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Maria I. Davila RTI Expert Headshot

Maria I. Davila

Biomedical Researcher


PhD, Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
BS, Mechanical Engineering, Universidad Simón Bolívar


Maria I. Davila, PhD, is an expert in the development and implementation of data strategies to maximize the potential for data to be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). Dr. Davila provides data strategy leadership for multiple projects, including the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Helping to End Addiction Long-term® (HEAL) Initiative Data Stewardship Group. 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 1,000 studies spanning pain management and opioid use disorder. Dr. Davila aims to make HEAL data FAIR by developing guidance, tools, and resources for investigators who generate HEAL data.

She also serves as principal investigator for the Stress Managing Intervention Leveraging Electronic health records (SMILE) study, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). 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. It then virtually delivers a mindfulness stress management intervention and collects psychometrics of mental health and physiological metrics of autonomic regulation using a wearable sensor. The study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention treatment and improve access to mental health treatment for racial and ethnic minorities through a DHP.

Prior to joining RTI, 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 served as a visiting research scholar at Northeastern University and a research assistant at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Davila also has a graduate certification in operations management from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración and is a Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer, as recognized by National Instruments.

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