Jan-Mendelt Tillema, M.D., is an independent clinical researcher in neuroimaging of multiple sclerosis (MS) and pediatric demyelinating disease. He is researching the translation of improved applications of MRI to serve as clinical biomarkers of pediatric white matter disease, including but not limited to MS.
Dr. Tillema is focused on correlating typical imaging findings and disease severity and disability in order to improve understanding of how to best intervene and which biomarkers to use, both for the diagnostic process and the development of future symptoms and disability. In particular, he conducts MRI research focusing on cortical changes in demyelinating disease and other pediatric neurological diseases.
Dr. Tillema takes a strong multidisciplinary approach to apply quantitative advanced MRI research in neurology, integrating clinical and basic scientific knowledge with bench research.
- Pediatric MS. Dr. Tillema is a principal investigator on three separate research efforts supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: a pediatric data coordinating and analysis center, a study of microbiomes in pediatric MS, and an investigation of adherence in pediatric MS.
- Risk factors for pediatric MS. Dr. Tillema is the principal investigator of an investigation of environmental and genetic risk factors for pediatric MS, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
- Cognitive abnormalities in adult MS. Dr. Tillema is also contributing to a Department of Defense study of cortical lesions as determinants of white matter lesion formation and cognitive abnormalities in MS.
Significance to patient care
As better therapies become available, the development of novel imaging analysis tools has significant relevance in the prognosis and longitudinal monitoring of MS disability. Such tools in addition may turn out useful in white matter diseases beyond MS, which predominantly affect children.
The potential to better correlate imaging findings to clinical symptoms is the driving force behind Dr. Tillema's enthusiasm and interest in quantitative approaches of MRI analysis, as this could affect the long-term outcome of children affected with acquired or inherited white matter diseases.
- Scholar, KL2 Mentored Career Development Program, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Mayo Clinic, 2014-2017
- Mayo Clinic Scholar, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, 2012-2013
- Recipient, student travel award, American Neurological Association, 2005