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DIR Researcher Profile: Dr. Leorey N. Saligan

Leorey N. Saligan, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN

Dr. Leorey N. SaliganPrincipal Investigator
Symptom Management Branch
Division of Intramural Research

Building 3, Room 5E14
3 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892


Research Topics

Dr. Leorey Saligan examines the nature and causes of fatigue in relation to cancer and its treatments. The purpose is to understand and identify biobehavioral mechanisms of fatigue in order to develop more effective ways to manage it and, as a result, improve patient outcomes. His research program is guided by the NIH Symptom Science Model.

Dr. Saligan is introducing clinically relevant approaches to phenotype cancer-related fatigue (CRF) to drive biomarker discovery. He is also leading studies to identify biomarkers of CRF and understand functional pathways to explain its cause. In addition, Dr. Saligan is conducting proof-of-concept clinical trials that target the biochemical and physiologic effects of active markers identified in CRF studies in order to validate their clinical relevance.


Dr. Saligan received his PhD in nursing from Hampton University. In 2007, he joined NINR as a postdoctoral fellow within the Symptom Management Branch, where he became a Lead Associate Investigator of a clinical trial involving individuals with fibromyalgia. In 2009, he became an Assistant Clinical Investigator and Principal Investigator of several clinical protocols, including:

  • Effect of Ketamine on Fatigue Following Cancer Therapy (15-NR-0037)
  • Investigating Molecular-Genetic Correlates of Fatigue Experienced by Cancer Patients Receiving Treatment (11-NR-0014)
  • Molecular-Genetic Correlates of Fatigue in Cancer Patients Receiving Localized External Beam Radiation Therapy (09-NR-0088)
  • Fatigue in Healthy Individuals (09-NR-0131)
  • Evaluation and Diagnosis of Potential Research Subjects with Pain and Fatigue Syndromes (08-NR-0132

Dr. Saligan became a tenure-track investigator in 2012 and expanded his research program to investigate the biobehavioral mechanisms of fatigue. He also serves as an officer within the United States Public Health Service.

Selected Publications

  1. Feng, L.R., Suy, S., Collins, S.P., Saligan, L.N. (2017). The role of TRAIL in fatigue induced by repeated stress from radiotherapy. J Psychiatr Res, 91, 130-138.
  2. Feng LR, Dickinson K, Kline N, Saligan LN. Different phenotyping approaches lead to dissimilar biologic profiles in men with chronic fatigue following radiation therapy. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2016 Aug 9. pii: S0885-3924(16)30225-1. PMID: 27521284
  3. Cashion AK, Gill J, Hawes R, Henderson WA, Saligan L. National Institutes of Health Symptom Science Model sheds light on patient symptoms. Nurs Outlook. 2016 May 29. pii: S0029-6554(16)30070-7. PMID: 27349632
  4. Feng LR, Wolff BS, Lukkahatai N, Espina A, Saligan LN. Exploratory investigation of early biomarkers for chronic fatigue in prostate cancer patients following radiation therapy. Cancer Nurs. 2016 Apr 22. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27105468
  5. Renner M, Feng R, Springer D, Chen MK, Ntamack A, Espina A, Saligan LN. A murine model of peripheral irradiation-induced fatigue. Behav Brain Res. 2016 Jul 1;307:218-26. PMID: 27012391
  6. Hsiao CP, Reddy SY, Chen MK, Saligan LN. Genomic profile of fatigued men receiving localized radiation therapy. Biol Res Nurs. 2016 May;18(3):281-9. PMID: 26620220
  7. Saligan LN, Fernández-Martínez JL, deAndrés-Galiana EJ, Sonis S. Supervised classification by filter methods and recursive feature elimination predicts risk of radiotherapy-related fatigue in patients with prostate cancer. Cancer Inform. 2014 Dec 1;13:141-52. PMID: 25506196
  8. Saligan LN, Luckenbaugh DA, Slonena EE, Machado-Vieira R, Zarate CA Jr. An assessment of the anti-fatigue effects of ketamine from a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in bipolar disorder. J Affect Disord. 2016 Apr;194:115-9. PMID: 26807672
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