Sung Han, PhD

Associate Professor

Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology

Pioneer Fund Developmental Chair

Sung Han
Salk Institute for Biological Studies - News


Salk scientists uncover key brain pathway mediating panic disorder symptoms

LA JOLLA—Overwhelming fear, sweaty palms, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate—these are the symptoms of a panic attack, which people with panic disorder have frequently and unexpectedly. Creating a map …

Salk Institute promotes five faculty members in genetics, structural biology, immunobiology, and neuroscience

LA JOLLA—Five Salk Institute faculty members have been promoted for their notable, innovative contributions to science. These faculty members have demonstrated leadership in their disciplines, pushing the boundaries of basic …

Not all itches are the same, according to the brain

LA JOLLA—Itch is a protective signal that animals use to prevent parasites from introducing potentially hazardous pathogens into the body. If a mosquito lands on a person’s arm, they sense …

How the brain gathers threat cues and turns them into fear

LA JOLLA—Salk scientists have uncovered a molecular pathway that distills threatening sights, sounds and smells into a single message: Be afraid. A molecule called CGRP enables neurons in two separate …

Pain and anxiety impact breathing on a cellular level

LA JOLLA—You’re startled by a threatening sound, and your breath quickens; you smash your elbow and pant in pain. Why a person’s breathing rate increases dramatically when they’re hurting or …

Researchers identify neurons involved in overdose deaths

LA JOLLA—It’s long been known that opioid overdose deaths are caused by disrupted breathing, but the actual mechanism by which these drugs suppress respiration was not understood. Now, a new …

Salk recruits rising star to study neurology of mental disorders

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Sung Han as an assistant professor in the Clayton Foundation Peptide Biology Laboratories. Han will study small molecules, called …


BS, Genetic Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Korea
MS, Neuroscience, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea
PhD, Neurobiology & Behavior, University of Washington, Seattle

Awards & Honors

  • NIMH Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientist (Brains), 2018
  • SFARI, Bridge to Independence Award, 2016
  • Life Sciences Research Foundation, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2015-2018
  • KBRI Postdoctoral Research Award, Association of Korean Neuroscientists, 2012
  • Korea Research Foundation Research Grant, 2005