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William J. Culpepper, PhD

Academic Title:

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Associate Director, Epidemiology & Informatics, VA Multiple sclerosis Center of Excellence

Phone (Primary):

410-605-7000, x4341

Phone (Secondary):


Education and Training

1984    University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS: B.A. (Psychology), minors in computer science and biology.

1987    Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH: M.A. (Experimental Psychology).

2009    University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore Maryland: Ph.D. (Epidemiology). Dissertation topic: Effectiveness of Practice Guidelines for Disease Modifying Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis within the Veteran’s Health Administration (Funded by Berlex Laboratories)


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine since 2013 and has served as the Associate Director of Epidemiology & Informatics in the VA’s Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence since 2008. I have over 25 years of research experience in a variety of settings to include 16 years working within the Veteran’s Health Administration. Broadly training in research methods, epidemiology and statistics my research has focused on chronic diseases in general and neuroepidemiology of MS more specifically as well as special interests in psychometrics and measurement issues in outcomes research. I have been fortunate to be awarded several research grants focusing on MS-related issues and have published many MS-related studies. I have served as a reviewer for the National MS Society and the VHA HSR&D and RR&D study sections. In 2017, I was invited to serve on the Consortium of MS Centers Board of Governors.

At present I am part of the National MS Prevalence Workgroup, funded by the National MS Society, and Chair the Registries sub-committee. We are tackling this problem using large healthcare claims databases to ascertain cases. My group is responsible for contributing prevalence data from the VA, Medicare, Medicaid, and IMS Health (a commercial claims database). In addition, I am also involved in assessing the potential utility of using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey conducted by CDC for ongoing prevalence estimation. We added MS-specific questions to four state’s surveys and are in the process of compiling that data for comparison to state-specific data from the other databases at our disposal.

Research/Clinical Keywords

epidemiology, multiple sclerosis, health services research, comorbidity

Highlighted Publications

Culpepper WJ, Ehrmantraut M, Wallin MT Bradham D. Identification of the VHA MS Surveillance Registry: the problem of case-finding from administrative databases. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 2006; 43(1): 17-24.

McDowell Z, Amr S, Landenberg P, Royal W, Bever C, Culpepper WJ, Bradham D.  Timing of Birth, Residential Solar Radiation and Age at Onset of Multiple Sclerosis. Neuroepidemiology 2010; 34: 238 – 244.
Culpepper WJ, Cowper-Ripley D, McDowell Z, Litt ER, Hoffman P. Using GIS Tools to Improve MS Specialty Care Access in the Veterans Health Administration. Journal or Rehabilitation Research and Development 2010; 47(6): 583 - 592.
McDowell Z, Amr S, Culpepper WJ, Landenberg P, Royal W, Bever C, Bradham D.  Sun exposure, Vitamin D and age at disease onset in relapsing multiple sclerosis. Neuroepidemiology 2011; 36: 39-45.

Wallin MT, Culpepper WJ, Coffman P, Pulaski S, Maloni H, Mahan C, Haselkorn JK, Kurtzke JF. The Gulf War Era Multiple Sclerosis Cohort. 1. Age and Incidence Rates by Race, Sex and Service. Brain 2012; 135: 1778 – 1785.
Wallin MT, Kurtzke JF, Culpepper WJ, Coffman P, Maloni H, Haselkorn JK, Mahan C. Multiple Sclerosis in Gulf War Era Veterans 2. Military deployment and risk of multiple sclerosis in the first Gulf War. Neuroepidemiology 2014; 42: 226 - 234.

Culpepper WJ, Wallin MT, Magder L. Perencevich E, Royal W, Bradham DD, Cutter G, Bever CT. The VHA Multiple Sclerosis Surveillance Registry (MSSR) and its similarities with other contemporary MS cohorts. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 2015; 52(3): 263-72.

Wallin MT, Culpepper WJ, Maloni H, Kurtzke JF. The Gulf War Era Multiple Sclerosis Cohort: 3. Clinical characteristics at diagnosis by sex and race. Acta Neurologica Scandanavica 2017; 1-9.

