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Erin E. O'Connor, MD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:

Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Phone (Primary):

(410) 328-1293

Education and Training

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
College of Arts and Letters, Bachelor of Arts, May 1995
Magna Cum Laude

SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse, College of Medicine
Syracuse, New York
Doctor of Medicine, May 1999

University of Chicago, Department of Internal Medicine
Chicago, Illinois
Intern, June 1999 – July 2000

University of Chicago, Department of Radiology
Chicago, Illinois
Resident, July 2000 – June 2004

Northwestern University Medical Center, Section of Neuroradiology
Chicago, Illinois
Fellow, July 2004 – June 2005


After completing her fellowship in neuroradiology, Dr. O'Connor began her academic radiology career in 2005 as a neuroradiologist at Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM), focusing on educational research. TUSM serves an underprivileged population with a high HIV incidence. Many of these patients had neuropsychological complaints; however, few imaging findings on conventional structural MRI explained these symptoms. Her interest in exploring alternative neuroimaging methods with HIV infected patients arose from the discordance between the clinical imaging findings and cognitive deficits that she observed in her clinical practice.
In 2013, Dr. O'Connor received a seed grant from the Developmental Core of the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center (CNAC) (NIMH Grant P30) at TUSM to study the longitudinal effects of HIV on brain structure and function. As the PI, she collected pilot longitudinal rs-fMRI, DTI, and sMRI data, as well as clinical and behavioral data. The unique feature of this longitudinal study is the participant enrollment prior to ART initiation with follow-up examinations at 3 and 6 months after ART initiation leading to a publication that included the DTI data from this project as well as a meta-analysis demonstrating white matter microstructural changes associated with HIV infection. More recently she studied sex differences in HIV associated white matter microstructural changes as a potential mechanism of greater sensorimotor deficits in HIV infected women.
Dr. O'connor also has studied HIV associated macrostructural changes which include lower global white matter volume; her work emphasizes isolating serostatus effects from confounders such as advancing age, comorbidities, substance use, and hepatis C co-infection. She recently received a K23 career development award focusing on using multimodal neuroimaging and clinical features to predict the trajectory of subsequent neuropsychological performance, adjusting for age, HCV co-infection, ART type, systemic inflammation, and CVD risk.
Dr. O'Connor's long term career goal is to become an independent investigator in translational neuroradiology, focusing on imaging predictors of neuropsychological effects in neuroinflammatory, neurodegenerative and neurovascular disorders. Since much of clinical neuroradiology still relies on standard structural MRI as its main diagnostic and prognostic tool, her Laboratory of Translational Neuroradiology focuses on integration of advanced neuroimaging methods into radiologic diagnosis and prediction in clinical practice.


Research/Clinical Keywords

Neuroimaging, Neuroradiology, HIV infection, Stroke

Highlighted Publications

Chelala L*, O’Connor EE*, Barker PB, Zeffiro TA. Brain Metabolite Changes Measured with MRS in HIV Infection: a Meta-analysis. Neuroimage: Clinical, in press.

Ighani M, Jonas S, Izbudak I, Choi S, Hua J, O’Connor EE, and Harrison DM. No Association between Cortical Lesions and Leptomeningeal Enhancement on 7-Tesla MRI in Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis, 2020.

Ding T, Cohen AD, O’Connor EE, Karim H, Crainiceanu A, Muschelli J, Lopez OL, Klunk WE, Aizenstein HJ, Krafty R, Crainiceanu C, Tudorascu D. An Improved Algorithm of White Matter Hyperintensity Detection in Elderly Adults. Neuroimage: Clinical, 2020.

Liang H, O’Connor EE, Ernst T, Oishi K, Cunningham E, Chang L. Greater Sensorimotor Deficits and Abnormally Lower Globus Pallidus Fractional Anisotropy in HIV+ Women than in HIV+ Men. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 2020.

O’Connor EE, Zeffiro TA, Lopez O, Becker JT. Differential Effects of AIDS and HIV Disease on Gray Matter Volume. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2020.

O’Connor EE, Zeffiro TA. Is Treated HIV Still Toxic to the Brain? Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, 2019.

O’Connor EE, Zeffiro TA, Lopez OL, Becker JT, Zeffiro TA. HIV Infection and Age Effects on Striatal Structure are Additive. Journal of Neurovirology, 2019.

O’Connor EE, Zeffiro TA. Why is Clinical fMRI in a Resting State? Frontiers in Neurology, 2019.

Abutaleb A, Kattakuzhy S, Kottilil S, O’Connor EE, Wilson E. Mechanisms of Neuropathogenesis in HIV and HCV: Similarities, Differences, and Unknowns. Journal of Neurovirology, 2018.

