James J. Conners, MD, MS, is chairperson of the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. An associate professor, he serves as co-director of the neurosciences service line at Rush. He has been serving as medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center since 2011, and as chief of the Section of Cerebrovascular Diseases since 2012. He has led the clinical operations of the Department of Neurological Sciences since March 2019, when he was first named clinical vice-chair and, later, interim chair in August 2020.
In June 2021, Conners took the helm of a department renowned for its clinical, research, and academic strength. In 2020, U.S. News & World Report magazine ranked Rush University Medical Center’s Neurology and Neurosurgery program No. 4 in the country. Under Conners’ direction, Rush’s stroke program has garnered national recognition for its telestroke and mobile stroke programs as well as being consistently awarded the highest honors from the American Heart Association.
He received his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and a Master of Science degree in neuroscience from Loyola University, where his research focused on neuronal regeneration. He then completed a medical internship, neurology residency, and vascular neurology fellowship at Northwestern University. His interests include the acute treatment of stroke, cryptogenic strokes, and stroke prevention. He is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the recipient of 2020-2021 Rush Faculty Excellence Award for Excellence in Clinical Service.
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