Ronald L. Hamilton, MD
Associate Professor of Pathology

Dr. Hamilton
Dr. Hamilton is a member of the Division of Neuropathology.

Office Location:
S724.1 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-624-6610


  • BS - 1985, University of Nebraska
  • MD - 1989, University of Nebraska Medical Center


AP and NP Boards

Clinical Expertise

  • Brain tumor research
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies and related disorders

Dr. Hamilton rotates onto the Neuropathology Bench 16 weeks per year, lectures the second year medical students on brain tumors, and is actively involved in teaching medical students, neurology residents, neurosurgery residents, transitional year residents and pathology residents who rotate in Neuropathology. Until last year Dr Hamilton was Director of the ADRC Neuropathology Core for 10 years and greatly expanded and enhanced the Core during that time. 12 years ago Dr. Hamilton expanded the NP Brain Tumor Bank from collecting only pediatric cases, to include all Neurosurgical cases at Children's, Presbyterian, and Shadyside. This database now has more than 6000 cases and has greatly enhanced brain tumor research here.

Dr. Hamilton is also the Case Editor for Brain Pathology (the journal of the International Society of Neuropathology) section "Cases of the Month" and since 1996 has edited over 300 cases that are available in 2 formats: A web case with hyperlinks and a version for printing.

Research Interests

  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neurodegenerative diseases


Boarded in Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology

Awards and Honors

  • UPMC ACES Award winner 2003
  • AP Pathology "Teacher of the Year" 2004-2005
  • Case Editor, Brain Pathology 1996-present (the Journal of the International Society of Neuropathology)

Selected Publications

View Dr. Hamilton's publications on PubMed

  • *Hamilton RL. Lewy Bodies in Alzheimer's Disease: A Neuropathological Review of 145 Cases Using α-synuclein Immunohistochemistry. Brain Pathol 10: 378-384, 2000.
  • Pollack IF, Finkelstein SD, Woods J, Burnham J, Holmes EJ, Hamilton RL, Yates AJ, Boyett JM, Finlay J, Sposto R, and CCG. TP53 Mutations, Expression of p53 and Prognosis in Children with Malignant Gliomas. New England Journal of Medicine 346:420-427, 2002
  • Hamilton RL, Bowser B Alzheimer Disease Pathology in ALS Acta Neuropathologica107:515-522, 2004
  • Tsuang D, Wilson R, Lopez OL, Luedecking-Zimmer EK, Leverenz JB, DeKosky ST, Kamboh MI, Hamilton RL. Genetic Association Between APOE*4 Allele and Lewy Bodies in Alzheimer's Disease Neurology, 64:509-513, 2005
  • **Omalu BI, Minster RL, Kamboh MI, Hamilton RL, Wecht CH, DeKosky ST. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in a National Football League (NFL) Player. Neurosurgery, 57:128-134, 2005.
  • Leverenz JB, Hamilton R, Tsuang DW, Schantz A, Vavrek D, Larson EB, Kukall WA, Lopez O, Galasko D, Masliah E, Woltjer R, Clark C, Trojanowski JQ, Montine TJ. Empiric refinement of the pathologic assessment of Lewy-related pathology in the dementia patient. Brain Pathol 18:220-224, 2008
  • Nikiforova MN, Hamilton RL. Molecular diagnostics of gliomas. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2011 May;135:558-68. Review
  • Horbinski C, Hobbs, J, Cieply K, Dacic S, Hamilton RL. EGFR expression stratifies oligodendroglioma behavior. Am J Pathol. 2011 Oct; 179:1638-44
  • Horbinski C, Nikiforova MN, Hobbs J, Bortoluzzi S. Cieply K, Dacic S, Hamilton RL. The importance of 10q status in an outcomes-based comparison between 1p/19q fluorescence in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction-based microsatellite loss of heterozygosity analysis of oligodendrogliomas. J. Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2012 Jan;71:73-82

    *This study was the first to use alpha-synuclein IHC to examine a large cohort of sporadic AD cases and found that over 50% of cases had some Lewy bodies (twice what had been previously reported) and that the amygdala was the initial site of LB formation in AD (previously thought to be the brainstem). These finding later resulted in a change in the diagnostic catagories for Dementia with Lewy bodies at the 3rd International Conference on DLB.

    **This was the first report of the neuropathology of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in an American football player. Since then CTE has become recognized as a major risk factor in many sports.

