Rachel Louise Leon, MD $$


Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center

Languages Spoken:


UT Southwestern Pediatric Group

Education and Training

Medical School
West Virginia University School of Medicine (2013)
Indiana University School of Medicine (2016), Pediatrics
Indiana University School of Medicine (2019), Neonatology
Graduate School
West Virginia University School of Medicine (2013)
Board Certification
American Board of Pediatrics/Neonatal-Perinatal


  • Research Interests

    • Connections between neonatal cerebral blood flow/ autoregulation, placental pathology, and brain development.
    • Neuroprotection and neurodevelopmental outcomes in neonates with congenital heart disease, stroke, HIE, and prematurity.
    • Placental connections to fetal health, and specifically, placental influences on fetal brain development, a new field called neuroplacentology.
    • Using advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques and analysis, she is investigating placental perfusion and oxygenation, and how this vital organ supports fetal brain development.
  • Publications

    • Wavelet-based neurovascular coupling can predict brain abnormalities in neonatal encephalopathy. Das Y, Leon RL, Liu H, Kota S, Liu Y, Wang X, Zhang R, Chalak LF, Neuroimage Clin 2021 Oct 32 102856
    • Intravoxel incoherent motion MR imaging analysis for diagnosis of placenta accrete spectrum disorders: A pilot feasibility study. León RL, Brown BP, Persohn SA, Norris CD, Steinhardt NP, Lin C, Territo PR, Magn Reson Imaging 2021 Jul 80 26-32
    • Neuroplacentology in congenital heart disease: placental connections to neurodevelopmental outcomes. Leon RL, Mir IN, Herrera CL, Sharma K, Spong CY, Twickler DM, Chalak LF, Pediatr Res 2021 Apr
    • Therapeutic Hypothermia in Transport Permits Earlier Treatment Regardless of Transfer Distance. Leon RL, Krause KE, Sides RS, Koch MB, Trautman MS, Mietzsch U, Am J Perinatol 2020 Oct
  • Professional Activities

    • American Academy of Pediatrics (2013)
    • American Medical Association (2009)
    • Cardiac Neurodevelopment Outcomes Collaborative and Developing Brain SIG (2020)
    • Children's Hospitals neonatal Consortium Cardiac Focus Group (2020)
    • Conquering CHD (2021)
    • International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism (2020)
    • Newborn Brain Society (2021)
    • Society for Pediatric Research (2018)
    • Texas Pediatric Society (2020)
    • Trainees and Early Career Neonatologists, Member (2016)
  • Awards and Honors

    • UT-FOCUS Award -UT Southwestern Medical Center (2021)
    • Nalepa Fellowship Award Finalist - Indiana University Dept. of Pediatrics (2019)
    • Joyce Victoria McRobbie Pediatric Fellowship Award - Indiana University Dept. Pediatrics (2017)
    • Presentation/Travel Award - E.J. Van Liere Memorial Convocation (2010)
    • Scholarship, T32 Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Grant - West Virginia University (2009)
    • Travel Award - American Academy of Neurology (2007)
    • Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society (2005)
    • Departmental Honors, Biology Department - Guilford College (2005)
    • High Honors, Bachelor of Science Degree - Guilford College (2005)
    • Poster Award - Meredith College Undergraduate Research Conference (2005)
    • Women in Science Scholarship - GlaxoSmithKline (2003-2005)
    • Honors Program Scholarship - Guilford College (2001-2005)

Where I Provide Care: