Maggie Waung, MD, PhD

HS Asst Clinical Professor

My career goal is to broaden the understanding of central pain processing to develop targeted, novel therapeutics for specific headache syndromes. My experiences with patients who experience migraines prompted me to think more deeply about concepts of pain and central sensitization. Migraineurs have exquisite sensitivity to external stimuli, and headaches seem to be triggered by pain pathways that may have undergone maladaptive changes. Additionally, long-term acute medication use promotes the severity and frequency of migraines, which can become refractory to treatment. Because migraines can worsen over time, this indicates plastic changes in circuitry may be potential targets for new therapies.

I am currently employing state of the art optogenetic methods combined with ex vivo brain slice whole cell physiology and pharmacology to interrogate specific circuits implicated in migraine pathophysiology. Evaluating changes in these circuits in response to headache or analgesic use will provide much needed insight into clinical conditions such as chronic migraine and medication overuse headache, fulfilling an underserved translational need in the area of headache.


The Diagnostic Landscape of Adult Neurogenetic Disorders.


Waung MW, Ma F, Wheeler AG, Zai CC, So J

Melatonin for migraine prevention in children and adolescents: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial after single-blind placebo lead-in.


Gelfand AA, Allen IE, Grimes B, Irwin S, Qubty W, Greene K, Waung M, Powers SW, Szperka CL

Behavioral "nudges" in the electronic health record to reduce waste and misuse: 3 interventions.

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA

Grouse CK, Waung MW, Holmgren AJ, Mongan J, Neinstein A, Josephson SA, Khanna RR

A diencephalic circuit in rats for opioid analgesia but not positive reinforcement.

Nature communications

Waung MW, Maanum KA, Cirino TJ, Driscoll JR, O'Brien C, Bryant S, Mansourian KA, Morales M, Barker DJ, Margolis EB

Family History of Cluster Headache: A Systematic Review.

JAMA neurology

Waung MW, Taylor A, Qualmann KJ, Burish MJ

A Midbrain Circuit that Mediates Headache Aversiveness in Rats.

Cell reports

Waung MW, Margolis EB, Charbit AR, Fields HL

Preliminary Evidence that Melatonin Is not a Biomarker in Children and Adolescents With Episodic Migraine.


Berger A, Litwin J, Allen IE, Qubty W, Irwin S, Waung M, Gelfand AA

Chronic Headache. Green MW, Cowan R, Freitag FG, editors

Chronic Daily Headache Classification

Waung MW and Levin M

Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5: a target for migraine therapy.

Annals of clinical and translational neurology

Waung MW, Akerman S, Wakefield M, Keywood C, Goadsby PJ

Enhancement of dynamin polymerization and GTPase activity by Arc/Arg3.1.

Biochimica et biophysica acta

Byers CE, Barylko B, Ross JA, Southworth DR, James NG, Taylor CA, Wang L, Collins KA, Estrada A, Waung M, Tassin TC, Huber KM, Jameson DM, Albanesi JP

Combat-related headache and traumatic brain injury.

Current pain and headache reports

Waung MW, Abrams GM

Pearls & oy-sters: the use of CT venography in Hirayama disease.


Waung MW, Grossman AW, Barmada SJ, Josephson SA, Dillon WP, Ralph JW

Protein translation in synaptic plasticity: mGluR-LTD, Fragile X.

Current opinion in neurobiology

Waung MW, Huber KM