Publications in 2011 and 2012

  • Okada H, Kalinski P, Ueda R, Hoji A, Kohanbash G, Donegan TE, Mintz AH, Engh JA, Bartlett DL, Brown CK, Zeh H, Holtman MP, Reinhart TA, Whiteside TL,Butterfield LH, Hamilton RL, Potter DM, Pollack IF, Salazar AM, Lieberman FS. Induction of CD8+ T-cell responses against novel glioma-associated antigen peptides and clinical activity by vaccinations with {alpha}-type 1 polarized dendritic cells and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid stabilized by lysine and carboxymethylcellulose In patients with recurrent malignant glioma. J Clin Oncol. 2011;29:330-6. PMID: 21149657
  • Kofler J, Bartynski WS, Reynolds TQ, Lieberman FS, Murdoch GH, Hamilton RL. Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) with immune system activation, VEGF up-regulation, and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. J. Comput Assist Tomogr. 2011; 35:39-42. PMID: 21150450
  • Bonfield CM, Amin D, Hamilton RL, Gerszten PC. Extramedullary ependymoma near the conus medullaris with lumbar nerve root attachment: case report. Neurosurgery. 2011 Mar;68:E831-4. PMID: 21311277
  • Fujita M, Kohanbash G, Fellows-Mayle W, Hamilton RL, Komohara Y, Decker SA, Ohlfest JR, Okada H.COX-2 blockade suppreses gliomagenesis by inhibiting myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Cancer Res. 2011 Apr 1;71:2664-74. Epub 2011 Feb 15. PMID: 21324923
  • Cohen KJ, Pollack IF, Zhou T, Buxton A, Holmes EF, Burger PC, Brat DJ, Rosenblum MK, Hamilton RL, Lavey RS, Heideman RL. Temozolomide in the treatment of high-grade gliomas in children: a report from the Children's Oncology Group. Neuro Oncol. 2011 Mar;13:317-23. PMID: 21339192
  • Omalu B, Bailes J, Hamilton RL, Kamboh MI, Hammers J, Case M, Fitzsimmons R. Emerging histomorphologic phenotypes of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in American athletes.Neurosurgery. 2011 Jul;69:173-83; discussion 183. PMID: 21358359
  • Tang JB, Svilar D, Trivedi RN, Wang XH, Goellner EM, Moore B, Hamilton RL, Banze LA, Brown AR, Sobol RW. N-methylpurine DNA glycosylase and DNA polymerase beta modulate BER inhibitor potentiation of glioma cell to temozolomide. Neursurgery Oncol. 2011;13:471-86. PMID: 21377995
  • Liu KW, Feng H, Bachoo R, Kazlauskas A, Smith EM, Symes K, Hamilton RL, Nagane M, Nishikawa R, Hu, B, Cheng Sy. SHP-2/PTPN 11 mediates gliomagenesis driven by PDGFRA and INK4A/ARF aberrations in mice and humans. J. Clin Invest. 2011 Mar;121:905-17. PMID: 21393858
  • Naj AC, Jun G, Beecham GW, Wang LS, Vardarajan BN, Buros J, Gallins PJ, Buxbaum JD, Jarvidk GP, Crane PK, Larson EB, Bird TB, Boeve BF, Graff-Radford NR, De Jager PL, Evans D, Schneider JA, Carrasquillo MM, Ertekin-Taner N, Younkin SG, Cruchaga C, Kauwe JS, Nowotny P, Kramer P, Hardy J, Huentelman MJ, Myers AJ, Barmada MM, Demirci FY, Baldwin CT, Green RC, Rogaeva E, St. George-Hyslop P, Arnold SE, Barber R, Beach T, Bigio EH, Bowen JD, Boxer A, Burke JR, Cairns NJ, Carlson CS, Carney RM, Carroll SL, Chui HC, Clark DG, Corneveaux J, Cotman CW, Cummings JL, Decarli C, DeKosy ST, Diaz-Arrastia R, Dick M, Dickson DW, Ellis WG, Faber KM, Fallon KB, Farlow MR, Ferris S. Frosch MP, Galasko Dr, Ganguli M, Gearing M, Geschwind DH, Ghetti B, Gilbert JR, Gilman S, Giordani B, Glass JD, Growdon JH, Hamilton RL,R, Koo EH, Kowall NW, Lah JJ, Levey Al, Lieberman AP, Lopez OL, Mack WJ, Marson DC, Martiniuk F, Mash DC, Masliah E, McCormick WC, McCurry SM, McDavid AN, McKee AC, Mesulam