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  • About RSNA
  • Clifford R. Jack Jr, MD

  • A pioneer in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research, Clifford R. Jack, Jr., MD, has devoted his career to investigating cognitive aging and dementia imaging/biomarkers. Dr. Jack, the Alexander Family Professor of Alzheimer’s Disease Research and a clinician investigator at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., guides a research group that serves as the central MRI lab for national and international observational and therapeutic studies in AD. His group heads the MRI section for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

    Dr. Jack has introduced imaging methods to help identify aspects of AD in the brain, determine its severity and measure and predict disease progression. His research group develops and validates anatomic MRI, resting fMRI, DTI, amyloid PET, fluorodeoxyglucose PET and tau PET quantitative methods for diagnosing and measuring progression of AD and related disorders.

    His early work focused on anatomic and functional MRI in epilepsy. In the early1990s he began to focus on Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive aging research. His group published many of the early studies in the Alzheimer’s field on quantitative MRI, diffusion imaging, functional MRI, and high-field microimaging. In the past decade his group has focused on multi-modality imaging, combining various MR modalities with FDG PET, amyloid PET and most recently tau PET. He has also focused on modeling biomarker progression in Alzheimer’s. The National Institute of Aging and Alzheimer’s Association criteria for presymptomatic Alzheimer's are based largely on his model. He currently is chair of the group that is updating the National Institute of Aging and Alzheimer’s Association research criteria for Alzheimer’s disease.

    Dr. Jack earned his medical degree from Wayne State University in 1979 and completed his radiology residency at Henry Ford Hospital, both in Detroit, in 1983. He served as a senior staff member, Division of Radiology, at Henry Ford Hospital from 1984 to1985. After completing his fellowship in neuroradiology in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Jack joined the clinic as an assistant professor of radiology in 1985. He was appointed a clinician investigator at Mayo in 2002. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1991.

    Dr. Jack was elected to the inaugural Council of Distinguished Investigators of the Academy of Radiology Research. Other awards include the 2007 American Society of Neuroradiology for Outstanding Contributions in Research; the 2008 Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology for research in Pick’s, AD and related diseases; and the 2012 International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine gold medal. Also in 2012, he was honored with a MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer's disease, considered one of the highest honors in the field of Alzheimer’s research. He received the Mayo Clinic Distinguished Investigator award in 2013.

    He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians.

    Dr. Jack has published more than 600 peer-reviewed journal articles. In 2014, Thomson Reuters included him on their list of “Highly Cited Researchers — World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.”

    Clifford R. Jack Jr, MD