Sheffield Institute for
Translational Neuroscience

Dr Tom Jenkins MBChB MRCP PhD

Senior Clinical Lecturer and Consultant Neurologist

Research Interests

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a  safe way of investigating people- there is no radiation involved in the scans- and offers a window with which to study disease mechanisms in living patients. This is crucial in neurodegenerative diseases, which remain incompletely understood. MRI also has potential as a biomarker, with which to investigate the effect of new treatments, so important in these currently incurable conditions. I have two main studies active at present. We are investigating the potential of whole-body muscle MRI  (example picture attached) as a biomarker in patients with motor nerve disorders. I am also very interested in deficiencies in the way that patients with motor neuron disease use energy and was recently awarded a grant by Neurocare and the Ryder-Briggs Trust to develop MR spectroscopy to assess this further. Lastly, we are collecting scans from patients with motor neuron disorders to contribute to a large multi-centre database to further research at international collaborative level.


Current Projects

I am in the process of establishing a new research project which aims to assess deficits of energy metabolism in patients with MND using MR spectroscopy.


Key publications

  1. Jenkins TM, Burness C, Connolly DJ, et al. A prospective pilot study measuring muscle volumetric change in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration 2013: In press.
  2. Jenkins TM, Ciccarelli O, Atzori M, et al. Early pericalcarine atrophy in acute optic neuritis is associated with conversion to MS. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2011; 82(9): 1017-1021.
  3. Jenkins TM, Toosy AT, Ciccarelli O, et al. Neuroplasticity predicts visual recovery in acute optic neuritis independent of tissue damage. Ann Neurol 2010; 67(1): 99-113.
  4. Jenkins TM, Ciccarelli O, Toosy AT, et al. Dissecting structure-function interactions in acute optic neuritis to investigate neuroplasticity. Hum Brain Mapp 2010; 31(2): 276-286.
  5. Kolappan M, Henderson AP, Jenkins TM, et al. Assessing structure and function of the afferent visual pathway in multiple sclerosis and associated optic neuritis. J Neurol 2009; 256: 309-319.

Professional Activities

I am module lead for Cerebrovascular disease and disorders of consciousness on the MSc course in Clinical Neurology at the University of Sheffield.
I represent the University of Sheffield as a member of the Neuroimaging Society on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (NiSALS), an international collaboration to forward neuroimaging research in MND.


I qualified as a doctor in 1999 and, after training in general medicine and neurology in Manchester, Blackpool, Perth, Darwin and London, I decided that I wanted to learn to apply neuroimaging techniques to try and better understand neurological diseases. Neuroimaging is a field which has advanced very rapidly in recent years and improvements in technology now allow assessment of many different aspects of disease in a way which is minimally invasive for patients. I obtained my PhD in Clinical Neuroscience from the UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London and moved to Sheffield in 2009 to complete my training in clinical neurology. I am focusing on establishing a neuroimaging research programme for patients with motor neuron disease (MND) in Sheffield. Outside of work, I enjoy running for Hallamshire Harriers and once came 67th in the London Marathon.

Teaching Interests

I find teaching one of the most enjoyable parts of my job and I give regular lectures and clinical demonstrations to medical students, nurses, newly qualified doctors, psychiatrists and dentists. The lectures cover a wide range of aspects of clinical neurology, from the features of diseases such as MND, multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders, through to the neuroanatomical basis of emotions.

Contact Details

Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience
385a Glossop Road
S10 2HQ

T: +44 (0) 114 215 9101
F: +44 (0) 114 222 2290

Academic Secretary
Rebecca Crossland
T: +44 (0)114 2222261