M, Miller BL, Miller JW, Parisi JE, Perl DP, Peskind E,Petersen, RC, Poon, WV, Quinn JF, Rajbhandary RA, Raskind M, Reisberg B, Ringman JM, Roberson ED, Rosenberg RN,Sano M, Schneider LS, Seeley W, Shelanksi ML, Slifer MA, Smith CD, Sonnen JA, Spina S. Stern RA, Tanzi RE, Trojanowski JQ, Troncoso JC, Van Deerlin VM, Vinters HV, Vonsattel JP, Weintraub S, Welsh-Bohmer KA, Williamson J, Woltjer RL,Cantwell LB, Dombroski BA, Beekly D, Lunetta KL, Martin ER, Kamboh MI, Saykin AJ, Reiman EM, Bennett DA, Morris JC, Montine TJ, Goate AM, lacker D, Tsuang DW, Hakonarson, H, Kukull WA, Foroud TM, Haines JL, Mayeux R, Pericak-Vance MA, Farrer LA, Schellenberg GD. Commons variants as MS4A4/MS4A6E, CD2AP, CD33 and EPHA1 are associated with late Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Nat Genet. 2011 May;43:436-41 Epub 2011 Apr 3. PMID: 21460841
  • Chen-Plotkin AS, Martinez-Lage M,Sleiman PM, Hu W, Greene R, Wood EM, Bing S, Grossman M, Schellenberg GD, Hatanpaa KJ, Weiner MF, White CL 3rd, Brooks WS, Halliday GM, Kril JJ, Gearing M, Beach TG, Graff-Radford NR, Dickson DW, Rademakers R, Boeve BF, Pickering-Brown SM, Snowden J, van Swieten JC, Heutink P, Seelaar H, Murrell JR, Ghetti B, Spina S, Grafman J, Kaye JA, Woltjer RL, Mesulam M, Bigio E, Llad'o A, Miller BL, Alzualde A, Moreno F,Rohrer JD, Mackenzie IR, Feldman HH, Hamilton RL, Cruts M, Engelborghs S, De Deyn PP, Van Broeckhoven C, Bird TD, Cairns NJ, Goate A, Frosch MP, Riederer PF, Bogdanovic N, Lee VM, Trojanowksi JQ, Van Deerlin VM. Genetic and clinical features of progranulin-associated frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Arch Neurol. 2011 Apr;68:488-97. PMID: 21482928
  • Nikiforova MN, Hamilton RL. Molecular diagnostics of gliomas. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2011 May;135:558-68. Review. PMID: 21526954
  • Monaco EA 3rd, Armah HB, Nikiforova MN, Hamilton RL, Engh JA. Grade II Oligodendroglioma localized to the corpus callosum. Brain Tumor Pathol. 2011 Oct;28:305-9. Epub 2011 Jul 22. PMID: 21833577
  • Horbinski C, Hobbs, J, Cieply K, Dacic S, Hamilton RL. EGFR expression stratifies oligodendroglioma behavior.Am J Pathol. 2011 Oct; 179:1638-44. Epub 2011 Aug 11.PMID: 21839716
  • Omalu B, Hammers JL, Bailes J, Hamilton RL. Kamboh MI, Webster G, Fitzsimmons RP. Chronic traumatic Encephalopathy in an Iraqi war veteran with posttraumatic stress disorder who committed suicide. Neurosurg Focus. 2011 Nov; :E3. PMID: 22044102
  • Liu Y, Komohara Y, Domenick N, Ohno M, Ikeura M, Hamilton RL, Horbinski C, Wang X, Ferrone S, Okada H. Expression of antigen processing molecules in brain metastasis of breast cancer. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2011 Nov 8. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22065046
  • Feng H, Hu B, Liu KW, Li Y, Lu X, Cheng T, Yiin JJ, Lu S, Keezer S, Fenton T, Furnari FB, Hamilton RL, Vuori K, Sarkaria JN, Nagane M, Nishikawa R, Cavenee WK, Cheng SY. Activation of Rac 1 by src-dependent phosphorylation of Dock180(Y1811) mediates PDGFRa-stimulated glioma tumorigenesis in mice and humans. J Clin Invest. 2011 Dec; 121:4670-84. doi: 10.1172/JCI58559. Epub 2011 Nov 14. PMID: 22080864
  • Horbinski C, Nikiforova MN, Hobbs J, Bortoluzzi S. Cieply K, Dacic S, Hamilton RL. The importance of 10q status in an outcomes-based comparison between 1p/19q fluorescence in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction-based microsatellite loss of heterozygosity analysis of oligodendrogliomas. J. Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2012 Jan;71:73-82. PMID: 22157622
