Susan Connors, MD, is a board certified Internist who coordinates care for adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders at the Lurie Center.
Susan Connors, MD, received a BS in Medical Technology from Stonehill College in 1979 (Summa Cum Laude) and an MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1983. She subsequently completed a residency in internal medicine at Worcester Memorial Hospital in 1986. Dr. Connors started her career in Internal Medicine and Urgent Care, but when one of her children was diagnosed with autism, she focused on his care and education. In 2005 she returned to medical practice after her son entered a residential school.
From 1993 until 2003 Dr. Connors conducted an extensive literature review in autism and related fields, through which she developed a hypothesis for an etiology of this group of disorders that involves abnormal regulation of signaling within cells during prenatal development. This work led to her position as a research assistant to Dr. Andrew Zimmerman and colleagues at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. In this capacity she developed clinical research designs, wrote IRB protocols, conducted research surveys and wrote and published research articles for peer reviewed journals.
Dr. Connors is committed to increased understanding of autism spectrum disorders and frequently conducts educational presentations for parents, therapists and students, and continuing education lectures for professionals caring for adult patients with autism. She also helped develop a patient exercise about autism for medical students at Tufts University School of Medicine, and a vision program for adults with developmental disabilities at Mass Eye and Ear Institute in Boston.
Dr Connor's primary research interest is in the prenatal causes of autism and the effects of prenatal over-stimulation of beta-2 adrenergic (adrenalin) cell receptors and the development of autism. She believes that both the environment and genetics lead to changes in patterns of gene expression during development and are important for understanding the origins and processes involved in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, ADHD, OCD and bipolar disorder.
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