Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

James Connor, MS, PhD

James Connor, MS, PhD

Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and Anatomy and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Neurosurgery
Professor, Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Penn State Neuroscience Institute
Scientific Program:Next-Generation Therapies

Research Interests

  • Iron
  • Brain
  • Ferritins
  • Transferrin
  • Proteins
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Oligodendroglia
  • Genes
  • Apoferritins
  • Transferrin Receptors
  • Iron-Regulatory Proteins

Recent Publications


Connor, JR, Duck, K, Patton, S, Simpson, IA, Trotti, LM, Allen, R, Earley, CJ & Rye, D 2020, 'Evidence for communication of peripheral iron status to cerebrospinal fluid: Clinical implications for therapeutic strategy', Fluids and Barriers of the CNS, vol. 17, no. 1, 28.
Kim, GB, Aragon-Sanabria, V, Randolph, L, Jiang, H, Reynolds, JA, Webb, BS, Madhankumar, A, Lian, X, Connor, JR, Yang, J & Dong, C 2020, 'High-affinity mutant Interleukin-13 targeted CAR T cells enhance delivery of clickable biodegradable fluorescent nanoparticles to glioblastoma', Bioactive Materials, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 624-635.


Wade, QW, Chiou, B & Connor, J 2019, Iron uptake at the blood-brain barrier is influenced by sex and genotype. in S Clemens & I Ghorayeb (eds), Advances in Pharmacology. Advances in Pharmacology, vol. 84, Academic Press Inc., pp. 123-145.
Möller, HE, Bossoni, L, Connor, JR, Crichton, RR, Does, MD, Ward, RJ, Zecca, L, Zucca, FA & Ronen, I 2019, 'Iron, Myelin, and the Brain: Neuroimaging Meets Neurobiology', Trends in Neurosciences, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 384-401.
Ravi, V, Madhankumar, AB, Abraham, T, Slagle-Webb, B & Connor, JR 2019, 'Liposomal delivery of ferritin heavy chain 1 (FTH1) siRNA in patient xenograft derived glioblastoma initiating cells suggests different sensitivities to radiation and distinct survival mechanisms', PloS one, vol. 14, no. 9, e0221952.
Payne, R, Mrowczynski, OD, Slagle-Webb, B, Bourcier, A, Mau, C, Aregawi, D, Madhankumar, AB, Lee, SY, Harbaugh, K, Connor, J & Rizk, EB 2019, 'MLN8237 treatment in an orthoxenograft murine model for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors', Journal of neurosurgery, vol. 130, no. 2, pp. 465-475.
Mairuae, N, Connor, JR, Buranrat, B & Lee, SY 2019, 'Oroxylum indicum (L.) extract protects human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells against ß-amyloid-induced cell injury', Molecular medicine reports, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 1933-1942.
Chiou, B, Neely, E, Kallianpur, A & Connor, J 2019, 'Semaphorin4A causes loss of mature oligodendrocytes and demyelination in vivo', Journal of neuroinflammation, vol. 16, no. 1, 28.
Gittleman, H, Ostrom, QT, Stetson, LC, Waite, K, Hodges, TR, Wright, CH, Wright, J, Rubin, JB, Berens, ME, Lathia, J, Connor, JR, Kruchko, C, Sloan, AE & Barnholtz-Sloan, JS 2019, 'Sex is an important prognostic factor for glioblastoma but not for nonglioblastoma', Neuro-Oncology Practice, vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 451-462.
Mrowczynski, OD, Payne, RA, Bourcier, AJ, Mau, CY, Slagle-Webb, B, Shenoy, G, Madhankumar, AB, Abramson, SB, Wolfe, D, Harbaugh, KS, Rizk, EB & Connor, JR 2019, 'Targeting IL-13Ra2 for effective treatment of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors in mouse models', Journal of neurosurgery, vol. 131, no. 5, pp. 1369-1379.
Chiou, B, Neely, EB, Mcdevitt, DS, Simpson, IA & Connor, JR 2020, 'Transferrin and H-ferritin involvement in brain iron acquisition during postnatal development: impact of sex and genotype', Journal of neurochemistry, vol. 152, no. 3, pp. 381-396.


