In This Section

Timothy P.L. Roberts, PhD
Timothy P.L. Roberts Headshot
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Radiology

Dr. Roberts investigates brain-wave scanning with magnetoencephalography (MEG) and works to identify biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders like autism. Those biomarkers are for diagnosis, prognosis, stratification, and response monitoring as well as substrate identification for targeted therapy. Putting the "bio" into biomarkers is a major emphasis of Dr. Roberts' research, for which he uses advanced diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and edited spectroscopy.



Subscribe to be notified of changes or updates to this page.


Dr. Roberts holds the Oberkircher Family Chair in Pediatric Radiology and is vice chair for Research in the Department of Radiology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as well as professor of Radiology and adjunct professor of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania.

He directs the Lurie Family Foundations MEG Imaging Center at Children's Hospital, one of the larger clinical and research MEG facilities in the United States, with three MEG devices and a staff of approximately 50 faculty, postdocs, graduate students, research assistants, and technologists.

Dr. Roberts' work in multimodal, 4D/5D functional imaging using biomagnetic recording (MEG) as well as advanced MRI techniques (such as diffusion tensor imaging and edited magnetic resonance spectroscopy), specifically in the study of auditory processing and language in autism spectrum disorders and the pursuit of imaging biomarkers, has been supported by the National Alliance for Autism Research, Autism Speaks, the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Simons Foundation, Clinical Research Associates, the Department of Defense, and through multiple awards from NIH.

He additionally serves or has served as the primary mentor of five junior faculty supported by NIH "K"awards and has active research endeavors, beyond the field of autism, in schizophrenia, TBI and Parkinson's Disease, as well as methodological development.

He has published in excess of 300 scientific papers, 30+ book chapters, and given a large number of international invited presentations, mostly in the field of physiologic and functional imaging. In addition to actively reviewing grant proposals and serving on executive committees and editorial boards, in 2018 Dr. Roberts hosted the International Meeting on Biomagnetism (Biomag), the premier meeting in its field. He is a "Distinguished Investigator" of the Academy for Radiology Research.

Education and Training

BA, Cambridge University (Natural Sciences), 1988

MA, Cambridge University (Natural Sciences), 1991

PhD, Cambridge University (MRI), 1992

Fellowship, University of California, San Francisco (Neuro Research), 1994

Titles and Academic Titles

Vice Chair of Research, Department of Radiology

Oberkircher Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Radiology

Professor of Radiology

Professional Memberships

International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 1988-

American Society for Neuroradiology, 2000-

American Society of Functional Neuroradiology, 2004-

International Society for Advancement of Clinical MEG, 2005-

Professional Awards

Young Investigator Award, URSI-IEEE Symposium on Electromagnetism in Medicine, 1997

Canada Research Chair in Neuroimaging, 2002

AAPM Young Investigator Award, 2005

Science Service Award from NAAR, 2005

Charter NIH IRG Member, Developmental Brain Disorders (DBD), 2008-12

Distinguished Investigator, Academy of Radiology Research, 2016


Publication Highlights

Port RG, Gaetz W, Bloy L, Wang DJ, Blaskey L, Kuschner ES, Levy SE, Brodkin ES, Roberts TP. Exploring the relationship between cortical GABA concentrations, auditory gamma-band responses and development in ASD: Evidence for an altered maturational trajectory in ASD. Autism Res. 2017 Apr; 10(4):593-607. doi: 10.1002/aur.1686. Epub 2016 Oct 1
Jenkins J 3rd, Chow V, Blaskey L, Kuschner E, Qasmieh S, Gaetz L, Edgar JC, Mukherjee P, Buckner R, Nagarajan SS, Chung WK, Spiro JE, Sherr EH, Berman JI, Roberts, TP. Auditory Evoked M100 Response Latency is Delayed in Children with 16p11.2 Deletion but not 16p11.2 Duplication. Cereb Cortex. 2016 May; 26(5):1957-64. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv008. Epub 2015 Feb 11
Roberts TP, Paulson DN, Hirschkoff E, Pratt K, Mascarenas A, Miller P, Han M, Caffrey J, Kincade C, Power B, Murray R, Chow V, Fisk C, Ju M, Chudnovskaya D, Dell J, Golembski R, Lam P, Blaskey L, Kuschner E, Bloy L, Gaetz W, Edgar JC. Artemis 123: development of a whole-head infant and young child MEG system. 8:99. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00099. eCollection 2014.. 2014 Mar; Front Hum Neurosci
Roberts TP, Khan SY, Rey M, Monroe J, Cannon K, Blaskey L, Woldoff S, Qasmieh S, Gandal M, Schmidt G, Zarnow DM, Levy SE, Edgar JC. MEG Detection of Delayed Auditory Evoked Responses in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Towards An Imaging Biomarker for Autism. Autism Res. 2013 Feb; 3(1):8-18. doi: 10.1002/aur.111.
Roberts TP, Cannon KM, Tavabi K, Blaskey L, Khan S, Monroe JF, Qasmieh SA, Levy SE, Edgar JC. Auditory Magnetic Mismatch Field Latency: A Biomarker for Language Impairment in Autism. Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Aug; 70(3):263-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.01.015. Epub 2011 Mar 9