Biography

Nneka Ifejika, M.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UT Southwestern Medical Center, with secondary appointments in the departments of Neurology and Population and Data Sciences. She is also the Section Chief of Stroke Rehabilitation.

Dr. Ifejika earned her medical degree at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine.

Her research focuses on transitions of care after stroke, stroke outcomes, and health disparities. Her research training was chiefly with neurologist James Grotta, M.D., at the UTHealth McGovern Medical School, with whom she completed a National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) supplement to promote diversity in health-related research. Also at McGovern, she served as Director of Neurorehabilitation and led an integrated Stroke Rehabilitation/Vascular Neurology program.

A Texas Health Resources Clinical Scholar, Dr. Ifejika joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2018.  Her work in the stroke rehabilitation service line involves providing evidence-based rehabilitation paradigms through all levels of stroke care. Her research in the Southwestern Health Resources primary and comprehensive stroke centers includes the creation of transitions of stroke care models that can predict the probability of care escalation within the first 24 hours of a stroke or of post-acute inpatient rehabilitation in the first three days after an acute stroke.

Among her many honors and accolades, Dr. Ifejika received a three-year NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Institutional Career Development Award through the UTHealth Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences. She has also received two United States Congressional commendations for her innovative work with underserved populations affected by cerebrovascular disease.

She is a recipient of the Best Neurological Rehabilitation Research Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R). She was also selected as an inaugural AAPM&R Leadership Fellow.

In 2019, Dr. Ifejika became the first UT Southwestern and first African-American recipient of the Association of Academic Physiatrists Early Career Academician Award.

She is the only female physical medicine and rehabilitation physician who is a Fellow of the American Heart Association’s Stroke Council, and she is an Assistant Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Stroke.

In 2018, 2019, and 2020 she was named a Super Doctor by Texas Monthly.

In the News

Having signs of stroke? Seek immediate medical attention
Watch a short video from Dr. Ifejika, outlining how important it is to get medical attention if you're experiencing signs of stroke.

Topping out marks latest milestone in UT Southwestern expansion
Dr. Ifejika noted, “This means the world to us when it comes to translational science. It’s our goal to integrate all aspects of clinical and basic research in this building. It’s wonderful having a place science comes together, and we’re excited about what this means for brain recovery.”

Education & Training
  • Residency - Baylor College of Medicine (2004-2007), Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Internship - St. Agnes Hospital of Baltimore (2003-2004), Internal Medicine
  • Medical School - University of North Carolina School of Medicine (1998-2003)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Academy of Neurology (2018), Member
  • Association of Academic Physiatrists (2013), Member
  • American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (2012), Member
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2007), Fellow
  • American Heart Association (2007), Fellow

Clinical Focus

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Trauma Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation for Functional Limitations

See More

The Science of Stroke

Every 40 seconds in the U.S., somebody suffers a stroke. Recognizing the warning signs – and acting fast – are the keys to successful treatment. UT Southwestern stroke specialists Dr. Nneka Ifejika and Dr. Erica Jones examine the science of stroke and share the most effective ways to prevent it.

The Next Stage of Recovery

“Stroke recovery is a combination of hard work, faith, and hope, all of which we provide and believe in as part of an integrated team,” says Nneka Ifejika, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of Stroke Rehabilitation at UT Southwestern. Meet Dr. Ifejika and some of the stroke recovery team as they highlight the outstanding care and rehabilitative therapy patients can expect in the next stage of their stroke recovery – and eventual transition home.