Briones, MRS, Snyder, AM, Ferreira, RC, Neely, EB, Connor, JR & Broach, JR 2018, 'A possible role for platelet-activating factor receptor in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment', Frontiers in Neurology, vol. 9, no. FEB, 39.
Duck, KA, Neely, EB, Simpson, IA & Connor, JR 2018, 'A role for sex and a common HFE gene variant in brain iron uptake', Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 540-548.
Connor, JR 2018, 'CSF ferritin predicts CSF Aβ decline in biomarker-determined Alzheimer's disease', Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, vol. 89, no. 5.
the CHARTER Study Group 2019, 'Cerebrospinal Fluid Ceruloplasmin, Haptoglobin, and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Are Associated with Neurocognitive Impairment in Adults with HIV Infection', Molecular Neurobiology, vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 3808-3818.
Peters, DG, Pollack, AN, Cheng, KC, Sun, D, Saido, T, Haaf, MP, Yang, QX, Connor, JR & Meadowcroft, MD 2018, 'Dietary lipophilic iron alters amyloidogenesis and microglial morphology in Alzheimer's disease knock-in APP mice', Metallomics, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 426-443.
Du, G, Lewis, M, Sica, C, He, L, Connor, J, Kong, L, Mailman, R & Huang, X 2018, 'Distinct progression pattern of susceptibility MRI in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's patients', Movement Disorders, vol. 33, no. 9, pp. 1423-1431.
Chiou, B & Connor, JR 2018, 'Emerging and dynamic biomedical uses of ferritin', Pharmaceuticals, vol. 11, no. 4, 124.
Chiou, B, Neal, EH, Bowman, AB, Lippmann, ES, Simpson, IA & Connor, JR 2019, 'Endothelial cells are critical regulators of iron transport in a model of the human blood–brain barrier', Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, vol. 39, no. 11, pp. 2117-2131.
on behalf of the & International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG) 2018, 'Evidence-based and consensus clinical practice guidelines for the iron treatment of restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease in adults and children: an IRLSSG task force report', Sleep Medicine, vol. 41, pp. 27-44.
Mrowczynski, OD, Zacharia, B & Connor, J 2019, 'Exosomes and their implications in central nervous system tumor biology', Progress in Neurobiology, vol. 172, pp. 71-83.
Mrowczynski, OD, Madhankumar, AB, Sundstrom, JM, Zhao, Y, Kawasawa, YI, Slagle-Webb, B, Mau, C, Payne, RA, Rizk, EB, Zacharia, BE & Connor, JR 2018, 'Exosomes impact survival to radiation exposure in cell line models of nervous system cancer', Oncotarget, vol. 9, no. 90, pp. 36083-36101.
Meadowcroft, M, Cooper, TK, Rupprecht, S, Wright, TC, Neely, EE, Ferenci, M, Kang, W, Yang, Q, Harbaugh, R, Connor, J & McInerney, J 2018, 'Gamma Knife radiosurgery of saccular aneurysms in a rabbit model', Journal of neurosurgery, vol. 129, no. 6, pp. 1530-1540.
Nixon, AM, Meadowcroft, MD, Neely, EB, Snyder, AM, Purnell, CJ, Wright, J, Lamendella, R, Nandar, W, Huang, X & Connor, JR 2018, 'HFE Genotype Restricts the Response to Paraquat in a Mouse Model of Neurotoxicity', Journal of neurochemistry, vol. 145, no. 4, pp. 299-311.
Lee, BY, Kim, J, Connor, J, Podskalny, GD, Ryu, Y & Yang, Q 2018, 'Involvement of the central somatosensory system in restless legs syndrome: A neuroimaging study', Neurology, vol. 90, no. 21, pp. e1834-e1841.
Chiou, B, Neal, EH, Bowman, AB, Lippmann, ES, Simpson, IA & Connor, JR 2018, 'Pharmaceutical iron formulations do not cross a model of the human blood-brain barrier', PloS one, vol. 13, no. 6, e0198775.
Connor, JR 2018, Proteins of iron regulation in the brain in alzheimer's disease. in Iron and Human Disease. CRC Press, pp. 365-394.
Chiou, B, Lucassen, E, Sather, M, Kallianpur, A & Connor, J 2018, 'Semaphorin4A and H-ferritin utilize Tim-1 on human oligodendrocytes: A novel neuro-immune axis', Glia, vol. 66, no. 7, pp. 1317-1330.
Lewis, M, Du, G, Baccon, J, Snyder, A, Murie, B, Cooper, F, Stetter, C, Kong, L, Sica, C, Mailman, R, Connor, J & Huang, X 2018, 'Susceptibility MRI captures nigral pathology in patients with parkinsonian syndromes', Movement Disorders, vol. 33, no. 9, pp. 1432-1439.
Nixon, AM, Neely, E, Simpson, IA & Connor, JR 2018, 'The role of HFE genotype in macrophage phenotype', Journal of neuroinflammation, vol. 15, no. 1, 30.
Madhankumar, AB, Mrowczynski, OD, Slagle-Webb, B, Ravi, V, Bourcier, AJ, Payne, R, Harbaugh, KS, Rizk, E & Connor, JR 2018, 'Tumor targeted delivery of doxorubicin in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors', PloS one, vol. 13, no. 1, e0181529.


