Douglas Wilmot Ball, M.D.

Headshot of Douglas Wilmot Ball
  • Associate Professor of Medicine


Diagnostic Radiology, Endocrine Oncology, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Diseases, Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) more

Research Interests

medullary thyroid cancer; differentiated thyroid cancer; anaplastic thyroid cancer more

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Outside of Maryland & Washington D.C.

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Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-9270
601 N. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-502-4926 | Fax: 410-367-2042


Dr. Douglas Ball is an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He holds a joint appointment in oncology. His areas of clinical expertise include diagnostic radiology, endocrine oncology, thyroid cancer and thyroid diseases. 

Dr. Ball earned his M.D. from the George Washington University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the University of Pittsburgh-Presbyterian University Hospital and performed a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at Johns Hopkins. 

His research interests include medullary thyroid cancer, differentiated thyroid cancer and anaplastic thyroid cancer. more


  • Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Associate Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; The George Washington University School of Medicine (1984)


  • Internal Medicine; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (1987)


  • Endocrinology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1991)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Internal Medicine) (1987)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Ball is an endocrinologist who is involved in clinical trials and pre-clinical laboratory studies in thyroid cancer. His clinical trials have included protocols for advanced radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer and medullary thyroid cancer. These studies are performed in collaboration with research staff in the upper aero-digestive group in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Dr. Ball is associate protocol chair and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG). He's developed national trials through this cooperative group. A focus of these clinical trials is the role of multikinase inhibitors, and inhibitors of the RAS-RAF-MAPK and PI3K pathways.

In pre-clinical research, Dr. Ball collaborates with Dr. Nelkin, Dr. Agrawal and others in the cancer biology division of the Kimmel Cancer Center. The principal areas of this research include pathogenesis and mechanisms of treatment resistance in medullary thyroid cancer, and pathogenesis and immune-directed therapy of anaplastic thyroid cancer. Recent studies have also focused on targeting the RAS-RAF-MAPK and PI3K pathways in differentiated thyroid cancer. This work is supported by the NIH and American Cancer Society.

Selected Publications

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Agrawal N, Jiao Y, Sausen M, Leary R, Bettegowda C, Roberts N, Bhan S, Ho AS, Khan Z, Bishop J, Westra WH, Wood LD, Hruban RH, Tufano RP, Robinson B, Dralle H, Toledo SPA, Toledo RA, Morris LGT, Ghossein R, Fagin JA, Chan TA, Velculescu VA, Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, PapadopoulosN, Nelkin BD, and Ball DW. Exomic sequencing of medullary thyroid cancer reveals dominant and mutually exclusive oncogenic mutations in RET and RAS. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 98:E364-9, 2013.

Wilky BA, Rudek MA, Ahmed S, Laheru DA, Cosgrove D, Donehower RC, Nelkin B, Ball DW, Doyle LA, Chen H, Ye X, Azad N. A Phase I trial of vertical inhibition of IGF signaling using cixutumumab, an anti-IGF1-R antibody, and selumetinib, a MEK 1/2 inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid tumors, British Journal of Cancer, 2014, in press.

Jin N, Jiang T, Rosen DN, Nelkin BD, Ball DW . Synergistic action of a RAF inhibitor and dual PI-3 Kinase / mTOR inhibitor in thyroid cancer. Clin Can Res 17:6482-9, 2011.

Elisei R, Schlumberger M, Mueller S, Schoffski P, Brose M, Shah M, Licitra L, Jarzab B, Medvedev V, Kreissl M, Niederle B, Cohen E, Wirth L, Ali H, Hessel C, Yaron Y, Ball D Nelkin B, Sherman S. Cabozantinib in Progressive Medullary Thyroid Cancer. J Clin Oncol, 31:3639-46, 2013.

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