Juan Pascual, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Ed and Sue Rose Distinguished Professorship in Neurology
  • The Once Upon a Time Foundation Professorship in Pediatric Neurologic Diseases
  • Neurology


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Juan M. Pascual, M.D., Ph.D., is the inaugural holder of The Once Upon a Time Foundation Professorship in Pediatric Neurologic Diseases and also holds the Ed and Sue Rose Distinguished Professorship in Neurology

Dr. Pascual provides both pediatric and adult neurology care. Adults should contact the Neurology Clinic at James. W. Aston Ambulatory Care Center at 214-645-8800 to make an appointment. For pediatric appointments, please contact Children’s Medical Center using the online scheduling form, or by calling 214-456-2768.

His laboratory research interests span virtually the entire field of neuroscience, including medical neuroscience, from molecular structure and function (including drug action), neural physiology and metabolism at the cellular, circuit and whole-brain level and neurogenetics, all of which is complemented with neurological patient care and clinical trials. Laboratory research greatly influences his clinical activities and patient observations guide his laboratory research direction.

As a clinician, Dr. Pascual specializes in genetic and metabolic diseases of the nervous and neuromuscular systems of infants, children, and adults with a particular emphasis on complex diagnostic problems, second opinions for patients visiting from the rest of the U.S. and abroad, and in clinical trials. Dr. Pascual has special clinical research expertise in undiagnosed and rare diseases, glucose metabolism, mitochondrial, degenerative, and multi-organ disorders. 

Dr. Pascual is a tenured faculty member in four Departments at UT Southwestern Medical Center: Neurology, Physiology, Pediatrics, and the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth & Development / Center for Human Genetics. He is also Director of the Rare Brain Disorders Program (Clinic and Laboratory). He is also a member of the Division of Pediatric Neurology, of the graduate Ph.D. programs in Neuroscience and Integrative Biology, and of the postgraduate clinical training programs in Neurology, Pediatric Neurology, Pediatrics, and Medical Genetics. He teaches at UT Southwestern Medical School.

In addition, Dr. Pascual is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the School of Natural Sciences and MathematicsThe University of Texas at Dallas.

Dr. Pascual directs a highly collaborative research laboratory and is credentialed campus-wide at Children's Medical Center Dallas, UT Southwestern University Hospitals and Clinics, and Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he consults on inpatients and outpatients with particularly complex or severe diseases. Much of his research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Pascual received his M.D. degree with unique distinction from the Universidad de Granada, Spain, one of the oldest universities in the world, founded in 1349 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada and one of the builders of the Alhambra. He received his Ph.D. degree in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, under Arthur M. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., McCollum Professor and Chair. His postdoctoral research was conducted under Arthur Karlin, Ph.D., Higgins Professor and Director of the Center for Molecular Recognition, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and, later, at the Colleen Giblin Research Laboratories for Pediatric Neurology at the same institution under a Neurological Sciences Academic Development Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He also received residency training in Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine - St. Louis Children’s Hospital and in Neurology and Pediatric Neurology at the Neurological Institute of New York - Columbia University Medical Center. He received certification in Neurology with Special Qualification in Child Neurology from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

As one of few actively practicing pediatric neurologists in the nation who is also a laboratory scientist, Dr. Pascual is interested in the molecular mechanisms that cause inherited metabolic and excitability disorders using electrophysiology and nuclear magnetic resonance (MRI) both in human subjects and in models of human diseases. His laboratory is located in the newest biomedical research building (NL) at UT Southwestern and is an integral part of the Department of Neurology. The laboratory is home to scientists from very broad backgrounds and levels of training and expertise who have joined efforts to endow both pediatric neurology and human developmental neuroscience with a strong scientific basis.

Dr. Pascual has co-authored over two dozen scientific, medical and philosophical textbooks. He is the editor, together with Dr. Roger Rosenberg of Rosenberg's Molecular and Genetic Basis of Neurological and Psychiatric Disease (5th edition, Academic Press, 2015; 6th edition in preparation). His textbook Progressive Brain Disorders in Childhood (Cambridge University Press) was published in 2017. He is working on a new book, provisionally entitled Sense & Nonsense in Medical Neuroscience: Inference & Fallacy, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

An avid reader and speaker, Dr. Pascual is also interested in the philosophy of mind. He is particularly concerned with the proper study of the human condition. Thus, he is a critic of errors commonly made by cognitive neuroscientists, which Dr. Peter Hacker has made patent. As a research and clinical neurogeneticist, he has also grown disillusioned with the current simplistic overreliance on genes as an explanation of biology or disease, just as Dr. Denis Noble has argued. Dr. Pascual is a member of the North Texas Bioethics Network.

Dr. Pascual has no interest in – nor is he sponsored by – any business that conducts medical research or lobbies for financial gain.

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Patient referrals to the clinic and location of the research laboratory

Publications listed in PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Education & Training
  • Internship - Washington University. St. Louis (1998-1999), Pediatrics
  • Graduate School - Baylor College of Medicine (1991-1995)
  • Medical School - Universidad de Granada (1984-1990)
  • Residency - Columbia University Medical Center (1999-2002), Pediatric Neurology
  • Other Post Graduate Training - Columbia University Medical Center (1995-1998)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics (2007)
  • Parkland Memorial Hospital (2007)
  • Children's Medical Center Dallas (2007)
Honors & Awards
  • Miembro de número 2004, Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española
  • Miembro correspondiente 2004, Real Academia Española
  • Miembro de honor 2015, Academia Malagueña de Ciencias
  • Young Investigator Award 2009, Neurobiology of Disease in Children
  • Elected corresponding member 2010, Académie Européenne des Sciences, des Arts et des Lettres
  • Research Mentor Award 2012, Children's Medical Center Dallas
  • Elected full member 2013, Académie Européenne des Sciences, des Arts et des Lettres
  • 100% Patient satisfaction 2013, Division of Pediatric Neurology, Children's Medical Center Dallas
Books & Publications
  • 2-hit, multiple-gene and explanatory validity of complex causation models
  • Brain metabolism
  • Clinical trials for neurological and genetic disorders
  • Whole exome and genome analyses in neurological disorders
  • Sentience, autonomy and sources of truth
  • Neurogenetics
  • Neurodegenerative diseases of children
  • Neural excitability: synaptic transmission
  • Mitochondrial disorders
  • Human brain development
  • Functional brain imaging
  • Final common pathways shared by diseases of neural development
  • Complex, rare and undiagnosed diseases

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