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Ellen Mowry, M.D.

Ellen Mahar Mowry, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Ellen Mowry, M.D.

Associate Professor of Neurology


Expertise: Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology

Research Interests: Role of environmental factors in the risk and prognosis of MS; vitamin D, diet, microbiome

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)
Appointment Phone: 410-614-1522

1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map


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 promoted to Associate Professor in 2015.

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. more


  • Associate Professor of Neurology



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


  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania - GME / Neurology (2007)


  • University of California San Francisco School of Medicine / Neurology (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

Most Significant Recent Publications:
1. Mowry EM, Deen S, Malikova I, Pelletier J, Bacchetti P, Waubant E. The onset location of multiple sclerosis predicts the location of subsequent relapses J Neurol Neurosurg Psych 2009;80:400-403.

2. Okuda DT, Mowry EM, Beheshtian A, Waubant E, Baranzini SE, Goodin DS, Hauser SL, Pelletier D. Incidental MRI anomalies suggestive of multiple sclerosis: the radiologically isolated syndrome Neurology 2009;72:800-805.

3. Mowry EM, Pesic M, Grimes B, Deen S, Bacchetti P, Waubant E. Demyelinating events in early multiple sclerosis have inherent severity and recovery. Neurology 2009;72:602-608.

4. Mowry EM, Pesic M, Grimes B, Deen S, Bacchetti P, Waubant E. Clinical predictors of early second event in patients with clinically isolated syndrome. Journal of Neurology 2009;256:1061-1066.

5. Mowry EM, Loguidice MJ, Daniels AB, Jacobs DA, Markowitz CE, Galetta SL, Nano-Schiavo ML, Cutter GR, Maguire MG, Balcer LJ. Vision-related quality of life in multiple sclerosis: correlation with new measures of low- and high-contrast letter acuity. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2009;80:767-772.

6. Mowry EM, Beheshtian A, Waubant E, Goodin DS, Cree BA, Qualley P, Lincoln R, George MF, Gomez R, Hauser SL, Okuda DT, Pelletier D. Quality of life in multiple sclerosis is associated with lesion burden and brain volume measures. Neurology 2009;72:1760-1765.

7. Waubant E, Chabas D, Okuda DT, Glenn OA, Mowry E, Henry R, Strober J, Soares B, Wintermark M, Pelletier D. Pediatric patients have a higher disease burden and activity on brain MRI at time of MS onset than adults. Arch Neurol 2009;66:967-971.

8. 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.

9. Mowry EM, Julian LJ, Im-Wang S, Chabas D, Galvin AJ, Strober JB, Waubant E. Health-related quality of life is reduced in early pediatric multiple sclerosis. Pediatr Neurol 2010;43:97-102.

10. Okuda DT, Mowry EM, Cree BA, Crabtree EC, Goodin DS, Waubant E, Pelletier D. Asymptomatic spinal cord lesions predict clinical progression in radiologically isolated syndrome. Neurology 2011;76:686-692.

11. Mowry EM, James JT, Krupp LB, Waubant E. Vitamin D status and antibody levels to common viruses in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler 2011;17:666-671.

12. Castillo-Trivino T, Mowry EM, Chabas D, Crabtree-Hartman E, Cree BA, Goodin DS, Green AJ, Hauser SL, Okuda DT, Pelletier D, Zamvil SS, Vittinghoff E, Waubant E. Efficacy of natalizumab in multiple sclerosis patients with breakthrough disease on first-line therapies PLoS One 2011;3:e16664.

13. Waubant E, Mowry EM, Krupp L, Chitnis T, Yeh AE, Kuntz N, Ness J, Chabas D, Strober J, McDonald J, Belman A, Milazzo M, Gorman M, Weinstock-Guttman B, Rodriguez M, Oksenberg J, James J. Common childhood viruses and HLA-DRB1 as susceptibility factors for pediatric-onset MS. Neurology 2011;76:1989-1995.

Fay A, Mowry EM, Chabas D, Strober J, Waubant E. Relapse severity and recovery in early pediatric MS. Mult Scler 2012;18:1008-1012.

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;72:234-240.

Waubant E, Mowry EM, Krupp L, Chitnis T, Yeh AE, Kuntz N, Ness J, Strober J, Belman A, Milazzo A, Gorman M, Weinstock-Guttman B, Rodriguez M, Bacchetti P, James JA, Waubant E. Antibody responses to common viruses and HLA-DRB1 in pediatric MS. Mult Scler 2013;19-891-895.

Tan IL, Mowry EM, Steele S, Pardo-Villamizar C, McArthur JC, Nath A, Venkatesan A. Brainstem encephalitis: etiologies, treatment, and predictors of outcome. J Neurol 2013;260:2312-2319.

Mowry EM, Carey RF, Blasco MR, Pelletier J, Duquette P, Villoslada P, Malikova I, Roger E, Kinkel RP, McDonald J, Bacchetti P, Waubant E. Association of MS susceptibility variants and early attack location in the CNS. PLoS One 2013;8:e75565.

Mowry EM, Carey RF, Blasco MR, Pelletier J, Duquette P, Villoslada P, Malikova I, Roger E, Kinkel RP, McDonald J, Bacchetti P, Waubant E. Multiple sclerosis susceptibility genes: associations with relapse severity and recovery. PLoS One 2013;8:e75416.

Bhargava P, Cassard S, Steele SU, Azevedo C, Pelletier D, Sugar E, Waubant E, Mowry EM. The Vitamin D to Ameliorate Multiple Sclerosis (VIDAMS) trial: study design for a multicenter, randomized, double-blind controlled trial of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis. Contemp Clin Trials 2014;39:288-293.

Cantarel B, Waubant E, Chehoud C, Kuczynski J, DeSantis TZ, Warrington J, Venkatesan A, Fraser CM, Mowry EM. Gut microbiota in MS: possible influence of immunomodulators. J Investig Med 2015;63:729-734.

Mowry EM, Pelletier D, Gao Z, Howell MD, Zamvil SS, Waubant E. Vitamin D in clinically isolated syndrome: evidence for possible neuroprotection. Eur J Neurol 2015 (in press).

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 2015 (in press).

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

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)

Patient Ratings & Comments

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