N. Maritza Dowling
N. Maritza Dowling
Associate Professor (Tenured)
Department: Community of Acute and Chronic Care
N. Maritza Dowling, Ph.D., is an associate professor and biostatistician at The George Washington University School of Nursing. She received a doctorate in quantitative methods with majors in statistics and psychometrics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Dowling’s research focuses on measurement issues in the longitudinal assessment of cognitive decline in older adults and the application of novel statistical approaches to model the complex interplay between risk and protective factors in Alzheimer’s disease-related brain changes and biomarkers for disease prognosis. Her research also aims to optimize cognitive outcome measures for early diagnosis and patient selection in clinical studies of Alzheimer’s disease-modifying therapies.
Prior to joining GW, she served for a decade as an associate scientist in the Department of Biostatistics & Medical Informatics and co-director of the Biostatistics and Data Management Unit at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) where 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 that differentiate normal from pathological aging in individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s and related dementias due to heredity.
For the next five years, she will serve as a co-investigator and lead statistician on a multi-site $10.8 million NIH-NIA funded study, “Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in women: risks and benefits of hormone therapy.” The project will examine the differences in amyloid deposition, cerebrovascular lesions, cognitive function, mood and brain structure in women who were treated with different formulations of hormone therapy compared to placebo during early postmenopause. Presently, she is also a co-Investigator and lead statistician of another multisite 5-year $2.3 million study funded by NIH-NIA to implement appropriate and inclusive recruitment strategies aimed at engaging, recruiting, and retaining Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) and SGM caregivers in research. A key goal is to establish a sustainable national research registry of SGM people with ADRD and SGM caregivers by developing, implementing, and evaluating tailored recruitment and engagement programs for use by NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers in the nation and clinical research institutions.
Her current research also seeks to examine how digital technologies can be used to attenuate the risk of functional and cognitive decline in elderly homebound individuals with limited social interactions.