Michael Dowling, M.D., Ph.D. is a Pediatric Neurologist who specializes in pediatric stroke and neurovascular disorders as well as the neurologic complications of sickle cell disease. He came to UT Southwestern to complete his Pediatric and Pediatric Neurology fellowship training after completing his A.B. at Harvard College (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, cum laude), and completing his M.D. and Ph.D. (Biochemistry) at Columbia University where he had the remarkable experience of completing graduate courses with two subsequent Nobel Laureates, Martin Chalfie and Eric Kandel and completing his doctoral dissertation with subsequent Nobel Laureates Richard Axel and Linda Buck, cloning and characterizing olfactory receptors. He gained additional training in clinical research as NIH/NHLBI-funded Sickle Cell Scholar and then as a member of the UTSW Clinical Scholars (K12/KL2) program, obtaining a Master’s of Science in Clinical Sciences, with distinction, from UTSW in 2009. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology and Neurotherapeutics in 2012.

Dr. Dowling has created one of the largest and most productive clinical and research programs for pediatric stroke in the country. He established a Pediatric Stroke clinic in 2003, the Pediatric Acute Stroke team in 2004, and co-authored clinical guidelines for the evaluation and management of children with stroke in for Children’s Medical Center and subsequent revisions and established an ACGME-accredited post graduate fellowship program in Pediatric stroke. Dr. Dowling is also a founding member of the Center for Cerebrovascular Disorders in Children (CCDC) at Children’s Health (in 2016) a collaborative group of neurologists, neurosurgeons, hematologists and neuroradiologists formed to improve the clinical care to children with stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders and includes a monthly clinical pediatric neurovascular conference for case review and education. His research focuses on stroke in children and the neurologic complications of sickle cell disease. He is an active member and lead enroller in the International Pediatric Stroke Study, with over 450 patients of the >5000 total enrolled at 65 centers around the world.  Dr. Dowling was first author of one of the primary analyses of the dataset, cardiac causes of stroke. He currently serves on the IPSS Publication Committee and participates in many other multicenter studies.

He also has a long-standing interest in ethical issues in neurology. He is a member of the Children’s Ethics Committee (since 2006) and served on the Ethics Committee of the Child Neurology Society from 2012-2016 and served as Topic Chair for the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting Sessions on Ethics in 2008-2011. In an ongoing educational innovation with students and residents, since 2007, he has actively engaged over 600 medical students on service in the clinic. This included a reading assignment of the play, Joe Egg, by Peter Nichols, which explores the difficulties encountered by parents caring for a child with a severe brain injury and intractable epilepsy. He has developed and presented Ethics CME lectures at multiple venues on separate topics of ethical concerns in pediatric gene therapy, brain death, and the care of neurologically devastated children.


Other Post Graduate Training
Columbia University in the City of New York (1989)
Graduate School
Columbia University in the City of New York (1989)
Other Post Graduate Training
Columbia University in the City of New York (1993)
Graduate School
Columbia University in the City of New York (1993)
Medical School
Columbia University (1995)
Children's Health Dallas (1996), Pediatrics
Children's Health Dallas (1997), Pediatrics
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2000), Pediatric Neurology
Other Post Graduate Training
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2009)
Graduate School
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2009)

Research Interest

  • Alternative etiologies for stroke in sickle cell disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Neurologic complications of sickle cell disease
  • Neurologic injury in children with acute anemia
  • Pediatric stroke
  • Sturge-Weber syndrome


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Use of alteplase in childhood arterial ischaemic stroke: a multicentre, observational, cohort study.
Amlie-Lefond C, deVeber G, Chan AK, Benedict S, Bernard T, Carpenter J, Dowling MM, Fullerton H, Hovinga C, Kirton A, Lo W, Zamel K, Ichord R Lancet Neurol 2009 Jun 8 6 530-6
Haemoglobin oxygen saturation is a determinant of cerebral artery blood flow velocity in children with sickle cell anaemia.
Quinn CT, Variste J, Dowling MM Br. J. Haematol. 2009 May 145 4 500-5
Juvenile Huntington disease exacerbated by methylphenidate: case report.
Waugh JL, Miller VS, Chudnow RS, Dowling MM J. Child Neurol. 2008 Jul 23 7 807-9
Transcranial Doppler ultrasound in children with Sturge-Weber syndrome.
Jordan LC, Wityk RJ, Dowling MM, DeJong MR, Comi AM J. Child Neurol. 2008 Feb 23 2 137-43
The cerebral vasculopathy of PHACES syndrome.
Heyer GL, Dowling MM, Licht DJ, Tay SK, Morel K, Garzon MC, Meyers P Stroke 2008 Feb 39 2 308-16
Choroid plexus infarction in a child.
Koral K, Dowling MM, Rollins NK Pediatr. Neurol. 2007 Dec 37 6 452-3
Petrous apicitis in a child: computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging findings.
Koral K, Dowling M Clin Imaging 2006 Mar-Apr 30 2 137-9
Sturge-Weber syndrome associated with other abnormalities: a medical record and literature review.
Comi AM, Mehta P, Hatfield LA, Dowling MM Arch. Neurol. 2005 Dec 62 12 1924-7
Progressive cavitating leukoencephalopathy: a novel childhood disease.
Naidu S, Bibat G, Lin D, Burger P, Barker P, Rosemberg S, Braverman N, Arroyo H, Dowling M, Hamosh A, Kimonis V, Blank C, Fiumara A, Facchini S, Singhal B, Moser H, Kelley R, DiMauro S Ann. Neurol. 2005 Dec 58 6 929-38
Sickle cell trait is not a risk factor for stroke.
Dowling MM Arch. Neurol. 2005 Nov 62 11 1780-1


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Pediatric Neurology Resident Teaching Award "Golden Boots"
  • Texas Super Doctors
    Texas Monthly Magazine (2017)
  • Best Pediatric Specialists/Doctors in Dallas
    D Magazine (2010-2013) (2015-2018)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Award
  • Trephined Cranium Award for Outstanding Teaching
    UT Southwestern Medical Center (2014)
  • 8th Annual Excellence in Teaching Award
    UT Southwestern Medical Center (2012)
  • Core Clerkship Teaching Award
    UT Southwestern Medical Center (2009)
  • Innovations in Clinical Research Award
    Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (2009)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (2007)
  • Child Neurology Society (2002)
  • American Academy of Neurology (2001)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Neurology