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Alan I. Faden, MD

David S. Brown Professor of Trauma

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):

Neurosurgery, Neurobiology, Neurology, Psychiatry

Administrative Title:

Associate Dean, Trans-Campus Research Advancement


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 also served as the Co-Director for the bi-campus Center for Brain, Health and Human Performance, and is as Associate Dean for Trans-Campus Research Advancement.

His present research is highly interdisciplinarian including modeling, behavior, neuropathology, immunology, cellular biology and molecular biology, including single cell transcriptomics and epigenetics. It focuses on the pathobiology and treatment of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, mechanisms of cell death, neuroinflammation, neuroimmunology, and bidirectional brain systemic interactions. 

Research/Clinical Keywords

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Neuroinflammation, Central Nervous System Injury, Neuroprotection, Cell Death and Recovery, Spinal Cord Injury, Neuroimmunology, Transcriptions, Epigenetics.

Highlighted Publications

Bhat SA, Henry RJ, Blanchard AC, Stoica BA, Loane DJ, Faden AI. Enhanced Akt/GSK-3β/CREB signaling mediates the anti-inflammatory actions of mGluR5 positive allosteric modulators in microglia and following traumatic brain injury in male mice. J Neurochem. 2021;156(2):225-248. PMID: 31926033.

Ritzel RM, Li Y, He J, Khan N, Doran SJ, Faden AI, Wu J. Sustained neuronal and microglial alterations are associated with diverse neurobehavioral dysfunction long after experimental brain injury. Neurobiol Dis. 2020;136:104713. PMID: 31843705.

Henry RJ, Ritzel RM, Barrett JP, Doran SJ, Jiao Y, Leach JB, Szeto GL, Wu J, Stoica BA, Faden AI, Loane DJ. Microglial depletion with CSF1R inhibitor during chronic phase of experimental traumatic brain injury reduces neurodegeneration and neurological deficits. J Neurosci. 2020;40(14):2960-2974. PMID: 32094203.

Sarkar C, Jones JW, Hegdekar N, Thayer JA, Kumar A, Faden AI, Kane MA, Lipinski MM. PLA2G4A/cPLA2-mediated lysosomal membrane damage leads to inhibition of autophagy and neurodegeneration after brain trauma. Autophagy. 2020;16(3):466-485. PMID: 31238788.

Abulwerdi G, Stoica B, Loane D, Faden A. Putative mGluR4 positive allosteric modulators activate GI-independent anti-inflammatory mechanisms in microglia. Neurochem Int. 2020;138:104770. PMID: 32454165.

Sabirzhanov B, Makarevich O, Barrett JP, Jackson IL, Glaser EP, Faden AI, Stoica BA. Irradiation-induced upregulation of miR-711 inhibits DNA repair and promotes neurodegeneration pathways. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(15). PMID: 32718090.

Cao T, Matyas JJ, Renn CL, Faden AI, Dorsey SG, Wu J. Function and mechanisms of truncated BDNF receptor TrkB.T1 in neuropathic pain. Cells. 2020;9(5). PMID: 32403409.

Li Y, Cao T, Ritzel RM, He J, Faden AI, Wu J. Dementia, depression, and associated brain inflammatory mechanisms after spinal cord injury. Cells. 2020;9(6). PMID: 32521597.

Makarevich O, Sabirzhanov B, Aubrecht TG, Glaser EP, Polster BM, Henry RJ, Faden AI, Stoica BA. Mithramycin selectively attenuates DNA-damage-induced neuronal cell death. Cell Death Dis. 2020;11(7):587. PMID: 32719328.

Li Y, Ritzel RM, Khan N, Cao T, He J, Lei Z, Matyas JJ, Sabirzhanov B, Liu S, Li H, Stoica BA, Loane DJ, Faden AI, Wu J. Delayed microglial depletion after spinal cord injury reduces chronic inflammation and neurodegeneration in the brain and improves neurological recovery in male mice. Theranostics. 2020;10(25):11376-11403. PMID: 33052221.

Ritzel RM, He J, Li Y, Cao T, Khan N, Shim B, Sabirzhanov B, Aubrecht T, Stoica BA, Faden AI, Wu LJ, Wu J. Proton extrusion during oxidative burst in microglia exacerbates pathological acidosis following traumatic brain injury. Glia. 2021;69(3):746-764. PMID: 33090575.

Khan NZ, Cao T, He J, Ritzel RM, Li Y, Henry RJ, Colson C, Stoica BA, Faden AI, Wu J. Spinal cord injury alters microRNA and CD81+ exosome levels in plasma extracellular nanoparticles with neuroinflammatory potential. Brain Behav Immun. 2021;92, 165-183. PMID: 33307173.

Faden AI, Barrett JP, Stoica BA, Henry RJ. Bidirectional brain-systemic interactions and outcomes after TBI. Trends Neurosci. 2021;44(5):406-418. PMID: 33495023.

Hanscom M, Loane DJ, Aubretch T, Leser J, Molesworth K, Hedgekar N, Ritzel RM, Abulwerdi G, Shea-Donohue T, Faden AI. Acute colitis during chronic experimental traumatic brain injury in mice induces dysautonomia and persistent extraintestinal, systemic, and CNS inflammation with exacerbated neurological deficits. J Neuroinflammation. 2021;18(1):24. PMID: 33461596.

Ritzel RM, Li Y, Lei Z, Carter J, He J, Choi HM, Khan N, Li H, Allen S, Lipinski MM, Faden AI, Wu J. Functional and transcriptional profiling of microglial activation during the chronic phase of TBI identifies an age-related driver of poor outcome in old mice. Geroscience. 2022;44(3):1407-1440. PMID: 35451674.

Li Y, Ritzel RM, Lei Z, Cao T, He J, Faden AI, Wu J. Sexual dimorphism in neurological function after SCI is associated with disrupted neuroinflammation in both injured spinal cord and brain. Brain Behav Immun. 2022;101:1-22. PMID: 34954073.

Li Y, Khan N, Ritzel RM, Lei Z, Allen S, Faden AI, Wu J. Sexually dimorphic extracellular vesicle responses after chronic spinal cord injury are associated with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in the aged brain. J Neuroinflammation. 2023 Aug 31;20(1):197. PMID: 37653491.

Ritzel RM, Li Y, Jiao Y, Lei Z, Doran SJ, He J, Shahror RA, Henry RJ, Khan R, Tan C, Liu S, Stoica BA, Faden AI, Szeto G, Loane DJ, Wu J. Brain injury accelerates the onset of a reversible age-related microglial phenotype associated with inflammatory neurodegeneration. Sci Adv. 2023 Mar 10;9(10):eadd1101. Epub 2023 Mar 8. PMID: 36888713.

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,  Kinesiology (Public Health,) 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)
  • Director, Shock, Trauma and Anesthesiology Research (STAR) Organized Research Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore, 2009-2019
  • Co-Director, Center for Brain, Health & Human Performance, University of Maryland (Baltimore and College Park), 2017-2022