Nicole F. Dowling, PhD
Nicole Dowling, PhD, is an epidemiologist and leader in public health science with more than 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in programs across CDC. As the Associate Director for Science in CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Dr. Dowling provides leadership and oversight to ensure that all of the division’s scientific work, publications, and communications meet the highest standards of quality and integrity and comply with all human subjects and other ethical standards. She led the development of a strategic science agenda for the division, represents the division on the Cancer Topic Area Workgroup for Healthy People 2030, and serves as a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Before joining the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in 2018, Dr. Dowling served as the chief of the Developmental Disabilities Branch in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, where she provided scientific leadership and oversight for CDC’s surveillance and research programs for autism and other developmental disabilities. As the Associate Director for Science in the Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders from 2012 to 2015, Dr. Dowling worked with experts within and outside the division to determine the optimal blood folate level for preventing neural tube defects. These efforts supported the development of a World Health Organization guideline for evidence-informed recommendations on blood folate concentrations in women of reproductive age to prevent neural tube defects in populations. The publication detailing the workexternal icon was awarded a 2015 Charles C. Shepard Science Award. Additional contributions during Dr. Dowling’s career at CDC include direction of population research with the Office of Public Health Genomics and research to understand the etiology and outcomes of clotting and bleeding disorders with the Division of Blood Disorders. In 2017, she served as the chair for the Charles C. Shepard Science Award committee.
Dr. Dowling completed her undergraduate education at Harvard University and received her PhD in epidemiology from Emory University.
Recent articles Dr. Dowling has co-authored include—
- 2021 Trends in US emergency department visits for mental health, overdose, and violence-related outcomes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.external icon
- 2020 Prostate cancer incidence and survival, by stage and race/ethnicity—United States, 2001–2017.
- 2020 Finding “bright spots”: Using multiple measures to examine local-area racial equity in cancer mortality outcomes.external icon
- 2020 Pediatric cancer mortality and survival in the United States, 2001–2016.external icon
- 2020 Estimated county-level prevalence of selected underlying medical conditions associated with increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness—United States, 2018.
- 2020 Race/ethnicity, underlying medical conditions, homelessness, and hospitalization status of adult patients with COVID-19 at an urban safety-net medical center—Boston, Massachusetts, 2020.
- 2020 Potential indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on use of emergency departments for acute life-threatening conditions—United States, January–May 2020.
- 2020 Mapping the relationship between dysmorphology and cognitive, behavioral, and developmental outcomes in children with autism spectrum disorder.external icon
- 2020 Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in homeless shelters—Four U.S. cities, March 27–April 15, 2020.
- 2020 Ocular melanoma incidence rates and trends in the United States, 2001–2016.external icon
- 2020 Severe outcomes among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)—United States, February 12–March 16, 2020.
- 2020 Vital Signs: Colorectal cancer screening test use—United States, 2018.
- 2020 Bridging the gap in potentially excess deaths between rural and urban counties in the United States.external icon
- 2019 Disparities in documented diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder based on demographic, individual, and service factors.external icon
- 2019 Potentially excess deaths from the five leading causes of death by urbanization level—United States, 2010–2017.
- 2019 Prevalence of cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, hearing loss, and blindness, National Health Interview Survey, 2009–2016.external icon
- 2018 Uterine cancer incidence and mortality—United States, 1999–2016.
- 2018 Brief report: Maternal opioid prescription from preconception through pregnancy and the odds of autism spectrum disorder and autism features in children.external icon
- 2018 Assessment of demographic and perinatal predictors of non-response and impact of non-reponse on measures of association in a population-based case control study: Findings from the Georgia Study to Explore Early Development.external icon
- 2018 Readiness for an increase in congenital Zika virus infections in the United States: Geographic distance to pediatric subspecialist care.external icon
- 2018 Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 sites, United States, 2014.external icon
- 2018 Associations between the 2nd to 4th digit ratio and autism spectrum disorder in population-based samples of boys and girls: Findings from the Study to Explore Early Development.external icon