Maria I. Davila, PhD, is an expert in the development and implementation of data strategies to maximize the potential for data to be FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable). As a research data scientist at RTI, she provides leadership in data strategy for multiple efforts, including the HEAL Data Stewardship Group for the National Institutes of Health Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL). In this role, she helps to guide data management and governance to support to the HEAL Distributed Data Ecosystem, which includes disparate data from more than 700 studies spanning pain management and opioid use disorder. The data steward team supports data-driven research collaborations among the broad community of researchers, healthcare providers, community leaders, policymakers, and others who can benefit from learning the results of initiative research. Dr. Davila’s focus is to make HEAL data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable by developing guidance, tools, and resources for investigators generating HEAL data.
Dr. Davila also is principal investigator for the Stress Managing Intervention Leveraging Electronic health records (SMILE) study, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. SMILE is a digital health platform (DHP) that leverages electronic health records from a large academic medical institution to socialize the study and recruit persons self-identified as Black or Latino across North Carolina. The SMILE DHP virtually delivers a mindfulness stress management intervention and collects psychometrics of mental health and physiological metrics of autonomic regulation using a wearable sensor. Both metrics serve to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention treatment. Dr. Davila’s motivation is to improve access for racial and ethnic minorities to mental health treatments through a DHP.
Previously, Dr. Davila was a research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she developed novel hardware and software to quantify physiological and behavioral processes. In addition, she was a visiting research scholar at Northeastern University and a research assistant at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a graduate certification in operations management at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA). In addition, she is a Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer recognized by National Instruments.