Michael J. Bell, M.D., is the Chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Children's National Hospital. A nationally known expert in the field of pediatric neurocritical care, Dr. Bell is also the DC Lawyers Care for Children Professor of Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Bell joined Children’s National from Children’s Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he served as director of Pediatric Neurocritical Care and the Pediatric Neurotrauma Center, and established the pediatric neurocritical care program. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Bell served on the faculty at Children’s National and simultaneously conducted research on the impact of inflammation on the developing brain at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), within the laboratory of the chief of the NINDS Stroke Branch.
Dr. Bell is a prominent figure in both critical care and neurocritical care research. He has authored or reviewed more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and is a founding member of the Pediatric Neurocritical Care Research Group, an international consortia of 40 institutions dedicated to advancing clinical research for children with critical neurological illnesses. His current research interests include: barriers to implementation of traumatic brain injury guidelines, the effect of hypothermia on various brain injuries and applications for neurological markers in a clinical setting.
He also leads the largest study to date evaluating the impact of interventions for infants and children with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and analyzing findings to improve clinical practice across the world. The Approaches and Decisions for Acute Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury (ADAPT) Trial, funded by NINDS, has enrolled 1,000 children through 50 clinical sites across eight countries and compiled an unmatched database, which will be used to develop new guidelines for clinical care and research on TBIs.
During his previous tenure at Children’s National, Dr. Bell played a crucial role in building one of the first clinical pediatric neurocritical care consult services in the country, which established common protocols between Divisions of Critical Care Medicine, Neurology and Neurosurgery aimed at improving clinical care of children with brain injuries.
Dr. Bell is board certified in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. He completed his medical degree at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, his residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Pa., and a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.