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Anna Penn, MD



Anna Penn, MD, PhD, is a clinical neonatologist and developmental neuroscientist at Children's National Health System. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Fetal and Transitional Medicine, with additional appointments in the Division of Neonatology and the Center for Neuroscience Research. In addition, she is the director of translational research in the Center for Hospital Based Specialties. Dr. Penn conducts translational work aimed at understanding and ameliorating preterm brain injury. Specifically, she studies the role of placental function in fetal brain development and damage, with the goal of developing new therapeutic agents to protect the brain in sick newborns.

Education & Training

Education & Training

  • Fellowship Program, Neonatology, 2003
    Stanford University Medical Center
  • Residency Program, Pediatrics, 2000
    University of California-SF/Stanford Health Care
  • Internship Program, Pediatrics, 1999
    University of California-SF/Stanford Health Care
  • MD, 1998
    Stanford University School of Medicine
  • PhD, 1998
    Stanford University School of Medicine
  • AB, 1989
    Harvard-Radcliffe College
Patient Stories

Patient Stories: Anna Penn

Baby Mila in her stoller with a Happy New Year hat.

Mila's Story

As soon as Mila was born at 35.5 gestational weeks, it was clear something was terribly wrong. Mila’s breathing didn’t sound right. Her mother waited to hear her newborn cry. Following diagnostic imaging and genetic testing, her newborn daughter's health concerns were revealed. 



Research & Publications

Research & Publications

Global hormone profiling of murine placenta reveals Secretin expression

(2011) Placenta

Intrauterine growth restriction alters hippocampal expression and chromatin structure of Cyp19a1 variants

(2010) Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine

Neonatal CSF oxytocin levels are associated with parental report of infant soothability and sociability

(2013) Psychoneuroendocrinology

Sex Differences in a Hypoxia Model of Preterm Brain Damage

(2009) Pediatric Resident

Sexspecific cognitive deficits and regional brain volume loss in mice exposed to chronic sublethal hypoxia

(2011) Pediatric Resident

The Lost Neuroendocrine Organ

(2010) NeoReviews

View publications on PubMed

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Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you. Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you. Make it happen

Timothy's Story

Timothy Diving

 "Other than the scar on the right side of his neck, there are no visible signs that he went through such grave trauma at birth."

Read More of Timothy's Story