Lee, SY, Zhu, J, Salzberg, AC, Zhang, B, Liu, DJ, Muscat, JE, Langan, ST & Connor, JR 2017, 'Analysis of single nucleotide variants of HFE gene and association to survival in the Cancer Genome Atlas GBM data', PloS one, vol. 12, no. 3, e0174778.
Schieffer, KM, Chuang, CH, Connor, J, Pawelczyk, JA & Sekhar, DL 2017, 'Association of iron deficiency anemia with hearing loss in US adults', JAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, vol. 143, no. 4, pp. 350-354.
Folarin, OR, Snyder, AM, Peters, DG, Olopade, F, Connor, JR & Olopade, JO 2017, 'Brain metal distribution and neuro-inflammatory profiles after chronic vanadium administration and withdrawal in mice', Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, vol. 11, 58.
Patton, SM, Wang, Q, Hulgan, T, Connor, JR, Jia, P, Zhao, Z, Letendre, SL, Ellis, RJ, Bush, WS, Samuels, DC, Franklin, DR, Kaur, H, Iudicello, J, Grant, I & Kallianpur, AR 2017, 'Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of iron status are associated with CSF viral load, antiretroviral therapy, and demographic factors in HIV-infected adults', Fluids and Barriers of the CNS, vol. 14, no. 1, 11.
Mehta, SR, Pérez-Santiago, J, Hulgan, T, Day, TRC, Barnholtz-Sloan, J, Gittleman, H, Letendre, S, Ellis, R, Heaton, R, Patton, S, Suben, JD, Franklin, D, Rosario, D, Clifford, DB, Collier, AC, Marra, CM, Gelman, BB, McArthur, J, McCutchan, A, Morgello, S, Simpson, D, Connor, J, Grant, I & Kallianpur, A 2017, 'Cerebrospinal fluid cell-free mitochondrial DNA is associated with HIV replication, iron transport, and mild HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment', Journal of neuroinflammation, vol. 14, no. 1, 72.
Peters, DG, Purnell, CJ, Haaf, MP, Yang, QX, Connor, JR & Meadowcroft, MD 2018, 'Dietary lipophilic iron accelerates regional brain iron-load in C57BL6 mice', Brain Structure and Function, vol. 223, no. 3, pp. 1519-1536.
Nixon, AM & Connor, JR 2017, Does HFE Genotype Impact Macrophage Phenotype in Disease Process and Therapeutic Response? in Biometals in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Mechanisms and Therapeutics. Elsevier Inc., pp. 51-66.
Bastian, TW, Duck, KA, Michalopoulos, GC, Chen, MJ, Liu, ZJ, Connor, JR, Lanier, LM, Sola-Visner, MC & Georgieff, MK 2017, 'Eltrombopag, a thrombopoietin mimetic, crosses the blood–brain barrier and impairs iron-dependent hippocampal neuron dendrite development', Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 565-574.
Mrowczynski, OD, Madhankumar, AB, Slagle-Webb, B, Lee, SY, Zacharia, BE & Connor, JR 2017, 'HFE genotype affects exosome phenotype in cancer', Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects, vol. 1861, no. 8, pp. 1921-1928.
Madhankumar, AB, Mrowczynski, OD, Patel, SR, Weston, CL, Zacharia, BE, Glantz, MJ, Siedlecki, CA, Xu, LC & Connor, JR 2017, 'Interleukin-13 conjugated quantum dots for identification of glioma initiating cells and their extracellular vesicles', Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 58, pp. 205-213.
Meadowcroft, MD, Wang, J, Purnell, CJ, Eslinger, PJ, Neely, EB, Yang, QX & Connor, JR 2018, 'Reduced Cerebral White Matter Integrity Assessed by DTI in Cognitively Normal H63D-HFE Polymorphism Carriers', Journal of Neuroimaging, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 126-133.
Duck, KA, Simpson, IA & Connor, JR 2017, 'Regulatory mechanisms for iron transport across the blood-brain barrier', Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, vol. 494, no. 1-2, pp. 70-75.
Schieffer, KM, Connor, JR, Pawelczyk, JA & Sekhar, DL 2017, 'The relationship between iron deficiency anemia and sensorineural hearing loss in the pediatric and adolescent population', American Journal of Audiology, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 155-162.


