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Dr Katharina Bell

Dr Bell Katharina

​MD, PhD

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor SingHealth Duke-NUS Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Academic Clinical Programme


​Dr Katharina Bell is a clinician scientist at the Singapore Eye Research Institute. She completed her medical studies at the University of Mainz, Germany in 2009 and attained her PhD from the same university in 2011. She performed her ophthalmology residency at the University Clinic of Mainz and passed the European Board of Ophthalmology Exam in 2015 (FEBO). She completed ophthalmology training in 2016.  In addition to working as a Consultant in Ophthalmology, she was involved in managing and conducting the clinical trials at the Clinical Trials and Investigations Centre. She was subsequently appointed Senior Consultant and lead physician in the ophthalmology policlinic of the University hospital.  In 2018 she was granted a prestigious DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft/German Research Foundation) fellowship to perform a postdoc in the laboratory of Patricia Boya in Madrid, where she focused on studying the role of autophagy in glaucoma and ageing. Her research here will be focused on investigating the role of autophagy in ageing and neurodegeneration of the retina and optic nerve.


  • ​Board Certification, German Board of Ophthalmology (2016)
  • Board Certification, European Board of Ophthalmology, FEBO (2015)
  • PhD (2011)
  • BSc (2009)

Professional Appointments and Committee Memberships

  • ​Member, Finance Committee, Woman in Autophagy (WIA) (2020 - present) 
  • Editorial Board Member (EBM), The Journal TVST (2020- present)


Research Interests

  • ​Glaucoma
  • Ageing
  • Autophagy
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neuroinflammation


  1. ​Tribble J, Hui F, Jöe M, Bell K, Chrysostomou V, Crowston JG, Williams PA. Targeting Diet and Exercise for Neuroprotection and Neurorecovery in Glaucoma. Cells 2021, 10(2) 295. 10020295T.

  2. Bell K, Beutgen VM, Nickels S, Lorenz K, Scheller Y, Elbaz H, Peto T, Ponto KA, Schulz A, Wild PS, Münzel T, Lackner KJ, Schmidtmann I, Beutel M, Pfeiffer N, Grus FH, Schuster AK. Results from the Population-Based Gutenberg Health Study Revealing Four Altered Autoantibodies in Retinal Vein Occlusion Patients. J Ophthalmol. 2020 Jul 29;2020:8386160.

  3. Bell K, de Padua SBB, Mofokeng M, Montesano G, Nongpiur ME, Marti MV, Lawlor M. Learning From the Past: Mitomycin C Use in Trabeculectomy and Its Application to Bleb-Forming Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery; Review. Surv Ophthalmol. 2020 May 22;S0039-6257(20)30089-8. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2020.05.005. Online ahead of print.

  4. Bell K, Rosignol I, Sierra-Filardi E, Rodriguez-Muela N, Schmelter C, Cecconi F, Grus F, Boya P. Age related retinal Ganglion cell susceptibility in context of autophagy deficiency. Cell Death Discov. 2020 Apr 17;6:21.

  5. Hopf S, Schwantuschke D, Pfeiffer N, Koenig J, Bell K, Hoffmann EM. The impact of intraocular pressure fluctuations and other factors on conversion of ocular hypertension to primary open-angle glaucoma. Int Ophthalmol. 2020 Feb 17. doi: 10.1007/s10792-020-01306-7.

  6. Rosignol I, Villarejo-Zori B, Teresak P, Sierra-Filardi E, Pereiro X, Rodríguez-Muela N, Vecino E, Vieira HLA, Bell K*, Boya P*. The mito-QC Reporter for Quantitative Mitophagy Assessment in Primary Retinal Ganglion Cells and Experimental Glaucoma Models. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Mar 10;21(5). pii: E1882. doi: 10.3390/ijms21051882.

  7. Funke S, Schmelter C, Markowitsch SD, Perumal N, Heyne JC, Bell K, Pfeiffer N, Grus FH. Comparative Quantitative Analysis of Porcine Optic Nerve Head and Retina Subproteomes. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Aug 29;20(17). pii: E4229. doi: 10.3390/ijms20174229.

