Dr. N. Maritza Dowling

Dr. Maritza Dowling
Assistant Professor
Foggy Bottom Campus
1919 Pennsylvania Ave.
Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20006

Dr. Maritza Dowling received her PhD in quantitative methods with majors in statistics and psychometrics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an associate scientist and co-director of the Biostatistics and Data Management Unit at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, she conducted independent and collaborative methodological research designed to better understand the mechanisms underlying increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and the neural substrates of cognitive processes and heterogeneity of changes that differentiate normal from pathological aging in asymptomatic individuals. 

Current Research

Dr. Dowling is particularly interested in measurement issues in the longitudinal assessment of health constructs, patient reported outcomes and cognitive function in older adults and the application of novel statistical approaches to model the complex relationships between biomarkers of Alzheimer's. Her research also aims to optimize cognitive outcomes measures for early diagnosis and patient selection in clinical studies of disease modifying therapies.


University of Wisconsin-Madison, PhD: Quantitative Methods — 2006


Bolt, D.M., Dowling, N. M., Shih, Y-S., Loh, W-Y. Using Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition to Explore Differential Item Functioning: Application to PISA 2009 Reading, (2017, In Press, Book Chapter). Test Fairness in the New Generation of Large-Scale Assessment.

Dowling, N. M., Bolt, D. M., Deng, S., Li, C. (2016) Measurement and Control of Bias in Patient-Reported Outcomes Using Multidimensional Item Response Theory Models. BMC Medical Research Methodology. doi: 10.1186/s12874-016-0161-z.

Dowling, N. M., Bolt, D. M., Deng, S. (2016). An Approach for Item Sensitivity to Within-Person Change Over Time: An Illustration Using the ADAS-Cog. Psychological Assessment. doi.org/10.1037/pas0000285.

Kantarci, K., Tosakulwong, N., Lesnick, T., Zuk, S., Gunter, J., Gleason, C., Dowling, N. M., Vemuri, P., Senjem, M., Shuster, L.T., Bailey, K.R., Rocca, W., Jack, C., Asthana, S., & Miller, V. M. (2016). Effects of Hormone Therapy on Brain Structure in Post-Menopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Neurology, 38, 887-896. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002970.

Miller, V. M., Raz, L., Hunter, L., Dowling, N. M., Wharton, W., Gleason, C.; Jayachandran, M.; Anderson, L. (2016). Differential Effects of Hormone Therapy on Platelet Serotonin and Mood in Women of the KEEPS. Climacteric, 9, 49-59.

Gleason, C, Dowling, N. M., Flowers, S., Kaseroff, A., Gunn, W., Edwards, D. (2015). Common Sense Model Factors affecting African American's disclosure of symptoms of mild cognitive impairment to providers. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2015.08.005.

Dowling, N. M., Johnson, S.C., Gleason, C.E., Jagust, W. (2015) .The Mediational Effects of FDG Hypometabolism on the Association between Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers and Neurocognitive Function. NeuroImage, 105, 357-368. 

Li, C., Dowling, N. M., & Chappell, R. (2015). Quantile regression with a change-point model for longitudinal data: An application to the study of cognitive changes in preclinical Alzheimer's disease. Biometrics. doi: 10.1111/biom.12313.

Gleason, C.E, Dowling, N. M., Wharton, W., Manson, J.E., Miller, V.M., Atwood, C.S., Brinton, E.A., Cedars, M., Lobo, R.A., Merriam, G.R., Neal-Perry, G., Santoro, N.F., Taylor, H.S., Black, D.M., Budoff, M.J., Hodis, H.N., Naftolin, F., Harman, S.M. (2015). Effects of Hormone Therapy on Cognition and Mood in Recently Postmenopausal Women: Findings from the Randomized, Controlled KEEPS-Cognitive and Affective Study.  PLoS Medicine 2(6): e1001833. 

Gleason, C, Fischer, B.L., Dowling, N. M., Setchell, K.R., Carlsson, C.M., Asthana, S. (2015). Cognitive effects of soy isoflavones in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 47, 1009-1019.

