Argye E. Hillis, Director

Dr. Argye Beth Hillis is a Professor of Neurology, with joint faculty appointments in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and in Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Hillis serves as the Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Neurology, and Director of the Cerebrovascular Division of Neurology. Prior to medical training and neurology residency, Dr. Hillis worked as a speech-language pathologist, and conducted clinical research focusing on understanding and treating aphasia and hemispatial neglect. She has brought these areas of experience to impact on her clinical research in neurology, which involves cognitive and neuroimaging studies of aphasia over the first year after stroke to identify mechanisms of recovery and cognitive deficits due to right hemisphere stroke and focal dementias. She also leads randomized clinical trials to improve language after stroke.

Dr. Hillis is Editor-in-Chief of Stroke and has served as Co-Editor-in Chief of Behavioural Neurology, Associate Editor of Brain, Annals of Neurology, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Cognitive Neuropsychology, and Language and Cognitive Processes. She has also served on the editorial boards of Brain and Language and Aphasiology. Dr. Hillis was the 2003 recipient of the Derek Denny Brown Neurological Scholar Award from the American Neurological Association and the Norman Geschwind Award in Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology. Her current research, reported in >300 original research papers, is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NINDS and NIDCD).


Dr. Hillis's current research combines longitudinal task-related and task-free functional imaging and structural imaging from the acute stage of stroke through the first year of recovery, with detailed cognitive and language assessments to improve our understanding how language and other cognitive and emotional functions recover after stroke. She is investigating the most effective timing of neuromodulatory treatments, such as transcranial direct current stimulation and medications, to augment behavioral therapies after stroke.

Her other avenue of research involves novel treatment studies and longitudinal imaging and language studies of Primary Progressive Aphasia. (PPA), a progressive problem with language function. Some types of Primary Progressive Aphasia are caused by a neurodegenerative disease called Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) or related diseases, whereas others are caused by an atypical form of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Hillis has published numerous articles on the nature of Primary Progressive Aphasia, and how it changes over time. She is currently studying two forms of treatment of PPA, language therapy (in a study funded by NIH) and transcranial direct current stimulation.

Clinical practice

Dr. Hillis currently sees patients at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center in Baltimore and Johns Hopkins Greenspring Station.