About Professor James Elliott

Jim’s contributions to the field range from the development of novel magnetic resonance imaging markers to quantify alterations in spinal cord anatomy and skeletal muscle degeneration as potential markers of poor functional recovery following musculoskeletal trauma (generally) and head/neck trauma (specifically) to leading large multidisciplinary studies investigating the neurobiological mechanisms underlying chronic pain and disability.

Jim is passionate about mentoring the next generation of health and medical researchers. His dedication to supervising students and post-doctoral fellows earned him recognition as the 2015 recipient of the Faculty Award for Engagement and the 2017 Ver Steeg Faculty Award for Excellence in working with graduate students from The Graduate School of Northwestern University in the USA. His collaborative work with students, clinicians, and other researchers around the world will pioneer new scientific knowledge, diagnostics, and objective measures to inform and test new prognostic models and new therapies towards permitting millions of patients with acute and chronic pain to live a healthy and active life.

Jim completed his PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia (UQ) in 2007 and a post-doctoral fellowship (2010) at UQ's CCRE-Spine.  The primary focus of his interdisciplinary laboratory is to quantify altered spinal cord anatomy and whole-body skeletal muscle degeneration as potential markers of recovery following spinal trauma.  His work has resulted in external recognition as a global expert in neck pain (broadly) and whiplash injuries (more specifically).

He is currently a Professor of Allied Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney and the Northern Sydney Local Health District. Prior to this, Jim was a tenure-track Associate Professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA, where he remains an adjunct Professor.

He currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the journal, Spine, is a Board of Director for the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy and is one of five executive members of the International Whiplash Consortium, launched in May of 2017.

Selected publications

  • Elliott JM, Hancock MJ, Crawford RJ, Smith AC, Walton DM.  Advancing Imaging Technologies for Patients with Spinal Pain: With a Focus on Whiplash Injury. The Spine Journal. 2017 Jul 31. pii: S1529-9430(17)30283-8. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2017.06.015. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Smith A, Weber KA, O'Dell DR, Parrish TB, Wasielewski M, Elliott JM.  Lateral corticospinal tract damage correlates with motor output in incomplete spinal cord injury. APMR. Published online Oct 26, 2017 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2017.10.002
  • Crawford RJ, Cornwall J, Abbott R, Elliott JM.  Manually defining regions of interest when quantifying paravertebral muscles fatty infiltration from axial magnetic resonance imaging: a proposed method for the lumbar spine with anatomical cross-reference. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2017;18:25
  • Elliott JM, Owen M, Bishop MD, Sparks C, Tsao H, Walton DM, Weber II KA, Wideman T.  Measuring Pain for Patients Seeking Physical Therapy: Can Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Help? PTJ. 2017;97(1):145-155. http://dx.doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20160089
  • Elliott JM, Dayanidhi S, Hazle C, Hoggarth MA, McPherson J, Sparks C, Weber KA II.  Advancements in Imaging Technology: Do they (or will they) Equate to Advancements in our Knowledge of Recovery in Whiplash? JOSPT. 2016; 46(10):861-72.
  • Elkin BS. Elliott JM, Siegmund G. Whiplash injury or concussion?  A possible biomechanical explanation for concussion symptoms in some whiplash patients. JOSPT. 2016;46(10):874-85.
  • Crawford RJ, Volken T, Valentin S, Melloh M, Elliott JM.  Rate of lumbar paravertebral muscle fat infiltration versus spinal degeneration in asymptomatic populations: An age- aggregated cross-sectional simulation study. BMC Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders. 2016;11(1):21
  • Elliott JM, Courtney DM, Pinto D, Rademaker A, Sterling MA, Parrish TB.  The Rapid and Progressive Degeneration of Neck Muscles in Whiplash. Spine 2015;40(12):E694 - E700.
  • Elliott JM, Dewald J.P.A., Walton DM, Hornby TG, Parrish TB.  Mechanisms Underlying Chronic Whiplash: Contributions from Direct Spinal Cord Injury? Pain Medicine 2014 Nov;15(11):1938-44.
  • Smith AC, Parrish TB, Abbott R, Hoggarth MA, Mendoza K, Chen YF, Elliott JM.  Muscle-Fat Magnetic Resonance Imaging: 1.5 Tesla and 3.0 Tesla versus Histology. Muscle & Nerve 2014 Aug;50(2):170-6. doi: 10.1002/mus.24255.