A photo of Jeffrey R. Tenney.

Jeffrey R. Tenney, MD, PhD

  • Pediatric Epileptologist, Division of Neurology
  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



In my research, I focus on trying to better understand how seizures start and spread in the brain. To accomplish this goal, I use noninvasive neuroimaging technologies and neurophysiology techniques.

My research is a natural extension of my PhD thesis work with rats and monkeys — as a student in a combined MD/PhD program, I was interested in the brain. But I also enjoyed caring for children, and I wanted to shift my research to them. My thesis focused on better understanding brain networks involved in a particular type of pediatric epilepsy. During this work, I met a pediatric neurologist who ultimately influenced me to pursue clinical and research work in pediatric epilepsy.

Now, I specialize in epilepsy, clinical neurophysiology, electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). My current research efforts focus on understanding the brain networks responsible for seizures so clinicians can devise better ways of stopping them. Specifically, I study generalized seizures which researchers typically consider having no focal onset.

My research and clinical work are closely tied. I am the clinical director of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center MEG Center. Clinicians use the center’s services for pre-surgical evaluations of pediatric epilepsy patients. I also evaluate and manage patients with epilepsy in the outpatient epilepsy clinic and the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, with a special interest in children diagnosed with childhood absence epilepsy (CAE).

I am the current President of the American Clinical MEG Society (ACMEGS). I am a member of the American Epilepsy Society, the Organization for Human Brain Mapping and the Child Neurology Society. I also received the Taking Flight Award from Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE).

MD/PhD: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, 2006.

Residency: Child Neurology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2011.

Fellowship: Clinical Neurophysiology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2011.

Certification: Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology, 2011; Epilepsy, 2013.

Services and Specialties

Neurology, Epilepsy

Research Areas


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Role of optically pumped magnetometers in presurgical epilepsy evaluation: Commentary of the American Clinical Magnetoencephalography Society. Bagic, AI; Bowyer, SM; Burgess, RC; Funke, ME; Lowden, A; Mohamed, IS; Wilson, T; Zhang, W; Zillgitt, AJ; Tenney, JR. Epilepsia. 2023; 64:3155-3159.

Neuropsychological outcomes after epilepsy surgery: A comparison of stereo electroencephalography and subdural electrodes. Arya, R; Frink, C; Kargol, C; Byars, AW; Huddleston, D; Diedenhofer, DB; Aungaroon, G; Ervin, B; Horn, PS; Ihnen, SK Z; Mangano, FT; Glauser, TA; Greiner, HM; Holland, KD. European Journal of Neurology. 2023; 30:2986-2998.

Tolerability of transcranial magnetic stimulation language mapping in children. Greiner, HM; Maue, E; Horn, PS; Vannest, J; Vedala, K; Leach, JL; Tenney, JR; Williamson, B; Fujiwara, H; Coghill, RC; Mangano, FT; Kadis, DS. Epilepsy Research. 2023; 194:107183.

Comparing electrical stimulation functional mapping with subdural electrodes and stereoelectroencephalography. Aungaroon, G; Vedala, K; Byars, AW; Ervin, B; Rozhkov, L; Horn, PS; Ihnen, SK Z; Holland, KD; Tenney, JR; Kremer, K; Leach, JL; Mangano, FT; Greiner, HM; Arya, R. Epilepsia. 2023; 64:1527-1540.

Predictors of objective treatment adherence in adolescents with epilepsy: The important role of motivation. Lang, AC; Stevens, J; Mara, CA; Patel, AD; Schmidt, M; Tenney, JR; Modi, AC. Epilepsy and Behavior. 2023; 142:109192.

Pilot randomized controlled clinical trial of an adherence social norms intervention for adolescents with epilepsy. Modi, AC; Patel, AD; Mara, CA; Schmidt, M; Tenney, JR; Stevens, J. Epilepsy and Behavior. 2023; 140:109082.

Commentary on "Mapping the Unconscious Brain: Insights From Advanced Neuroimaging ". Bagic, A; Bowyer, S; Funke, M; Mohamed, I; Tenney, JR; Zhang, W; Zillgitt, A. Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. 2023; 40:269.

Further expansion and confirmation of phenotype in rare loss of YWHAE gene distinct from Miller-Dieker syndrome. Baker, EK; Brewer, CJ; Ferreira, L; Schapiro, M; Tenney, J; Wied, HM; Kline-Fath, BM; Smolarek, TA; Weaver, KN; Hopkin, RJ. American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A. 2023; 191:526-539.

Posterior Quadrant Disconnection Procedure for Intractable Epilepsy: A Case Series of 5 Young Pediatric Patients. Patel, SK; Gibson, JL; Lovha, M; Leach, JL; Arya, R; Tenney, JR; Holland, KD; Aungaroon, G; Greiner, HM; Skoch, J; Mangano, FT. Operative Neurosurgery. 2022; 23:449-456.

Functional MRI and electrical stimulation mapping for language localization: A comparative meta-analysis. Holloway, T; Leach, JL; Tenney, JR; Byars, AW; Horn, PS; Greiner, HM; Mangano, FT; Holland, KD; Arya, R. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery. 2022; 222:107417.

From the Blog

My Child Had A Seizure – Is It Epilepsy?
Blog Rare and Complex Conditions

My Child Had A Seizure – Is It Epilepsy?

By Jeffrey Tenney, MD, PhD3/26/2023

Understanding Different Seizure Symptoms
Blog Rare and Complex Conditions

Understanding Different Seizure Symptoms

By Jeffrey Tenney, MD, PhD9/15/2016

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