Melissa Terpstra, PhD

Melissa Terpstra, PhD


Biomedical Sciences

Director, NextGen Imaging Facility


Prof. Terpstra has a PhD in medical physics and is an expert on uncovering tiny signals in magnetic resonance spectra (MRS) using ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Notably, she discovered and optimized techniques to measure signals from vitamin C and other antioxidants and neurotransmitters noninvasively from the human brain using MRI. She launched her independent career by applying this technology to study aging and Alzheimer’s disease via sustained funding from the National Institutes of Health. Furthermore, she continues to study the reliability of in vivo human brain MRS technique. Prof. Terpstra is a principal investigator on the nationwide Human Connectome Project on Aging (HCPA), which collected structural, functional, and diffusion images from over 1000 individuals. With an accompanying R01, she acquired MRS data from her local HCPA cohort, and MRS will be part of the upcoming nationwide project, the Adult Aging Brain Connectome. These consortia also collect extensive health, behavioral, cognitive, and COVID data. Prof. Terpstra reviews for several journals and study sections at the National Institutes of Health. She has experience using in vivo MRS to study cancer. As director of the NextGen imaging facility, Prof. Terpstra will expand her leadership role and collaborate in new areas.

Academic Information

Director, NextGen Imaging Facility


1101 Hospital Drive
NextGen Precision Health Insitutue
columbia, MO 65211
United States

Research Interests

  • 7 T MRI and MR spectroscopy
  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Human Brain Neurochemistry
  • Human Brain Connectome

Areas of Expertise

  • Ultra-high field MRI and MRS
  • In vivo MRS of small signals
  • Medical Physics
  • Aging
  • Dementia

Education & Training


1991 BS, Bethel University
1997 PhD, University of Minnesota

Awards & Honors

  • Member and Distinguished Reviewer, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 1994 - present


  • Deelchand D, Marjańska M, Henry, PG, Terpstra M.
    MEGA-PRESS of GABA+: Influence of acquisition parameters.
    NMR in Biomedicine. 2021 34:e4199.
  • Marjańska M, Terpstra M.
    Influence of fitting approaches in LCModel on MRS quantification focusing on age-specific macromolecules and the spline baseline.
    NMR in Biomedicine. 2021 34:e4197.
  • Choi I, Andronesi OC, Barker P, Bogher W, Edden R, Kaiser LG, Lee P, Marjańska M, Terpstra M, de Graaf RA.
    Spectral editing in 1H Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Experts’ consensus recommendations.
    NMR in Biomedicine. 2021;34e4411.
  • Kreis R, Boer V, Choi I, Cudalbu C, de Graaf R, Gasparovic C, Krssak M, Maudsley A, Meyerspeer M, Near J, Oz G, Posse S, Slotboom J, Terpstra M, Wilson M, Bogner W.
    Terminology and concepts for the characterization of in vivo MR spectroscopy methods and MR spectra: Background and experts’ consensus recommendations.
    NMR in Biomedicine. 2020;e4347.
  • Oz G, Deelchand D, Wijnen J, Mlynarik V, Xin L, Mekle R, Noeske R, Sheenen T, Tkak I,
    Experts’ Working Group on Advanced Single Voxel 1H MRS.
    NMR in Biomedicine. 2020;e4236.
  • Marjańska, M., McCarten, J. R., Hodges, J. S., Hemmy, L. S., Terpstra, M.
    Distinctive Neurochemistry in Alzheimer’s Disease via 7 T In Vivo Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.
    J Alzheimers Dis. 2019; 68:559-569.
  • Bookheimer, S. Y**., Salat, D. H**., Terpstra, M**., Ances, B. M., Barch, D. M., Buckner, R. L., Burgess, G. C., Curtiss, S. W., Diaz-Santos, M., Elam, J. S., Fischl, B., Greve, D. N., Hagy, H. A.*, Harms, M. P., Hatch, O. M., Hedden, T., Hodge, C., Japardi, K. C., Kuhn, T. P., Ly, T. K., Smith, S. M., Somerville, L. H., Uğurbil, K., van der Kouwe, A., Van Essen, D., Woods, R. P., Yacoub, E.
    The Lifespan Human Connectome Project in Aging: An overview.
    NeuroImage. 2019; 185:335-348.
    **Equal authorship contributions.
  • Harms, M. P., Somerville, L. H., Ances, B. M., Andersson, J., Barch, D. M., Bastiani, M., Bookheimer, S. Y., Brown, T. B., Buckner, R. L., Burgess, G. C., Coalson, T. S., Chappell, M. A., Dapretto, M., Douaud, G., Fischl, B., Glasser, M. F., Greve, D. N., Hodge, C., Jamison, K. W., Jbabdi, S., Kandala, S., Li, X., Mair, R. W., Mangia, S., Marcus, D., Mascali, D., Moeller, S., Nichols, T. E., Robinson, E. C., Salat, D. H., Smith, S. M., Sotiropoulos, S. N., Terpstra, M., Thomas, K. M., Tisdall, M. D., Ugurbil, K., van der Kouwe, A., Woods, R. P., Zöllei, L., Van Essen, D. C., Yacoub, E.
    Extending the Human Connectome Project across ages: Imaging protocols for the Lifespan Development and Aging projects.
    NeuroImage. 2018; 183:972-984.
  • Coles, L. D.*, Tuite, P. J., Öz, G., Mishra, U. R., Kartha, R. V., Sullivan, K. M., Cloyd, J. C., Terpstra, M.
    Repeated-Dose Oral N-Acetylcysteine in Parkinson's Disease: Pharmacokinetics and Effect on Brain Glutathione and Oxidative Stress.
    Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2018; 58(2):158-167.
  • Marjańska, M., Deelchand, D. K., Hodges, J. S., McCarten, J. R., Hemmy, L. S., Grant, A., Terpstra, M.
    Altered macromolecular pattern and content in the aging human brain.
    NMR in Biomedicine. 2018; 31(2).
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