Almeida, R.P., Schultz, S., Austin, B., Boots, E., Dowling, N. M., Gleason, C.E., Bendlin, B.B., Sager, M.A., Hermann, B.P., Zetterberg, H., Carlsson, C.M., Johnson, S.C., Asthana, S., & Okonwo, O.C. (2015). Effect of cognitive reserve as a modifier of age-related changes in CSF biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. JAMA Neurology, 72, 699-706.

Doherty, B., Schultz, S., Oh, J., Koscik, R., Dowling, N. M., Barnhart, T.E.,  Gallagher, C.L., Carlsson, C.M., Bendlin, B.B., LaRue, A., Hermann, B.P., Rowley, H.A., Asthana, S., Sager, M.A., Okonwo, O.  (2015). Amyloid burden, cortical thickness, and cognitive function in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Disease Monitoring, 1, 160-169. 

Dowling, N. M., Gleason,C.E, Manson, J.E., Hodis, H.N., Miller, V.,  Brinton, E.A., Neal-Perry, G., Santorro, N., Wharton,W., Cedars, M., Lobo, R, Merriam, G., Naftolin, F., Taylor, H., Harman, S.M., Asthana, S. (2014). Characterization of Vascular Disease Risk in Postmenopausal Women and its Association with Cognitive Performance. PLoS One, 8(7), e68741. 

Okonkwo, O., Xu, G., Oh, J., Dowling, N. M., Carlsson, C.M., Gallagher, C.L., Birdsill, A.C., Palotti, M., Wharton, W., Hermann, B.P., Larue, A., Bendlin, B.B., Rowley, H.A., Asthana, S., Sager M.A., Johnson, S. C. (2014). Cerebral Blood Flow is Diminished in Asymptomatic Middle-Aged Adults with Maternal History of Alzheimer's Disease. Cerebral Cortex, 24, 978-988.

Wharton, W., Gleason,C.E, Dowling, N. M., Carlsson, C, Brinton, E.A., Santoro, M.N., Neal-Perry, G., Taylor, H., Naftolin, F., Lobo, RA, Merriam, G, Manson, J.E., Cedars, M.I., Miller, V.M., Black, D. M., Budoff, M., Hodis, H. N., Harman, S. M. (2014). The KEEPS-Cognitive and Affective Study: Baseline Associations between Vascular Risk Factors and Cognition. Journal of the Alzheimer’s Disease, 40, 331-341.

Dowling, N. M., Olson, N., Mish, T., Kaprakattu, P., & Gleason, C. (2012). A Model for the Design and Implementation of a Participant Recruitment Registry for Clinical Studies of Older Adults. Clinical Trials: Journal of the Society for Clinical Trials, 9, 204-214.

Stricker, N., Dodge, H., Dowling, N.M., Han, D., Erosheva, E., Jagust, W. (2012). CSF biomarker associations with change in hippocampal volume and precuneus thickness: implications for the Alzheimer’s pathological cascade Brain, Imaging, and Behavior Journal, 6, 599-609. 

Hinrichs, C., Dowling, N.M., Johnson, S.C., & Singh, V. (2012). MKL-based sample enrichment and customized outcomes enable smaller AD clinical trials. Machine Learning and Interpretation in Neuroimaging (MLINI) 2011, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI) 7263, pp. 124-131.

Gleason, C.E., Dowling, N.M., Friedman, E., Wharton, W., & Asthana, S. (2012). Using predictors of hormone therapy use to model the healthy user bias: How does healthy user status influence cognitive effects of hormone therapy? Menopause, 9, 524-533.

Book chapters


Bolt, D.M., Dowling, N. M., Shih, Y-S., Loh, W-Y. Using Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition to Explore Differential Item Functioning: Application to PISA 2009 Reading, (2017, In Press, Book Chapter). Test Fairness in the New Generation of Large-Scale Assessment.