Dandan Sun, MD, PhD

  • Professor, Department of Neurology
  • UPMC Endowed Chair Professor of Brain Disorders Research

Dr. Sun’s research interests focus on studying the roles of ion transporter proteins, such as Na-K-Cl cotransporters, Na/Ca exchangers, and Na/H exchangers, in ionic dysregulation and neurodegeneration in experimental models of ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury, and glioblastoma. The ion transporter proteins are pathologically stimulated under these disease conditions. The dysregulated ion transport function further interrupts the cellular and metabolic equilibrium. Dr. Sun’s lab is investigating the underlying mechanisms and modulating ion transport protein function as novel therapeutic strategy for these brain disorders. 

Education & Training

  • MD, Harbin Medical University, P. R. China, Medicine
  • MS, Harbin Medical University, P. R. China, Pathophysiology
  • MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Physiology
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Physiology
  • Post Doc Fellow, Medical School, University of California, Human Physiology
  • Post Doc Fellow, Northwestern University Medical School, Pharmacology

Specialized Areas of Clinical, Research and/or Educational Interests

  • Research:  Ischemic Stroke; Traumatic Brain Injury; Glioblastoma
  • Education: Research Training and Mentoring; Junior Faculty Career Development

Professional Organization Membership

  • Elected Fellow of the American Heart Association
  • American Physiological Society
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for the Cerebral Blood Flow, Metabolism & Function

Honors & Awards

  • Scientist Development Grant Award from American Heart Association National Center
  • Faculty Development Grant Award from University of Wisconsin Medical School under the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Resources Program for Medical Schools
  • CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation
  • Established Investigator Award from American Heart Association National Center
  • Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Award at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Selected Recent Publications

G. Begum, S. Song, S. Wang, H. Zhao, M. I. H. Bhuiyan, E. Li, R. Nepomuceno, Q. Ye, M. Sun, M J Calderon, D. B. Stolz, C. St. Croix, SC. Watkins, Y. Chen, P. He, G E Shull, and Dandan Sun. Selective knockout of astrocytic Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1 reduces astrogliosis, BBB damage, infarction, and improves neurological function after ischemic stroke. Glia. 2018 66(1):126-144. 

S. Song, S. Wang, V. M. Pigott, L. M. Foley, A. Mishra, R. Nayak, W. Zhu, G. Begum, Y. Shi, K. E. Carney, T. K Hitchens, W. Gan, G. E. Shull, and Dandan Sun. Knockout of Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1 in Cx3cr1-CreER microglia reduces microglial proinflammation and accelerates post-stroke brain repair and function recovery. Glia. 2018, 66(11):2279-2298.

X. Guan, L. Luo, G. Begum, G. Kohanbash, Q. Song, A. Rao, N. Amankulor, B. Sun, Dandan Sun, W. Jia. Elevated Na/H exchanger 1 (SLC9A1) emerges as a marker for tumorigenesis and prognosis in gliomas. Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research. 2018, 37:255

Song S, Luo L, Sun B, Dandan Sun. Roles of glial ion transporters in brain diseases. Glia. 2019 Aug 16. doi: 10.1002/glia.23699.

Zhang J, Bhuiyan MIH, Zhang T, Karimy JK, Wu Z, Fiesler VM, Zhang J, Huang H, Hasan MN, Skrzypiec AE, Mucha M, Duran D, Huang W, Pawlak R, Foley LM, Hitchens TK, Minnigh MB, Poloyac SM, Alper SL, Molyneaux BJ, Trevelyan AJ, Kahle KT, Dandan Sun, Deng X. Modulation of brain cation-Cl- cotransport via the SPAK kinase inhibitor ZT-1a. Nature Commun. 2020, 11(1):78.