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Jay Jan Pillai, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Jay Jan Pillai, M.D.
  • Director, Functional MR Imaging
  • Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science


Diagnostic Radiology

Research Interests

Functional MRI; Brain tumor imaging; Diffusion tensor imaging

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

1800 Orleans St. Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointment Phone: 410-550-0100
4940 Eastern Avenue Baltimore, MD 21224 map

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center

601 N. Caroline St. Baltimore, MD 21287 map


Dr. Pillai graduated cum laude from Yale University and received his M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. After internal medicine internship at North Shore U. Hospital - Cornell/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center program, he completed radiology residency at Newark Beth Israel Med. Ctr. (affil. of Mount Sinai School of Medicine), where he was Chief Resident. He joined the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) faculty in 1999 after two year fellowship in neuroradiology at Case Western Reserve U./Univ. Hospital of Cleveland. At MCG, he was Associate Professor of Radiology, Director of Neuro-Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and President of the School of Medicine Faculty Senate in 2006. He joined Johns Hopkins as Visiting Associate Professor in 2007 and is currently Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science and Director of Functional MRI at Johns Hopkins. 

Dr. Pillai has been on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Neuroradiology since 2007 and is also on the editorial boards of Public Library of Science-One (PLoS-ONE) and the World Journal of Clinical Oncology. He currently receives grant funding from the NIH as co-PI to study brain lesion-induced neurovascular uncoupling and has previously received funding as PI on grants funded by Siemens, RSNA (Radiological Society of North America) and the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute; he has also served as co-investigator on other NIH-funded projects. His field of research and clinical interest includes functional imaging, particularly of brain tumors. He completed a term (2008-2009) as President of the American Society of Functional Neuroradiology (ASFNR) and has served for six years on the Scientific Program Committee of the RSNA in the past. He has most recently served a 3-year term on the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). He has published two books (Functional Brain Tumor Imaging [Springer] & a Neuroimaging Clinics of North America issue entitled, “Clinical Applications of Functional MRI”[Elsevier]) in 2014. more


  • Director, Functional MR Imaging
  • Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science
  • Associate Professor of Neurosurgery

Departments / Divisions



  • MD, Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University (1992)


  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center / Diagnostic Radiology (1997)


  • University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center / Neuroradiology (1999)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Radiology / Diagnostic Radiology (1997)
  • American Board of Radiology / Neuroradiology (2000)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Pillai's research interests involve both advanced physiologic and functional brain tumor imaging and translation of advanced MR imaging methods to the clinic. Dr. Pillai's early academic career has been focused on clinical applications of BOLD functional MRI, perfusion imaging and DTI for presurgical mapping. Over the past decade, however, his interests have included breath hold cerebrovascular reactivity mapping and other methods of investigating the phenomenon of neurovascular uncoupling in the setting of brain tumors and epilepsy, as well as evaluation of resting state fMRI and diffusion imaging, as well as other more advanced MR imaging methods in brain tumors.

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Agarwal S, Lu H, Pillai JJ. Value of frequency domain resting state fMRI metrics ALFF & fALFF in the assessment of brain tumor-induced neurovascular uncoupling.Brain Connect. 2017 Jun 28. doi: 10.1089/brain.2016.0480. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 286573442.

Agarwal S, Sair HI, Yahyavi-Firouz-Abadi N, Airan R, Pillai JJ. Neurovascular uncoupling in resting state fMRI demonstrated in patients with primary brain gliomas. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2016 Mar;43(3):620-6. doi: 10.1002/jmri.25012. Epub 2015 Jul 22. PMID: 26201672

Pillai JJ, Mikulis DJ. Cerebrovascular reactivity mapping: an evolving standard for clinical functional imaging. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015 Jan;36(1):7-13. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A3941. Epub 2014 Apr 30. Review PMID: 24788129

Heo HY, Jones CK, Hua J, Yadav N, Agarwal S, Zhou J, van Zijl PC, Pillai JJ. Whole-brain amide proton transfer (APT) and nuclear overhauser enhancement (NOE) imaging in glioma patients using low-power steady-state pulsed chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) imaging at 7T. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2016 Jul;44(1):41-50. doi: 10.1002/jmri.25108. Epub 2015 Dec 10. PMID: 26663561

Sair HI, Yahyavi-Firouz-Abadi N, Calhoun VD, Airan RD, Agarwal S, Intrapiromkul J, Choe AS, Gujar SK, Caffo B, Lindquist MA, Pillai JJ. Presurgical brain mapping of the language network in patients with brain tumors using resting-state fMRI: Comparison with task fMRI. Hum Brain Mapp. 2016 Mar;37(3):913-23. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23075. Epub 2015 Dec 10. PMID: 26663615

Activities & Honors


  • Chair, Membership Committee, American Society of Neuroradiology, 2017
  • Co-Chair, fMRI Biomarker Committee, RSNA Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance, 2017
  • President, American Society of Functional Neuroradiology (ASFNR), 2008 - 2009
  • Executive Committee, American Society of Neuroradiology, 2008 - 2009
  • Philips Medical Systems Seed Grant for work in functional MRI, Radiological Society of North America, 2000


  • International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Annual Meeting Program Committee, 2013 - 2016


  • Editorial board of the American Journal of Neuroradiology, 2007

    Member since 2007

  • Editorial boards of the Journal of the International Brain Mapping, PLoS-ONE (Public Library of Science) and the World Journal of Clinical Oncology
  • Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Scientific Program Committee, 2007 - 2012

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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