  8. Schmelter C, Fomo KN, Perumal N, Manicam C, Bell K, Pfeiffer N, Grus FH. Synthetic Polyclonal-Derived CDR Peptides as an Innovative Strategy in Glaucoma Therapy. J Clin Med. 2019 Aug 15;8(8). pii: E1222. doi: 10.3390/jcm8081222.

  9. Wasielica-Poslednik J, Schuster AK, Politino G, Marx-Gross S, Bell K, Pfeiffer N, Pitz S. Corneal topometric, aberrometric and biomechanical parameters in mucopolysaccharidosis patients. PLoS One. 2019 Jun 27;14(6):e0218108.

  10. Chrysostomou V, Hatch RJ, Colgan T, Paul JP, van Wijngaarden P, Trounce I, Lopez Sanchez MIG, Bell K, Grus F, Crowston JG. Visual recovery as the target for glaucoma]. Ophthalmologe. 2018 Jan 30. German.

  11. Bell K, Und Hohenstein-Blaul NVT, Teister J, Grus F. Modulation of the Immune System for the Treatment of Glaucoma. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2018;16(7):942-958.

  12. Pfeiffer N, Voykov B, Renieri G, Bell K, Richter P, Weigel M, Thieme H, Wilhelm B, Lorenz K, Feindor M, Wosikowski K, Janicot M, Päckert D, Römmich R, Mala C, Fettes P, Leo E. First-in-human phase I study of ISTH0036, an antisense oligonucleotide selectively targeting transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGF-β2), in subjects with open-angle glaucoma undergoing glaucoma filtration surgery. PLoS One. 2017 Nov 30;12(11).

  13. Wasielica-Poslednik J, Schmeisser J, Hoffmann EM, Weyer-Elberich V, Bell K, Lorenz K, Pfeiffer N, Fluctuation of intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients before and after trabeculectomy with mitomycin C. PLoS One. 2017 Oct 4;12(10):e0185246. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185246. eCollection 2017.

  14. Lorenz K, Scheller Y, Bell K, Grus F, Ponto KA, Bock F, Cursiefen C, Flach J, Gehring M, Peto T, Silva R, Tal Y, Pfeiffer N. A prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-masked, three-armed, multicentre phase II/III trial for the Study of a Topical Treatment of Ischaemic Central Retinal Vein Occlusion to Prevent Neovascular Glaucoma - the STRONG study: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2017.

  15. Lorenz K, Wasielica-Poslednik J, Bell K, Renieri G, Keicher A, Ruckes C, Pfeiffer N, Thieme H. Efficacy and safety of preoperative IOP reduction using a preservative-free fixed combination of dorzolamide/timolol eye drops versus oral acetazolamide and dexamethasone eye drops and assessment of the clinical outcome of trabeculectomy in glaucoma. PLoS One. 2017.

  16. Wasielica-Poslednik J, Politino G, Schmidtmann I, Lorenz K, Bell K, Pfeiffer N, Pitz S. Influence of Corneal Opacity on Intraocular Pressure Assessment in Patients with Lysosomal Storage Diseases. PLoS One. 2017.

  17. Wasielica-Poslednik J, Lisch W, Bell K, Weyer V, Pfeiffer N, Gericke A. Reproducibility and Daytime-Dependent Changes of Corneal Epithelial Thickness and Whole Corneal Thickness Measured With Fourier Domain Optical Coherence Tomography. Cornea. 2016.

  18. Bell K, Holz A, Ludwig K, Pfeiffer N, Grus FH. Elevated Regulatory T Cell Levels in Glaucoma Patients in Comparison to Healthy Controls. Curr Eye Res. 2016 Oct.

  19. Bell K, Wilding C, Funke S, Perumal N, Beck S, Wolters D, Holz-Müller J, Pfeiffer N, Grus FH. Neuroprotective effects of antibodies on retinal ganglion cells in an adolescent retina organ culture.  J Neurochem. 2016.

Research Trials

  • ​​Studying neurorecovery of retinal ganglion cells in ageing after glaucomatous injury (2021 - present)
  • Short-term intermittent fasting as therapeutic intervention after optic nerve damage in old mice (2021 - present)