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Past Predoctoral Member: Shima Dowla

NIH Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
Department of Health Behavior
Full CV

Shima received an A.B. in Neuroscience from Dartmouth College in 2011. Upon graduation, she received an NIH-funded Fogarty Fellowship to investigate the nutritional deficits in a cohort of TB/HIV co-infected women in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Shima began the MD/PhD program in Health Education & Promotion in the fall of 2012. Her research interests include nutritional approaches to pediatric non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and childhood obesity treatment, particularly in underserved low-income populations. Her dissertation uses a randomized controlled trial study design to test the effect of a reduced carbohydrate diet on changes in hepatic fat, body composition, eating behaviors and health-related quality of life in obese adolescents with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Shima is also involved in several cross-sectional studies evaluating the role of dyslipidemia in pediatric metabolic disease.


  1. Dowla S, Pendergrass M, Bolding M, Gower B, Fontaine K, Ashraf A, Soleymani T, Morrison S, Goss A. Effectiveness of a carbohydrate restricted diet to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adolescents with obesity: Trial design and methodology. Contemp Clin Trials. 2018 May;68:95-101. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2018.03.014. Epub 2018 Mar 27. PubMed PMID: 29601997.
  2. Dowla S, Aslibekyan S, Goss A, Fontaine K, Ashraf AP. Dyslipidemia is associated with pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. J Clin Lipidol. 2018 Apr 3. pii: S1933-2874(18)30194-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2018.03.089. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29699915.
  3. Makeeva V, Gullett J, Dowla S, Olson K, Resuehr D. Evaluation of Homemade Ballistic Gelatin Phantoms as a Low-Cost Alternative to Commercial-Grade Phantoms in Medical Education. Med. Sci. Ed. 2016 May; 26. Epub 2016 May 19.
  4. Bakari M, Wamsele J, MacKenzie T, Maro I, Kimario J, Ali S, Dowla S, Hendricks K, Lukmanji K, Neke NM, Waddell R, Matee M, Pallangyo K, von Reyn CF. Nutritional status of HIV-infected women with tuberculosis in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Public Health Action. 2013 3(3):224-29. [PMC4463132]

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
The trainee's projects are supported by Grant Numbers TL1TR001418 and T32GM008361 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, or the National Institutes of Health.

Years: 2014 - July 31, 2017
Primary Mentor: Dr. Kevin Fontaine (primary mentor); Dr. Barbara Gower (co-mentor)
Current Location: UAB MD/PHD Medical Scientist Training Program