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K. Luan Phan MD

K. Luan Phan
  • Professor of Psychiatry
  • Associate Head for Clinical Services
  • Associate Head for Clinical and Translational Research
  • Director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinical and Research Programs
Contact Information
  • klphan [at]
  • (312) 355-5954
  • Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR)
    1747 W. Roosevelt Rd.
    Chicago IL 60612
  • Room #:244

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Dr. K. Luan Phan is the UI CDR Endowed Professor, Director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Program (MADRP) and Associate Head for Clinical and Translational Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He is also Chief of NeuroPsychiatric Research and a VA Research Scientist at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.  He has a longstanding commitment to translate discoveries from affective and cognitive neuroscience to improve our understanding and treatment of anxiety and mood disorders.

Lab/Research Program website:

Patient-oriented research in his interdisciplinary Research Program crosses both UIC and the VA and studies variations of psychopathology and health from an affective neuroscience perspective (phan Lab). His team understands that emotions have a powerful role in tuning our perception, imbuing our experience, guiding our decisions, and shaping our actions. As such, they believe that anxiety, fear, depression, addiction, obsessions and compulsions can be understood along dimensions of emotion that evolve over the lifespan and fluctuate with stress. They use neuroscience measures and methods to study the emotional brain and its readouts in the laboratory and the real world, and marry this approach with psychopharmacology, neuromodulation and intervention trials. The team primarily uses magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, DTI, sMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) of event-related potentials (ERP), and other psychophysiological tools to assess brain circuit function as they relate to emotion, affect regulation and motivation. Their work seeks to better understand the neuropathophysiology and course of psychopathology, and to innovate strategies to prevent and treat more patients better and faster and keep them well for longer periods of time.

Dr. Phan received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and received psychiatry residency and research track training at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinics at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Clinics.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago in February 2012, he was Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Program at the University of Michigan and Chief of the Mental Health Clinic at the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System.

Dr. Phan has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research career. Dr. Phan’s research has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health, Veterans Affairs, and Department of Defense over the past 15 years.  He has over 200 peer-reviewed publications, in journals such as Archives of General Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, Neuropsychopharmacology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Neuroscience, and Nature Reviews Neuroscience. Dr. Phan has served as editor and on editorial boards for several journals and peer reviewer on several NIH, DoD, and VA study sections. He has been a member of the Scientific Council of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and the Scientific Program Committee of the Society of Biological Psychiatry. He has been selected as a Felllow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP).

Research Themes:

  1. Functional Neuroanatomy of Emotion, Cognition, and Motivation
  2. Functional Neuroanatomy Anxiety, Mood and Addiction Disorders
  3. Brain Mechanisms and Predictors of Treatment Response in Mood and Anxiety Disorders
  4. Functional Neuroimaging of Drug Effects on Emotion and Cognition
  • psychiatry

    Research Themes:

    • Functional Neuroanatomy of Emotion, Cognition, and Motivation
    • Functional Neuroanatomy Mood and Anxiety Disorders and Addiction
    • Brain Mechanisms and Predictors of Treatment Response in Mood and Anxiety Disorders
    • Functional Neuroimaging of Drug Effects on Affective Experience and Cognition
  • Burkhouse KL, Gorka SM, Klumpp H, Kennedy AE, Karich S, Francis J, Ajilore O, Craske MG, Langenecker S, Shankman SA, Hajcak G, Phan, KL (in press). Neural responsiveness to reward as an index of depressive symptom change following cognitive-behavioral therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

    Gorka SM, Lieberman L, Shankman SA, Phan KL (2017). Startle Potentiation to Uncertain Threat as a Psychophysiological Indicator of Fear-based Psychopathology: An Examination across Multiple Internalizing Disorders.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology 126(1):8-18.

    DiGangi JA, Gorka SM, Afshar K, Babione JM, Schroth C, Greenstein JE, Proescher E, Dolcos F, Phan KL (2018). Differential Impact of Post-Deployment Stress and PTSD on Neural Reactivity to Emotional Stimuli in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. Journal of Psychiatric Research  96:9-14.

    Wu M, Kujawa A, Lu LH, Fitzgerald DA, Klumpp H, Fitzgerald KD, Monk CS, Phan KL (2016). Age-related changes in amygdala-frontal connectivity during emotional face processing from childhood into young adulthood. Human Brain Mapping

    MacNamara A, Rabinak CA, Kennedy A, Fitzgerald DA, Stein MB, Liberzon I, Phan KL (2016).  Emotion regulatory brain function and SSRI treatment in PTSD: Neural correlates and predictors of change. Neuropsychopharmacology 41(2):611-8.