  • Ikonomovic MD, Abrahamson EE, Price JC, Hamilton RL, Mathis CA, Paljug WR, Cohen AD, Mizukami K, DeKosky ST, Lopez OL, Klunk WE. Early AD pathology in a {C-11} PiB-negative case: a PiB-amyloid imaging, biochemical, and Immunohistochemical study. Acta Neuropathol. 2012 Mar;123:433-47. Epub 2012 Jan 24. PMID: 22271153
  • Feng H, Hu B, Jarzynka MJ, Li Y, Keezer S, Johns TG, Tang CK, Hamilton RL, Vuuori K, Nishikawa R, Sarkaria JN, Fenton T, Cheng T, Furnari FB, Cavenee WK, Cheng SY. Phosphorylation of dedicator of cytokinesis 1(Dock 180) at tyrosine residue Y722 by Src family kinases mediates EGRFvIII-driven glioblastoma tumorigenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Feb 21;109:3018-23. Epub 2012 Feb 7. PMID: 22323579
  • Wu J, Lou H, Alerte TN, Stachowski EK, Chen J, Singleton AB, Hamilton RL, Perez RG. Neuroscience. 2012 Jan 25. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22326202
  • Spina S, Van Laar AD, Murrell JR, Hamilton RL, Kofler JK, Epperson F, Farlow MR, Lopez OL, Quinlan J, Dekosky ST, Ghetti B. Phenotypic variability in three families with valosin-containing protein mutation. Eur J Neurol. 2012 Aug 20 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 22900631
  • Choi SH, Olabarrieta M, Lopez OL, Maruca V, Dekosky ST, Hamilton RL, Becker JT. Gray Matter Atrophy Associated with Extrapyramidal Signs in the Lewy Body Variant of Alzheimer's Disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012 Aug 9. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22886020
  • Armstrong RA, Hamilton RL, Mackenzie IR, Hedreen J, Cairns NJ. Laminar Distribution of the Pathological Changes in Sporadic Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration with TDP-43 Proteinopathy: A Quantitative Study Using Polynomial Curve Fitting. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2012 Jul 16. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22804696
  • Atkinson DM, Hamilton RL A 52-year-old male with visual changes. Brain Pathol. 2012 Jul;22(4):575-8. PMID: 22697384
  • Zou F, Chai HS, Younkin CS, Allen M, Crook J, Pankratz VS, Carrasquillo MM, Rowley CN, Nair AA, Middha S, Maharjan S, Nguyen T, Ma L, Malphrus KG, Palusak R, Lincoln S, Bisceglio G, Georgescu C, Kouri N, Kolbert CP, Jen J, Haines JL, Mayeux R, Pericak-Vance MA, Farrer LA, Schellenberg GD; Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium, Petersen RC, Graff-Radford NR, Dickson DW, Hamilton RL, Younkin SG, Ertekin-Taner N. Brain expression genome-wide association study (eGWAS) identifies human disease-associated variants. PLoS Genet. 2012;8(6):e1002707. Epub 2012 Jun 7 PMID: 22685416
  • Horbinski C, Nikiforova MN, Hagenkord JM, Hamilton RL, Pollack IF. Interplay among BRAF, p16, p53, and MIB1 in pediatric low-grade gliomas. Neuro Oncol. 2012 Jun;14(6):777-89 PMID: 22492957

  • Hobbs J, Nikiforova MN, Fardo DW, Bortoluzzi S, Cieply K, Hamilton RL, Horbinski C. Paradoxical relationship between the degree of EGFR amplification and outcome in glioblastomas. Am J Surg Pathol. 2012 Aug;36(8):1186-93. PMID: 22472960
  • Murray PS, Kirkwood CM, Gray MC, Ikonomovic MD, Paljug WR, Abrahamson EE, Henteleff RA, Hamilton RL, Kofler JK, Klunk WE, Lopez OL, Penzes P, Sweet RA. β-Amyloid 42/40 ratio and kalirin expression in Alzheimer disease with psychosis. Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22429885