Sayona John, MD, section head of Critical Care Neurology and medical director of Neuroscience ICU. She is a fellowship-trained neurointensivist with an appointment as assistant professor in neurology and neurosurgery. She is head of the section of neurocritical care. She is board-certified in neurology and neurocritical care. She completed her residency in neurology at the University of Mississippi, followed by a two-year stroke and critical care fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to moving to Rush, she worked as assistant professor in the neuro ICU at University of Texas Medical Center in Dallas.
Her practice focuses on acute brain and spinal cord vascular disease. Her specific interests are in subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracranial hemorrhage, stroke, traumatic brain injury, infections of the brain, status epilepticus and intracranial pressure management.
George Lopez, MD, PhD, is a neurointensivist, with additional specialty training in vascular neurology. He will be assuming the position of associate medical director of the Neuroscience ICU. Lopez received his medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco and completed his residency in Neurology at UCSF and fellowships in neurocritical care/stroke at the University of Virginia. He is board-certified in neurology, neurocritical care and vascular neurology. Lopez comes to Rush from University of Texas in Houston where he worked for 12 years. Before that, he was on the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine for eight years.
As a neurointensivist, he has specialty interest in acute brain injuries including intracranial hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, acute ischemic stroke, acute head trauma, coma and cardiac arrest. His clinical and research interests include intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, the use of hypothermia for acute brain injuries, and new surgical and medical treatments for acute brain injuries.
He is a member of various professional societies, including the American Academy of Neurology, the American Stroke Association, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the Neurocritical Care Society. Additionally, he regularly presents lectures at national and international meetings on advances in neurocritical care, minimizing secondary brain injury, and new stroke treatments, with an emphasis on practical clinical implementation.
Thomas P. Bleck, MD, is professor of neurology, neurosurgery, internal medicine and anesthesiology at Rush Medical College and associate chief medical officer for critical care at Rush University Medical Center. He serves on the board of the Neurocritical Care Society, of which he was the founding president. For 12 years, he served on the governing council of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He is neuroscience editor of Critical Care Medicine, and serves of the editorial boards of Critical Care and Neurocritical Care. Bleck was the founding president of the Neurocritical Care Society.
His research interests include head injury, status epilepticus, infections, stroke and neuromuscular respiratory failure. He has published over 145 papers and over 160 books and book chapters, and served more than 200 national and international visiting professorships and lectureships. Bleck is board-certified in internal medicine, with subspecialty certification in critical care medicine; neurology, with subspecialty certification in neurocritical care and vascular neurology; and clinical neurophysiology.
Rajeev Garg, MD, MS, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. He received his medical degree with honors from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed his residency in neurology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. After completing his chief resident year, Garg stayed at Northwestern to complete a fellowship in neurocritical care. He received his Master of Science in clinical research from Rush University and is board-certified in neurology, neurocritical care and vascular neurology. He has clinical and research interests in intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, hypothermia after cardiac arrest, and use of sedatives in the ICU. He has received numerous honors, including the James Scholars Program for Independent Study and Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Society.
A member of the American Academy of Neurology, the Neurocritical Care Society and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Garg has published numerous articles and abstracts. He recently presented his research on cerebral infarction and intracerebral hemorrhage at the Neurocritical Care Society National Conference.
Katharina M. Busl, MD, MS, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. She received her medical degree with high honors from Technical University of Munich in Germany. After a medical internship at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center/Tufts University in Boston, Busl completed a neurology residency in the Harvard Neurology Residency Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. After completing her chief resident year, she stayed at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital for a fellowship in neurological critical care and vascular neurology.
Her interests include intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hemorrhage, stroke, traumatic brain injury, infections of the brain and intracranial pressure management. Busl holds a master's degree in science from Rush University and is board-certified in neurology and in neurocritical care.
Torrey Boland, MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. After completing her medical internship at Hahnemann University Hospital, she completed a residency in neurology, including a year as chief resident, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. She then completed a fellowship in neurological critical care in the Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital combined program.
Her interests include subarachnoid hemorrhage, stroke, encephalitis, intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, blood transfusions and ultrasound use in the ICU. Boland is board-certified in neurology and board-certified in neurocritical care.
Sebastian Pollandt, MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. He received his medical degree from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, Germany. From 2003 to 2007, he studied cellular and subcellular mechanism of cue-conditioning in animal models of drug addiction in the neuropharmacology laboratory of Patricia Shinnick-Gallagher, PhD, at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. After graduating from the neurology residency training program at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, he remained in Cincinnati to complete a neurocritical care fellowship with an emphasis on epilepsy.
His scholarly interests include continuous EEG, multimodal neuromonitoring, status epilepticus, antiepileptic drug therapy, and traumatic brain injury. He is board-certified in neurology and board-certified in neurocritical care.
Neurocritical Care Staff
Joshua Bock, director of neuro emergency response programs
Elida Bader, transfer coordinator
Fumie Kita, research nurse