Ellen Mowry, M.D.

Ellen Mahar Mowry, M.D.

Headshot of Ellen Mowry
  • Director, Multiple Sclerosis Experimental Therapeutics Program
  • Professor of Neurology


Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology

Research Interests

Role of environmental factors in the risk and prognosis of MS; vitamin D, diet, microbiome ...read more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-614-1522
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287
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Dr. Mowry became interested in multiple sclerosis (MS) prior to beginning college and first performed MS research as an undergraduate biology major at Georgetown University. As a neurology resident at the University of Pennsylvania, she began her multiple sclerosis clinical research activities in conducting a study of visual dysfunction and quality of life in multiple sclerosis. During her fellowship at UCSF, Dr. Mowry evaluated prognostic factors in multiple sclerosis and examined health-related quality of life in multiple sclerosis, particularly as a marker of disease burden. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research at UCSF. Dr. Mowry continued as a member of the faculty there before joining the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology as an Assistant Professor in July, 2011; she received a joint appointment in Epidemiology in 2013. She was appointed as the inaugural Richard T. and Frances W. Johnson Professor in 2022.

Over the past several years, Dr. Mowry has worked primarily to perform epidemiologic investigations of multiple sclerosis (MS) risk and prognostic factors and has evaluated both genetic and environmental contributors. While she has had a major role in several such studies, her most significant work led to the identification of the association of vitamin D status with relapse and brain lesion risk in patients with MS (Annals of Neurology 2010, Annals of Neurology 2012, European Journal of Neurology 2015). She also conducted the first pilot study comparing gut bacterial populations in patients with MS and healthy individuals (Journal of Investigative Medicine 2014). She was recently funded to investigate the impact of vitamin D supplementation on the metabolomics profile in patients with MS compared to healthy controls. She enjoys designing and conducting clinical trials in MS and is the Principal Investigator of the Vitamin D to Ameliorate Multiple Sclerosis (VIDAMS) multicenter vitamin D trial (NCT01490502), which is sponsored by the National MS Society and a smaller multicenter pilot study investigating vitamin D pharmacokinetics in MS patients and healthy controls (NCT01667796). She is also the recipient of a Harry Weaver Award from the National MS Society, in which she is investigating the impact of intermittent calorie restriction in MS. Finally, as Director of the MS Experimental Therapeutics Program at Johns Hopkins, she assists colleagues with study design and helps oversee the conduct of MS clinical trials.

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  • Director, Multiple Sclerosis Experimental Therapeutics Program
  • Richard T. and Frances W. Johnson Professors
  • Co-Director, MS Precision Medicine Center of Excellence
  • Associate Program Director, Neuroimmunology and Neurological Infectious Disease Fellowship
  • Professor of Neurology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (2003)


  • Neurology; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (2007)


  • Neurology; University of California San Francisco School of Medicine (2009)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry And Neurology (Neurology) (2008)

Additional Training

Master's in Clinical Research, UCSF, 2009

Research & Publications

Technology Expertise Keywords

Multiple sclerosis; epidemiology; vitamin D; diet

Clinical Trial Keywords

Multiple sclerosis; vitamin D; diet; microbiome

Clinical Trials





Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Mowry EM, Krupp LB, Milazzo M, Chabas D, Strober JB, Belman AL, McDonald JC, Oksenberg JR, Bacchetti P, Waubant E. Vitamin D status is associated with relapse rate in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol 2010;67:618-624.

Mowry EM, Waubant E, McCulloch CE, Okuda DT, Evangelista AA, Lincoln R, Gourraud PA, Brenneman D, Owen M, Qualley P, Bucci M, Oksenberg J, Hauser SL, Pelletier D. Vitamin D status predicts new brain MRI activity in multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol 2012;72:234-24.

Bhargava P, Steele S, Waubant E, Revirajan N, Marcus J, Dembele M, Cassard SD, Hollis BW, Crainiceanu C, Mowry EM. Multiple sclerosis patients have a diminished serologic response to vitamin D supplementation compared to healthy controls. Mult Scler J 2016;22:753-760.

Fitzgerald KC, Vizthum D, Barron B, Schweitzer A, Cassard SD, Kossoff E, Hartman AL, Kapogiannis D, Sullivan P, Baer DJ, Mattson MP, Appel LJ, Mowry EM. Effect of intermittent vs. daily calorie restriction on changes in weight and patient-reported outcomes in people with multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler Rel Disord 2018;23:33-39.

Mowry EM, Azevedo C, McCulloch CE, Okuda DT, Lincoln RR, Waubant E, Hauser SL, Pelletier D. Body mass index, but not vitamin D status, is associated with brain volume change in MS. Neurology 2018.

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage


Richard T. and Frances W. Johnson Professorship of Neurology Supports a New Generation of Physician-Scientist Leaders, JHU Giving (01/30/2023)

MS4MS Funds Investigation into Multiple Sclerosis Therapies and Outcomes, JHU Giving (5/26/2022)

Software Aims to Find Patterns in Outcomes for Multiple Sclerosis Patients Insight (July 2019)

Dr. Ellen Mowry Talks of Clinical Studies into Vitamin D and MS, Multiple Sclerosis News Today (05/16/2016)

A New Reason to Refill Your Coffee Cup Immediately, Cosmopolitan (03/03/2015)

Vitamin D May Slow Multiple Sclerosis, Study Suggests, US News & World Report (01/20/2014)

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