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Alan I. Faden, MD

David S. Brown Professor in Trauma

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):

Anatomy Neurobiology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Neurosurgery

Administrative Title:

Director, National Study Center; Associate Dean, Trans-Campus Research Advancement

Additional Title:

Scientific Co-Director, Center for Sports Medicine, Health & Human Performance, University of Maryland (Baltimore and College Park)


MSTF 6-02

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-4205


(410) 706-7639

Education and Training

1966: University of Pennsylvania, Physics, BA, 1966

1967: Indiana University, History & Philosophy of Science, Graduate Studies

1971: University of Chicago School of Medicine, MD

1975: Resident, University of California-San Francisco, Neurology, 1974 (Chief Resident, 1975)


Dr. Faden is a neurologist who is an internationally recognized leader in neurotrauma. As the former director of the Center for Shock, Trauma and Anesthesiology Research (STAR), Dr. Faden oversaw multidisciplinary research focusing on brain injuries, critical care, and organ support, resuscitation, surgical outcomes, patient safety and injury prevention. He currently serves as the Scientific Co-Director for the newly established bi-campus Center for Sports Medicine Health and Human Performance, as well as Associate Dean for Trans-Campus Research Advancement.

His present research focuses on the pathobiology and treatment of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, mechanisms of cell death, neuroinflammation, central pain and drug discovery.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Neuroinflammation, Central Nervous System Injury, Neuroprotection, Cell Death and Recovery, Spinal Cord Injury, Chronic Pain

Highlighted Publications

Sabirzhanov B, Faden A, Aubrecht T, Henry R, Glaser E, Stoica BA. miR-711 induced down-regulation of Angiopoietin-1 mediates neuronal cell death. J Neurotrauma. May 2018. [Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1089/neu.2017.5572

Loane DJ, Faden AI. Traumatic meningeal injury and repair mechanisms. Nat Immunol. 2018;19(5):431-432. PMID: 29670238

Henry RJ, Doran SJ, Barrett JP, Meadows VE, Sabirzhanov B, Stoica BA, Loane DJ, FADEN AI. Inhibition of miR-155 limits neuroinflammation and improves functional recovery after experimental traumatic brain injury in mice. Neurotherapeutics (in press)

Sabirzhanov B, Li Y, Coll-Miro M, Matyas JJ, He J, Kumar A, Ward N, Yu J, FADEN, AI, Wu J. Inhibition of NOX2 signaling limits pain-related behavior and improves, Motor function in male mice after spinal cord injury: participation of IL-10/miR-155 pathways. Brain Behav Immun. 2019 Feb 23. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.02.024

Kumar A, Henry RJ, Stoica BA, Loane DJ, Abulwerdi G, Bhat SA, FADEN AI. Neutral sphingomyelinase inhibition alleviates LPS-induced microglial activation and neuroinflammation after traumatic brain injury. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2019 Mar;368(3):338-352. doi: 10.1124/jpet.118.253955. Epub 2018

Additional Publication Citations

Faden, A.I., Demediuk P., Panter S.S., and Vink R., The role of excitatory amino acids and NMDA receptors in traumatic brain injury. Science 244 (4906): 798-800, 1989

Yakovlev, A.G., S.M. Knoblach, L. Fan, G.B. Fox, R. Goodnight, and Faden A.I. Activation of CPP32-like caspases contributes to neuronal apoptosis and neurological dysfunction after traumatic brain injury. J Neurosci 17(19): 7415-24, 1997

Wu J, Zhao Z, Sabirzhanov B, Stoica BA, Kumar A, Luo T, Skovira J, Faden AI Spinal cord injury causes brain inflammation associated with cognitive and affective changes: role of cell cycle pathways. J Neurosci, 34(33):10989-11006, 2014

Sabirzhanov, B., Zhao, Z., Stoica, B.A., Loane D.J., Wu, J., Borroto, C., Dorsey, S., and Faden A.I., Down-regulation of miR-23a and miR-27a following experimental traumatic brain injury induces neuronal cell death through activation of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins. Journal of Neuroscience; 34 (30):10055-71, 2014

Kumar A, Stoica BA, Loane DJ, Yang M, Abulwerdi G, Khan N, Kumar A, Thom SR, FADEN AI. Microglial-derived microparticles mediate neuroinflammation after traumatic brain injury. J Neuroinflammation. 2017 Mar 15;14(1):47. PMID: 28292310

Matyas JJ, O'Driscoll CM, Yu L, Coll-Miro M, Daugherty S, Renn CL, FADEN AI, Dorsey SG, Wu J. Truncated TrkB.T1-mediated astrocyte dysfunction contributes to impaired motor function and neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury. J Neurosci. 2017 Apr 5;37(14):3956-3971. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3353-16.2017. Epub 2017 Mar 7. PMID: 28270575

Barrett JP, Henry RJ, Villapol S, Stoica BA, Kumar A, Burns MP, FADEN AI, Loane DJ. NOX2 deficiency alters macrophage phenotype through an IL-10/STAT3 dependent mechanism: implications for traumatic brain injury. J Neuroinflammation 2017 Mar 24;14(1):65. doi: 10.1186/s12974-017-0843-4.PMID: 28340575

Ma EL, Smith AD, Desai N, Cheung L, Hanscom M, Stoica BA, Loane DJ, Shea-Donohue T, Faden AI. Bidirectional Brain-Gut Interactions and Chronic Pathological Changes after Traumatic Brain Injury in MIce. Brain Behav Immun. 2017 Jul 1. 2017 Nov; 66:56-69. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2017.06.018. Epub 2017 Jul 1. PMID: 28676351

Ritzel R, Doran S, Barrett J, Henry R, Ma E, FADEN A, Loane DJ. Chronic alterations of systemic immune function after traumatic brain injury. J Neurotrauma. 2018 Feb 8. doi: 10.1089/neu.2017.5399. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29421977


Research Interests

Alan I. Faden, M.D. is the David S. Brown Professor in Trauma in the Department of Anesthesiology. Dr. Faden’s laboratory uses multi-disciplinary approaches- including molecular and cellular biology, animal modeling, behavior, imaging and drug discovery- to examine the pathobiology of experimental brain and spinal cord injury and their treatment. Specific research focuses include cell cycle pathways, nueroimflammation, cell death pathways, metabotropic glutamate receptors, and microvesicles, and brain-gut interactions. We use a diverse array of in vitro and in vivo models to address experimental questions: fluid percussion head injury (rats), controlled cortical impact (mice), diffuse brain injury (rats and mice); impact spinal cord injury (rats and mice); transgenic models, in vitro models.

Awards and Affiliations

  • President, National Neurotrauma Society, 1988-89
  • President, San Francisco Neurological Society, 1990-91
  • President, American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics (ASENT), 2006
  • Editor-in-Chief, Neurotherapeutics, 2003-2013
  • David S. Brown Professor, 2009
  • University Professor,  University of Maryland, College Park, 2016

Links of Interest

Previous Positions

  • Dean of Research and Graduate Education, Medical Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, 1991-1996
  • Scientific Director, Medical Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, 1991-1996
  • Director, Georgetown Institute for Cognitive and Computational Sciences, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, 1995-1998
  • Professor of Neuroscience Neurology and Pharmacology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, 1991-2009
  • Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, 1984-1991
  • Chief, Neurology Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA (1984-90)