W. Robert Bell, MD, MHS

W. Robert Bell

C512 Mayo Memorial Bldg.
United States

Dr. Bell is a neuro and ophthalmic pathologist with interests in molecular and biomarker studies of neurodegenerative disease in the Division of Anatomic Pathology. His research is focused on two major areas, both associated with aging: neurodegenerative diseases of the brain and retina.

Bell has been involved with longitudinal epidemiological studies of Primary Age-Related Tauopathy (PART) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). He participates in studies of community-based epidemiologic cohorts such as the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) and the Johns Hopkins University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. The BLSA is an intramural study of the National Institute on Aging with the overarching purpose of understanding the changes that people undergo as they grow older and to separate changes due to aging from those due to disease. Additionally, Dr. Bell has concentrated on investigating TDP43, and specifically its role in PART and AD.

Bell began his scientific research career studying various eye diseases and continues to conduct research focusing on mechanisms of retinal stress in various diseases including macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.


MD, University College Cork, National University of Ireland, 2004
Residency in Anatomic Pathology, Lab Medicine and Pathology, Rutgers University, 2014
Fellowship in Neuropathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2014
Fellowship in Ophthalmic Pathology, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2007
MHS, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 1994
BS, Mechanical Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 1992


Expand all



Bell WR, An Y, Kageyama Y, English C, Rudow GL, Pletnikova O, Thambisetty M, O'Brien R, Moghekar AR, Albert MS, Rabins PV, Resnick SM, Troncoso JC. Neuropathologic, genetic, and longitudinal cognitive profiles in primary age-related tauopathy (PART) and Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2018 Dec 11. pii: S1552-5260(18)33483-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.07.215

W. Robert Bell MD, MHS, Yang An MS, Yusuke Kageyama BS, MS, Gay L. Rudow BA, RN, Olga Pletnikova MD, Madhav Thambisetty MD,PhD, Richard O’Brien MD, PhD, Abhay R. Moghekar MD, Marilyn S. Albert PhD, Peter V. Rabins MD, MPH, Susan M. Resnick PhD, Juan C. Troncoso MD. Neuropathologic, Genetic, and Longitudinal Cognitive Profiles in Primary Age-Related Tauopathy (PART) and Alzheimer Disease (AD). Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

Martin AM, Nirschl CJ, Polanczyk MJ, Bell WR, Nirschl TR, Harris-Bookman S, Phallen J, Hicks J, Martinez D, Ogurtsova A, Xu H, Sullivan LM, Meeker AK, Raabe EH, Cohen KJ, Eberhart CG, Burger PC, Santi M, Taube JM, Pardoll DM, Drake CG, Lim M.  PD-L1 expression in medulloblastoma: an evaluation by subgroup.  Oncotarget. 2018 Apr 10;9(27):19177-19191. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.24951. eCollection 2018 Apr 10.

Bell WR, Meeker AK, Rizzo A, Rajpara S, Rosenthal IM, Flores Bellver M, Aparicio Domingo S, Zhong X, Barber JR, Joshu CE, Canto-Soler MV, Eberhart CG, Heaphy CM.  A unique telomere DNA expansion phenotype in human retinal rod photoreceptors associated with aging and disease.  Brain Pathol. 2018 Apr 18. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12618. [Epub ahead of print]

Bell WR, Meeker AK, Rizzo A, Rajpara S, Rosenthal IM, Flores Bellver M, Aparicio Domingo S, Zhong X, Barber JR, Joshu CE, Canto-Soler MV, Eberhart CG, Heaphy CM.

Brain Pathol. 2018 Apr 18. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12618. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID:29668072Tabbarah AZ, Bell WR, Sun M, Gelwan E, Pletnikova O, Hillis AE, Troncoso JC, Lin MT, Chen L. A rapidly progressive dementia case with pathological diagnosis of FTLD-UPS. Acta Neuropathologica. Accepted May 2016.

Wagner MW, Bell WR, Kern J, Bosemani T, Mhlanga J, Carson KA, Cohen KJ, Raabe EH, Rodriguez F, Huisman TA, Poretti A. Diffusion tensor imaging suggests extrapontine extension of pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. Eur J Radiol. 2016 Apr;85(4):700-6.

Bell WR, Singh K, Rajan KD, Eberhart CG. Expression of p16 and p53 in intraepithelial Sebaceous Carcinoma. Ocul Oncol Pathol 2016; 2: 71-75 (DOI:10.1159/000439308).

Bell WR, Jusue -Torres I, Quinones-Hinojosa A, Rodriguez FJ. Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor Involving the Central Nervous System. Pathology Case Reviews. 2013 Nov- Dec 18(6).

Lyons JL, Gireesh ED, Trivedi JB, Bell WR, Cettomai D, Smith BR, Karram S, Chang T, Tochen L, Zhang SX, McCall CM, Pearce DT, Carroll KC, Chen L, Ratchford JN, Harrison DM, Ostrow LW, Stevens RD. Fatal exserohilum meningitis and central nervous system vasculitis after cervical epidural methylprednisolone injection. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Dec 4;157(11):835-

Bell WR, Dalton JB, McCall CM, Karram S, Pearce DT, Memon W, Lee R, Carroll KC, Lyons JL, Gireesh ED, Trivedi JB, Cettomai D, Smith BR, Chang T, Tochen L, Ratchford JN, Harrison DM, Ostrow LW, Stevens RD, Chen L, Zhang SX. Iatrogenic Exserohilum infection of the central nervous system: mycological identification and histopathological findings. Mod Pathol. 2013 Feb;26(2):166-70.

Odia Y, Orr BA, Robert Bell W, Eberhart CG, Rodriguez FJ. cMYC expression in infiltrating  gliomas: associations with IDH1 mutations, clinicopathologic features and outcome. J Neurooncol. 2013 Aug 11.

Patel PP, Hoppe I, Bell WR, Lambert WC, Fleegler EJ. Perils of Diagnosis and Detection of Subungual Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Annals of Dermatology. Manuscript accepted October 2010.

Bell WR, Green WR, Goldberg MF. Histopathologic and Trypsin Digestion Studies of the Retina in Incontinentia Pigmenti. Ophthalmology. May 2008; 115(5):893-7. Epub November 2007.

Shen JK, Dong A, Hackett SF, Bell WR, Green WR, Campochiaro PA. Oxidative damage in agerelated macular degeneration. Histology and Histopathology. December 2007; 22(12):1301-8.

Zhang C, Bell WR, Sundin OH, De La Cruz Z, Stark WJ, Green WR, Gottsch JD. Early-onset Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy in three individuals with the same L450WCOL8A2 mutation: immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society. 2006; 104:85-97.

Gottsch JD, Zhang C, Sundin OH, Bell WR, Stark WJ, Green WR. Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy: Aberrant Collagen Distribution in an L450W Mutant of the COL8A2 Gene. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. December 2005:46 (12):4504-11.

Bell WR, Haller JA, De La Cruz Z and Green WR. Subretinal Band – Clinicopathologic Correlation of a Pseudoparasite. Retina. Retinal Cases and Brief Reports. 2007 Vol. 1(2):110-3.

Bell Jr. WR, Bell WR. Thrombolytic therapy: Indications and efficacy in the treatment of thrombotic diseases. Medical Postgraduate 1990; 18:222-30 .