James Wilkes, PhD, MEd, ATC
Research Scientist I

Dr. Wilkes is a Research Scientist for the Minds Matter Concussion Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention.


James Wilkes, PhD, MEd, ATC is a certified Athletic Trainer with clinical and research training focused in concussion prevention, management, and treatment. As a Research Scientist for the Minds Matter Concussion Program within the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Wilkes uses his perspective as an active clinician, researcher, and educator to bridge the gaps between breaking research and novel clinical practices, as well as enhancing concussion education and awareness for youth sports programs and surrounding communities.

Dr. Wilkes graduated with a BS in Kinesiology with a focus in Athletic Training from Pennsylvania State University in 2013. He subsequently practiced for two years as a Certified Athletic Trainer for Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics providing medical services to the football program and acted as the medical liaison for Penn State Club and Intramural Sports programs. Dr. Wilkes later attended graduate school at Penn State while working as the men’s rugby Athletic Trainer and received his MEd with a focus in Educational Leadership in 2017.

Dr. Wilkes graduated with his PhD in Kinesiology from Penn State in 2020, focusing on the intersection between sleep and concussion in collegiate athletes. He continued this focus from graduate studies through his postdoctoral scholarship with the Penn State Sport Concussion Research and Services Lab, attempting to understand the complex interplay between sleep and athletic injuries; primarily concussion.

BS, Pennsylvania State University (Kinesiology – AT), 2013

MEd, Pennsylvania State University (Educational Leadership), 2017

PhD, Pennsylvania State University (Kinesiology), 2020

Research Scientist I, Minds Matter Concussion Program, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

American College of Sports Medicine, Member, 2023 –

Sleep Research Society, Member, 2023 –

Board of Certification, Certified Athletic Trainer, 2013 –

National Athletic Trainer’s Association, 2011 –

Pubmed ID:James Wilkes, PhD, MEd, ATC

Kelly, J. T., Wilkes, J. R., Slobounov, S. M. An Examination of Visual Quality of Life and Functional Vision Among Collision and Non-Collision Athletes Over a Competitive Season. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2023. 

Walter, A. E., Wilkes, J. R., Scaramuzzo, M., Johns-Bostick, T., Lynch, S., Sebastianelli, W., Seidenberg, P., Bream, T., Slobounov, S.M. Head Acceleration Event Exposure and Cognitive and Functional Outcomes: A Comparison of Multiple Football Seasons. Res Sports Med. 2022.

Papa, L., Walter, A. E., Wilkes, J. R., Clonts, H., B., Johnson, B., Slobounov, S.M. The Effect of Player Position on Serum Biomarkers During Participation in a Season of Collegiate Football. J Neurotrauma. 2022. 

Papa, L., Johnson, B., Walter, A. E., Wilkes, J. R., Knollman-Ritschel, B., Bhomia, M., Slobounov, S.M. Decreases in Dorsal Cervical Spinal Cord White Matter Tract Integrity Are Associated with Elevated Levels of Serum MicroRNA Biomarkers in NCAA Division I Collegiate Football Players. Neurotrauma Rep. 2021;2(1):476-487. 

Wilkes, J.R., Kelly, J.T., Walter, A.E., Slobounov, S.M. Reaction Time Task Performance in Concussed Athletes over a 30-Day Period: An Observational Study. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2021;(acab077). 

Wisinski, J., Wilkes, J.R.*, Seidenberg, P.H. Narrowing the Knowledge Gap Between Basic Neuroscience Research and Management of Concussive Injury. In: Slobounov, S.M., Sebastianelli, W.J., Eds. Concussion in Athletics: From Brain to Behavior. 2nd ed. Springer International Publishing; 2021. *Corresponding Author

Walter, A.E., Wilkes, J.R., Miller, S. J., Sebastianelli, W., Seidenberg, P., Slobounov, S. M. The Accumulation of Subconcussive Impacts on Cognitive, Imaging, and Biomarker Outcomes in Child and College-Aged Athletes: A Systematic Review. Brain Imaging Behav. 2021 July 26. 

Wilkes, J. R., Walter, A. E., Chang, A. M., Miller, S. J., Sebastianelli, W. J., Seidenberg, P. H., & Slobounov, S. (2021). Effects of Sleep Disturbance on Functional and Physiological Outcomes in Collegiate Athletes: A Scoping Review. Sleep Medicine, 81, 8–19. 

Contact Information

Roberts Center for Pediatric Research, 2716 South St., Philadelphia, PA 19146