Weston, C, Klobusicky, J, Weston, J, Connor, J, Toms, SA & Marko, NF 2016, 'Aberrations in the iron regulatory gene signature are associated with decreased survival in diffuse infiltrating gliomas', PloS one, vol. 11, no. 11, e0166593.
Lee, EY, Flynn, MR, Du, G, Li, Y, Lewis, MM, Herring, AH, Buren, EV, Buren, SV, Kong, L, Fry, RC, Snyder, AM, Connor, JR, Yang, QX, Mailman, RB & Huang, X 2016, 'Increased R2* in the caudate nucleus of asymptomatic welders', Toxicological Sciences, vol. 150, no. 2, kfv331, pp. 369-377.
Connor, JR, Patton, SM, Oexle, K & Allen, RP 2017, 'Iron and restless legs syndrome: treatment, genetics and pathophysiology', Sleep Medicine, vol. 31, pp. 61-70.
Duck, KA & Connor, JR 2016, 'Iron uptake and transport across physiological barriers', BioMetals, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 573-591.
Hare, DJ, Raven, EP, Roberts, BR, Bogeski, M, Portbury, SD, McLean, CA, Masters, CL, Connor, JR, Bush, AI, Crouch, PJ & Doble, PA 2016, 'Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry imaging of white and gray matter iron distribution in Alzheimer's disease frontal cortex', NeuroImage, vol. 137, pp. 124-131.
Liu, X, Madhankumar, AB, Miller, PA, Duck, KA, Hafenstein, S, Rizk, E, Slagle-Webb, B, Sheehan, JM, Connor, JR & Yang, QX 2016, 'MRI contrast agent for targeting glioma: Interleukin-13 labeled liposome encapsulating gadolinium-DTPA', Neuro-oncology, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 691-699.
Du, G, Liu, T, Lewis, MM, Kong, L, Wang, Y, Connor, J, Mailman, RB & Huang, X 2016, 'Quantitative susceptibility mapping of the midbrain in Parkinson's disease', Movement Disorders, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 317-324.
Meadowcroft, MD, Wang, J, Purnell, CJ, Peters, DG, Eslinger, PJ, Neely, EB, Gill, DJ, Vasavada, M, Ali-Rahmani, F, Yang, QX & Connor, JR 2016, 'Reduced white matter MRI transverse relaxation rate in cognitively normal H63D-HFE human carriers and H67D-HFE mice', Brain Imaging and Behavior, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 1231-1242.
Connor, J 2016, Restless leg syndrome. in The Curated Reference Collection in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology. Elsevier Science Ltd., pp. 131-135.
Su, XW, Nandar, W, Neely, EB, Simmons, Z & Connor, JR 2016, 'Statins accelerate disease progression and shorten survival in SOD1G93A mice', Muscle and Nerve, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 284-291.
Usende, IL, Leitner, DF, Neely, E, Connor, JR & Olopade, JO 2016, 'The Deterioration Seen in Myelin Related Morphophysiology in Vanadium Exposed Rats is Partially Protected by Concurrent Iron Deficiency', Nigerian journal of physiological sciences : official publication of the Physiological Society of Nigeria, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 11-22.

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