Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Robert MAUL

Robert Maul
Title: Senior Associate Scientist
Office(s): Antibody Diversity Section (ADS)
Phone Number: 410-558-8234
Email Address:


Dr. Robert W. Maul graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Saint Bonaventure University in 2002. He then earned his Ph.D. in 2007 studying under Dr. Mark D. Sutton at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. His doctorate research focused on error-prone DNA replication in Escherichia coli, with specific focus on protein-protein interactions which regulate DNA polymerase function. For his dissertation research, he received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research from the School of Medicine. Arriving at the NIA in 2007, Dr. Maul joined the lab of Dr. Patricia J. Gearhart first as a postdoctoral fellow (2007-2012), followed by his appointment as Staff Scientist (2012-present). At NIA, he has served on several committees and has been recognized with awards including the FELCOM FARE Travel Award, Nathan Shock Award, and the Director’s Merit Award for mentoring.

Research Interests/Portfolio

Research in the lab is dedicated to understanding B cell function during aging, age-related diseases, and the molecular mechanisms which regulate antibody diversity. Dr. Maul’s current focus is leading a small collaborative research group looking at the role of B cells and antibodies in atherosclerosis. This research in mouse models and human patients showed that atherosclerosis is associated with the generation of autoantibodies against self-proteins that are expressed in arterial plaques. By manipulating the ability to generate these antibodies, plaque development can be short-circuited and reduced by 80% in mice. Current experiments are addressing the mechanisms of specific autoantigens and autoantibodies, and whether these antibodies can be used as biomarkers for early disease identification. Additionally, vaccination strategies are being developed to promote antibodies to oxidized low density lipoproteins to block plaque development.

Selected Publications

1. Hutchinson M.A., Park H.S., Zanotti K.J., Alvarez-Gonzalez J., Zhang J., Zhang L., Telljohann R., Wang M., Lakatta E.G., Gearhart P.J., Maul R.W.§ “Auto-antibody production during experimental atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice.” Frontiers in Immunology, 2021 Jul 9;12:695220. PubMed PMID: 34305930; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8299997.

§ Corresponding author

2. Alvarez-Gonzalez J., Maul R.W., Rieffer A., Salamango D.J., Crawford D.J., Yasgar A., Zakharov A., Jansen D., Bantukallu G., Marugan J., Simeonov A., Harris R.S., Kohli R.M., Gearhart P.J. “Small molecule inhibitors of activation-induced deaminase decrease class switch recombination in B cells.” ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science, 2021 May 7;4(3):1214-1226. PubMed PMID: 34151211; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8205235.

3. Maul R.W.*, Catalina M.D.*, Kumar V., Bachali P., Grammar A.C., Wang S., Yang W., Hasni S., Ettinger R., Lipsky P.E., Gearhart P.J. “Transcriptome and IgH repertoire analyses show that CD11chi B cells are a distinct population with similarity to B cells arising in autoimmunity and infection.” Frontiers in Immunology, 2021 Mar 19;12:649458. PubMed PMID: 33815408; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8017342.

*Contributed equally to this work

4. Butler T.J., Estep K.N., Sommers J.A., Maul R.W., Moore A.Z., Bandinelli S., Cucca F., Tuke M.A., Wood A.R., Bharti S.K., Bogenhagen D.F., Yakubovskaya E., Garcia-Diaz M., Guilliam T.A., Byrd A.K., Raney K.D., Doherty A.J., Ferrucci L., Schlessinger D., Ding J., Brosh R.M. “Mitochondrial genetic variation is enriched in G-quadruplex regions that stall DNA synthesis in vitro.” Human Molecular Genetics, 2020 March 19. PubMed PMID 32191790; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7254849.

5. Ragonnaud E., Moritoh K., Bodogai M., Gusev F., Geraud S., Chen C., Becker K.G., Maul R.W., Kand W.G., Rogaev E., Biragyn A. “Tumor-derived thymic stromal lymphopoietin expands bone marrow B-cell precursors in circulation to support metastasis.” Cancer Research, 2019 Nov 15. PubMed PMID: 31575547; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6881554.

An official website of the National Institutes of Health