    Kujawa A, Swain JE, Koschmannn E, Simpson D, Connolly S, Fitzgerald KD, Monk CS, Phan KL (2016).  Prefrontal Reactivity to Social Signals of Threat as a Predictor of Treatment Response in Anxious Youth. Neuropsychopharmacology

    Klumpp H, Fitzgerald DA, Piejko K, Roberts J, Kennedy A, Phan KL (2016). Prefrontal Control and Predictors of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Response in Social Anxiety Disorder. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience

    Gorka SM, Fitzgerald DA, Labuschagne I, Hosanagar A, Wood A, Nathan PJ, Phan KL (2015). Oxytocin Modulation of Amygdala Functional Connectivity to Fearful Faces in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology 40(2):278-86

    Rabinak CA, Angstadt MLyson M, Mori S, Milad MR, Liberzon I, Phan KL  (2014). Cannabinoid modulation of prefrontal-limbic activation during fear extinction learning and recall in humans. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 113:125-34.

    Phan KL, Coccaro EF, Angstadt M, Kreger KJ, Mayberg HS, Liberzon I, Stein MB (2013). Corticolimbic Brain Reactivity to Social Signals of Threat Before and After Sertraline Treatment in Generalized Social Phobia.  Biological Psychiatry 73(4):329-36.

    Kim P, Evans GW, Angstadt M, Ho SS, Sripada CS, Swain JE, Liberzon I, Phan KL (2013).Effects of childhood poverty and chronic stress on emotion regulatory brain function in adulthood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 110(46):18442-7

    Maren S, Phan KL, Liberzon I (2013). The Contextual Brain: Implications for Fear Conditioning, Extinction, and Psychopathology. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14(6):417-28 1.

    Phan KL, Sripada CS, Angstadt M, McCabe K (2010). Reputation for reciprocity engages the brain’s reward center. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 107(29):13099-104.

    Phan KL, Angstadt M, Golden J, Onyewuenyi I, Popovska A, de Wit H (2008). Cannabinoid Modulation of Amygdala Reactivity to Social Signals of Threat in Humans. Journal of Neuroscience 28(10):2313-2319.

    Banks S, Eddy K, Angstadt M, Nathan PJ, Phan KL (2007).  Amygdala-frontal connectivity during emotion regulation.   Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience 2: 303-312.

    Phan KL, Fitzgerald DA, Nathan PJ, Tancer ME (2006).  Association between amygdala hyperactivity to harsh faces and severity of social anxiety symptoms in generalized social phobia.  Biological Psychiatry 59:424-429.

    Phan KL, Taylor SF, Fig LM, Britton JC, Liberzon I (2006).  Corticolimbic blood flow during non-traumatic emotional processing in posttraumatic stress disorder.  Archives of General Psychiatry 63:184-192.

Title Description Investigator(s) Category Status
Negative Valence Brain Targets and Predictors of Anxiety and Depression Treatment NIMH R01MH101497 Clinical Cognitive Affective Neuroscience Lab On-going
Sex Differences in Cognitive Response to a Hydrocortisone Challenge in HIV This pharmacologic challenge explores the impact of hydrocortisone, a glucocorticoid, on cognition and immune response in HIV+ men and women. This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH - R21 MH099978). Women's Mental Health Research Program Completed
Date Released Title Source
04/16/2018 Congratulations to our own Professor Luan Phan - Recipient of the 2018 COM Faculty of the Year Award UIC College of Medicine
12/11/2017 New Facebook software could save lives The Columbia Chronicle
12/07/2017 Quick evaluation can predict whether drugs, talk therapy work better for anxiety patients UIC News
12/07/2017 Simple evaluation could help choose therapy or medication for anxiety treatment Newsline
11/21/2016 Study: Fear of the Unknown Compounds Many Anxiety Disorders Psychology Today
11/20/2016 Fear of Unknown Underlies Many Anxiety Disorders Psych Central
11/18/2016 4 Surprising Anxiety Triggers And How To Calm Yourself Down Medical Daily
11/18/2016 Fear of the unknown common to many anxiety disorders Science Daily
08/29/2016 Alcohol Breaks Brain Connections Needed to Process Social Cues UIC Today
08/07/2015 In the Pursuit of Personalizing PTSD Care Psychiatric News
07/05/2015 Office of Research and Development: In pursuit of precision medicine for PTSD US Department of Veterans Affairs
05/20/2015 Father of Marine grapples with death of son after PTSD struggle ABC 7 Chicago
04/16/2015 Innovative Medicine: Professor K. Luan Phan, MD Illinois Medicine
01/27/2015 Dry January: What a month without booze does to the body and mind Chicago Tribune
03/20/2014 Office of Research and Development: Brain's 'error messages' may hold key to PTSD resiliency US Department of Veterans Affairs
11/04/2013 Research Finds Growing Up Poor can Impact Adult Brain Function Public News Service
10/30/2013 Growing Up In Poverty Could Affect Brain Functioning In Adulthood Huffington Post
07/12/2012 Mood Disorders WTTW