404-7, 1999.
  52. Han J, Story T, Han G. A Spectrophotometric Method for Quantitative Determination of Bromine Using Tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine. Journal of Chemical Education, 76 (7), 976-7, 1999.
  53. Han J, Chu T-C, Han G, Browne J, Brown I, Han P. Spectrophotometric assay for hypochlorite/hypochlorous acid using tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine. Microchemical Journal, 58 (2), 218-24, 1998.
  54. Han, J, Payne, V, Yen, S, Han, G, Han, P. Use of tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine for quantitation of iodine and iodate. Anal Biochem, 242 (1), 150-2, 1996.
  55. Chu, TC, Burch, JL, de Paula Brotto, MA, Creazzo, TL, Han, J, Han, GY, Potter, DE. Elevation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration in rabbit nonpigmented ciliary epithelial cells by allicin. Comp Biochem Physiol C Pharmacol Toxicol Endocrinol, 115 (1), 89-94, 1996.
  56. Han, J, Yen, S, Han, G, Han, P. Quantitation of hydrogen peroxide using tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine. Anal Biochem, 234 (1), 107-9, 1996.
  57. Han, J, Lawson, L, Han, G, Han, P. A spectrophotometric method for quantitative determination of allicin and total garlic thiosulfinates. Anal Biochem, 225 (1), 157-60, 1995.
  58. Han, JC, Han, GY. A procedure for quantitative determination of tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine, an odorless reducing agent more stable and effective than dithiothreitol. Anal Biochem, 220 (1), 5-10, 1994.
  59. Han, J, Lawson, L, Chu, TC, Potter, D, Han, G, Han, P. Modification of catalytic properties of chicken liver fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase by allicin. Biochem Mol Biol Int, 31 (6), 1007-15, 1993.
  60. Chu, TC, Ogidigben, M, Han, JC, Potter, DE. Allicin-induced hypotension in rabbit eyes. J Ocul Pharmacol, 9 (3), 201-9, 1993.