Jen Pan focuses on understanding the biological underpinnings of psychiatric disorders in order to find next-generation therapeutics to treat them. She has expertise in voltage-gated ion channels, part of the large protein family critical to neurons firing and muscles moving.
Before joining the Broad in 2007, Pan was studying voltage-gated calcium and sodium channels and the specific role they play in neuropathic pain, which brings suffering to people who still feel their phantom limbs and also afflicts dying cancer patients. As a group leader in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad, Pan brings her expertise in neurobiology to other seemingly intractable illnesses, including bipolar disorder.
Pan has investigated why the standby treatment lithium, used for more than 60 years to treat bipolar disorder, works well in some people but not at all in others. Her team has shed light on the biochemical pathways in bipolar disease and pointed the way toward enhancing lithium’s efficacy with new compounds.
Pan received a bachelor’s degree in organic chemistry from Nanjing University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brown University.Select Publications
Pan JQ et al. AKT Kinase Activity Is Required for Lithium to Modulate Mood-Related Behaviors in Mice. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011 Jun;36(7):1397-411. Epub 2011 Mar 9.
Lipscombe D, Pan JQ.Tripping the HCN breaker. Neuron. 2009 Jun 25;62(6):747-50.