Sheffield Institute for
Translational Neuroscience

Dr Tom Jenkins MBChB MRCP PhD

Senior Clinical Lecturer

Consultant Neurologist

Co-Director MND Care Centre

Course Lead, MSc Clinical Neurology, University of Sheffield

Research Interests

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has revolutionised the practice of clinical neurology, and represents a powerful and safe tool with which to investigate people in research studies. There is no radiation involved in the scans and MRI 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, to reduce the duration and expense of clinical trials, enabling more new treatments to be tested. I am a clinical researcher and my approach is to combine clinical assessment and neurophysiology with advanced imaging techniques in vivo to provide multi-faceted insights into neurological disease. Examples include application of 31-phosphorus spectroscopy to investigate energy dynamics, and whole-body muscle MRI to assess denervation, in patients with motor neuron disease (MND) and other neurodegenerative disorders.


Current Projects

Supported by charitable grant funding from the MRC, MNDA, British Medical Association (Vera Down grant), Ryder-Briggs, Neurocare, the NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre, current projects include the application of 31-phosphorus spectroscopy to study energy dynamics in patients with motor neuron disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, glutathione spectroscopy and wet biomarkers to investigate oxidative stress in MND, and clinical and genetic profiling in a variety of motor neuron disorders. I am also Principal Investigator for several current and forthcoming studies in MND, sponsored by Biogen.


Key publications

  1. Jenkins TM, Alix JJP, David C, Pearson E, Rao DG, Hoggard N, O’Brien E, Baster K, Bradburn M, Bigley J, McDermott CJ, Wilkinson ID, Shaw PJ. Imaging muscle as a potential biomarker in motor neuron disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2018; 89: 248-255.
  1. Tur C, Goodkin O, Altmann DR, Jenkins TM, Miszkiel K, Mirigliani A, Fini C, Gandini Wheeler-Kingshott CAM, Thompson AJ, Ciccarelli O, Toosy AT. Longitudinal evidence for anterograde trans-synaptic degeneration after optic neuritis. Brain 2016; 139(3): 816-28.
  1. Jenkins TM*, Alix JJP*, Kandler RH, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ. The role of cranial and thoracic EMG within the diagnostic criteria for ALS: a retrospective analysis in a clinical setting.*Joint first authors. Muscle Nerve 2016; 54(3): 378-385.
  1. Mortiboys H, MacDonald R, Payne T, Sassani M, Jenkins T, Bandmann O. Translational approaches to restoring mitochondrial function in Parkinson’s disease. FEBS Letters 2018; 592: 776-792.
  1. 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.

Professional Activities

I am Co-Director of the Sheffield MNDA Care Centre. I lead the MSc in Clinical Neurology at the University of Sheffield. I was recently appointed Editor of the European Association of Neurologists EAN Pages website, which serves 45,000 neurologists. I am Principal Investigator (PI) for the Neuroimaging Society on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (NiSALS) collaboration, for the current Biogen-sponsored Methodology study and for a forthcoming Biogen gene silencing trial in MND. I lead an imaging research group of PhD and MSc students.


Dr Jenkins studied Medicine at the University of Manchester and obtained his PhD in Clinical Neuroscience from the UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square in 2010. His specialist clinical interest is neuromuscular disease and area of research expertise is neuroimaging. He has experience in running longitudinal clinical, imaging and neurophysiological studies with the aim of developing tools to decipher disease mechanisms and facilitate future clinical trials in motor neuron disease (MND) and other neurodegenerative disorders. Current areas of novel investigation include whole-body muscle imaging of denervation in MND and 31-phosphorus spectroscopy to assess energy metabolism in several neurodegenerative conditions.  Dr Jenkins is Principal Investigator on current and forthcoming studies and clinical trials in MND. 

Teaching Interests

In addition to the Clinical Neurology MSc, I give lectures, seminars and clinical demonstrations on a 1-2 weekly basis to pre-clinical and clinical medical and dental students, nurses, junior doctors, medical registrars, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, engineers, hospice staff, and university alumni. The lectures cover a wide range of aspects of clinical neurology, from the features of neuromuscular diseases in which I specialise, through to more diverse neurological topics, such as the neuroanatomical basis of emotions.

Contact Details

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

T: +44 (0) 114 215 9101

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

NHS Secretary
Diana Indries
T: +44 (0)114 2712306