O'Connor EE, Chen P, Anderson R, Weston B, Zeffiro TA, Ahmed A, Zeffiro TA. Gender Trends in Academic Radiology Publication in the United States Revisited. Academic Radiology, 2018.

O’Connor EE, Zeffiro TA, Zeffiro TA. Brain Structural Changes Following HIV Infection: Meta-analysis. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 2018.

O’Connor EE, Jaillard A, Renard F, Zeffiro TA. Brain Microstructural Changes in HIV Infection: A Meta-analysis and Confirmation Study. American Journal of Neuroradiology, August 2017.

De Patre D, Van de Winckel A, Panté F, Rizzello C, Zernitz M, Mansour M, Zordan L, Zeffiro T, O’Connor E, Bisson T, Lupi A, Perfetti C. A Case Report of Visual and Motor Recovery after Cognitive Sensorimotor Rehabilitation (Perfetti’s Method) in a Patient with Cortical Blindness. Journal of Neurologic and Physical Therapy, July 2017.

Chapman T, Reid J, O’Connor EE.  The Importance of Combined Teaching Methods is Radiology Resident Education. Academic Radiology, June 2017.

Chapman T, Reid J, O’Connor EE.  Anonymity and Electronics: Adapting Preparation for Radiology Resident Examination. Academic Radiology, March 2017.

O’Connor EE, Cousar M, Lentini JA, Castillo M, Zeffiro TA.  Efficacy of Double-blind Peer Review in a Subspecialty Journal. American Journal of Neuroradiology, February 2017.

O’Connor EE, Fried J, McNulty N, Shah P, Hogg JP, Lewis P, Zeffiro T, Agarwal V, Reddy S.  Flipping Radiology Education Right Side Up.  Academic Radiology, July 2016.

Cunningham R, Shah PS, Carabelli E, Barakat N, O’Connor E, Luo JJ.  3D MRI - Diagnostic, Dynamic and Diffusion Tensor Evaluation of Hirayama Disease. Neurological Cases, 2014.

Curran, JG, O’Connor E,  Imaging of CraniopharyngiomaChilds Nervous System, 2005.

O’Connor EE, Dixon, LB, Peabody, TD, Stacy, GS.  MRI of Cystic and Soft Tissue Masses of the Shoulder Joint. American Journal of Roentgenology, 2004.

Stacy GS, O’Connor EE. Osteoblastoma Imaging. Medscape. Updated Febuary 5, 2016. Available at:

*contributed equally to the article

Awards and Affiliations

Academic Achievement Award in Geriatrics, SUNY Upstate Medical Center, 2005

Attending of the Year 2008-09, Department of Radiology

Russell and Pearl Moses Memorial Endowed Medical Award for Outstanding Teaching for Temple University School of Medicine, 2012 – 2013

Golden Apple Award - Awarded by the Temple University Chapter of the American Medical Student Association to members of the faculty in recognition of outstanding dedication, ability and zeal in furthering the education of medical students, 2012 - 2013

Herbert M. Stauffer Award for Best Education Paper published in Academic Radiology, 2017

Maryland Neuroimaging Retreat Best Poster Presentation – 2nd place, 2018

National Institute on Aging Butler-Williams Scholar, 2018

Grants and Contracts

3/1/20 – 2/29/24, Principal Investigator
Mechanisms and Predictors of Neurocognitive Impairment in HIV Infection

5/1/20 – 4/30/24, Co-Investigator
Statistical Methods to Improve Reproducibility and Reduce Technical Variability in Heterogeneous Multimodal Neuroimaging Studies of Alzheimer’s Disease

2/1/18 – 6/30/23, Co-Investigator
In Vivo Assessment of Meningeal Inflammation and its Clinical Impact in Multiple Sclerosis by 7 Tesla MRI

7/1/18 – 2/29/20, Co-Investigator/Career re-entry supplement
Cardiovascular and HIV/AIDS Effects on Brain Structure/Function and Cognition

7/1/16 – 6/30/17, Principal Investigator
Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity in HIV Infection
Bridge Program Award from the Office of the Vice President for Research Administration (OVPR) at Temple University

5/1/13 - 8/30/14, Principal Investigator
The Relationship between Resting State Functional Connectivity and Neurocognitive Function in HIV Infected Subjects: a Pre and Post cART Perspective
Developmental grant from the NIMH supported Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center

7/1/13 – 12/31/15, Principal Investigator
The Effects of Implementation of Flipped Classroom Instruction in Radiology on Students’ Task Value, Achievement Emotions and Academic Success: a Comparison of Flipped-Classroom Pedagogy to Traditional Didactic Instruction