Additional Publication Citations

Kane RL, Bever CT, Ehrmantraut M, Forte A, Culpepper WJ, & Wallin MT. Teleneurology in Patients with multiple sclerosis: EDSS ratings derived remotely and from hands-on examination. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 2008: 14: 190 – 194.

McDowell T-Y, Amr S, Culpepper WJ, Langenberg P, Royal W, Bever C, Bradham DD.  Sun Exposure, vitamin D intake, and progression to disability among veterans with progressive multiple sclerosis. Neuroepidemiology 2011; 37(1): 52 – 57.

Rinker JR, Cossey T, Cutter GR, Culpepper WJ. A retrospective review of lithium usage in veterans with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders 2013; 2: 327 – 333.

Culpepper WJ, Wallin MT. Comorbidity increases the risk of hospitalizations in MS: Prevention opportunities (Editorial). Neurology 2015; 84: 1-2.
Culpepper WJ. The incidence and prevalence of comorbidity in MS? (Editorial). Multiple Sclerosis Journal 2015; 21: 261-262.

Conroy SS, Zhan M, Culpepper WJ, Royal W, Wallin MT. Self-Directed Exercise in Multiple Sclerosis: Evaluation of a Home Automated Tele-management System. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. First published 25 April 2017; 0(0): 1-10.

Research Interests

Multiple Sclerosis / degenerative neurologic diseases

Neuroepidemiology/ Epidemiology of chronic disease


Outcomes Research / Health Services Research

Survey Design & Methods

Instrument Development / Psychometrics / IRT-Rasch Analysis

Awards and Affiliations

Member: Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, American Academy of Neurology.

Grants and Contracts

“A National Survey of Veterans with MS’ funded by Berlex Laboratories currently (Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.). [Culpepper - PI].

“A Pilot Study Assessing the Impact of Passive and Active Standing Exercise on Functional Status in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis”.  Funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. [Culpepper - CoI].

Examining Healthcare patterns and MS Outcomes with VHA and Medicare Data” funded by VA HSR&D. [Culpepper - CoPI].

“Rescaling the EDSS using Rasch Analysis” funded by Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation. [Culpepper - PI].

“Geographic Access to Treatment for VHA Patients with Multiple Sclerosis” funded by the Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center, Rehabilitation Enhancement Award Program. [Culpepper - PI].

“Translational Research for Task-Oriented Exercise in Chronic Stroke “ funded by VA RR&D Supplemental grant. [Culpepper - CoPI].

“Multiple Sclerosis in Gulf War Veterans” merit grant from VHA Clinical-Epidemiology. [Culpepper - CoPI].

“The spectrum of psychiatric disease among veterans with multiple sclerosis: Prevalence and utilization of mental health services”. Funded by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Center’s Epidemiology Pilot grant program. [Culpepper - CoPI].

“The Multiple Sclerosis Surveillance Registry System (MSSR) and Registries Enhancements” contract from VHA OI&T. [Culpepper - CoPI].

A Rasch-based comorbidity measure for use in patients with multiple sclerosis” funded by the National MS Society. [Culpepper - PI].

What is the comparative effectiveness of comprehensive care vs. usual care for patients with multiple sclerosis?” funded by the National MS Society. [Culpepper - PI].

Prevalence and Incidence of Multiple Sclerosis in the Military Population: A VA/DoD Collaboration”. Funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. [Culpepper - PI].

Professional Activity

Journal Reviewer:

Neurology, Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, Multiple Sclerosis Journal, Neuroepidemiology, Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, Journal of Neurology, Frontiers in Neurology, American Journal of Epidemiology, Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety, Journal of Telemedicine, International Journal of Multiple Sclerosis Care.

Study Section Reviewer:

Health Care Delivery and Policy Research, National Multiple Scelrosis Society

Boards & Workgroups:

External Advisory Board, Sonia Slifka Longitudinal MS Study. Sponsored by the National Multiple Scelrosis Society

National MUltiple Sclerosis Prevalence Work Group, Chair: Registries sub-committee. Sponsored by the National Multiple Scelrosis Society

External Advisory Board, VA Epilepsy Center of Excellence

Board of Govorners, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers