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
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Neoplasms
  • Oligodendroglia
  • Genes
  • Apoferritins
  • Astrocytes

Recent Publications


Chen, P, Bornhorst, J, Patton, S, Bagai, K, Nitin, R, Miah, M, Hare, DJ, Kysenius, K, Crouch, PJ, Xiong, L, Rouleau, GA, Schwerdtle, T, Connor, J, Aschner, M, Bowman, AB & Walters, AS 2021, 'A potential role for zinc in restless legs syndrome', Sleep, vol. 44, no. 4.
Lee, SY, Slagle-Webb, B, Schengrund, CL, Zhu, J & Connor, JR 2021, 'Association between iron and cholesterol in neuroblastomas', Anticancer Research, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 2795-2804.
Lee, SY, Slagle-Webb, B, Sharma, AK & Connor, JR 2021, 'Biological activity of a thiobarbituric acid compound in neuroblastomas', Anticancer Research, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 1171-1181.
Beg, U, Snyder, BM, Madhani, SI, Hamidi, N, Padmanaban, V, Tuanquin, LC, Kruser, TJ, Connor, J & Mansouri, A 2021, 'Current Landscape and Future Prospects of Radiation Sensitizers for Malignant Brain Tumors: A Systematic Review', World neurosurgery, vol. 151, pp. e839-e856.
Wang, EW, Trojano, ML, Lewis, MM, Du, G, Chen, H, Brown, GL, Jellen, LC, Song, I, Neely, E, Kong, L, Connor, JR & Huang, X 2021, 'HFE H63D Limits Nigral Vulnerability to Paraquat in Agricultural Workers', Toxicological Sciences, vol. 181, no. 1, pp. 47-57.
Patil, N, Somasundaram, E, Waite, KA, Lathia, JD, Machtay, M, Gilbert, MR, Connor, J, Rubin, JB, Berens, ME, Buerki, RA, Choi, S, Sloan, AE, Penas-Prado, M, Ashby, LS, Blumenthal, DT, Werner-Wasik, M, Hunter, GK, Flickinger, JC, Wendland, MM, Panet-Raymond, V, Robins, HI, Pugh, SL, Mehta, MP & Barnholtz-Sloan, JS 2021, 'Independently validated sex-specific nomograms for predicting survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma: NRG Oncology RTOG 0525 and 0825', Journal of neuro-oncology.
Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation 2021, 'The Management of Restless Legs Syndrome: An Updated Algorithm', Mayo Clinic Proceedings, vol. 96, no. 7, pp. 1921-1937.
Kang, YJ, Holley, CK, Abidian, MR, Madhankumar, AB, Connor, J & Majd, S 2021, 'Tumor Targeted Delivery of an Anti-Cancer Therapeutic: An In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation', Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol. 10, no. 2, 2001261.


Lee, SY, Slagle-Webb, B, Sharma, AK & Connor, JR 2020, 'Characterization of a novel barbituric acid and two thiobarbituric acid compounds for lung cancer treatment', Anticancer Research, vol. 40, no. 11, pp. 6039-6049.
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, Y, Stahl, MC, Huang, X & Connor, JR 2020, 'H63D variant of the homeostatic iron regulator (HFE) gene alters α-synuclein expression, aggregation, and toxicity', Journal of neurochemistry, vol. 155, no. 2, pp. 177-190.
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.
Turaga, SM, Silver, DJ, Bayik, D, Paouri, E, Peng, S, Lauko, A, Alban, TJ, Borjini, N, Stanko, S, Naik, UP, Keri, RA, Connor, JR, Barnholtz-Sloan, JS, Rubin, JB, Berens, M, Davalos, D & Lathia, JD 2020, 'JAM-A functions as a female microglial tumor suppressor in glioblastoma', Neuro-oncology, vol. 22, no. 11, pp. 1591-1601.
Dong, M, Cioffi, G, Wang, J, Waite, KA, Ostrom, QT, Kruchko, C, Lathia, JD, Rubin, JB, Berens, ME, Connor, J & Barnholtz-Sloan, JS 2020, 'Sex differences in cancer incidence and survival: a pan-cancer analysis', Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, vol. 29, no. 7, pp. 1389-1397.
Song, IY, Snyder, AM, Kim, Y, Neely, EB, Wade, QW & Connor, JR 2020, 'The Nrf2-mediated defense mechanism associated with HFE genotype limits vulnerability to oxidative stress-induced toxicity', Toxicology, vol. 441, 152525.
Kim, Y & Connor, JR 2020, 'The roles of iron and HFE genotype in neurological diseases', Molecular Aspects of Medicine, vol. 75, 100867.


Lee, SY, Walter, V, Zhu, J, Salzberg, AC, Liu, DJ & Connor, JR 2019, 'Impact of HFE variants and sex in lung cancer', PloS one, vol. 14, no. 12, e0226821.
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.

Clinical Trials Search

Children (age < 18 years)
Adults (age >= 18 years)