Michael Morgan Dowling, MD $$

Pediatric Neurologist

Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center

Languages Spoken:


UT Southwestern Pediatric Group

Request an Appointment

Refer a Patient


While stroke – an interruption of blood flow to the brain due to a narrowed artery or blood clot– seems an unlikely condition in children, it does happen. In fact, pediatric stoke occurs as often as leukemia and brain tumors in children but, despite its health consequences, it often is not recognized by parents or physicians.

Not only do children recover much better from strokes than adults do, but they provide us with a great deal of knowledge about stroke care that can help the adult population.
Dr. Dowling

To better understand why children have strokes and how to more effectively treat them, Dr. Michael Dowling co-founded the Pediatric Stroke Program at Children’s Health. As the Medical Director of the Pediatric Stroke Clinic, he leads a multidisciplinary team that not only effectively diagnoses and treats pediatric stroke, but are impressed with the ability of children to recover faster and more fully from brain injury. 

“Not only do children recover much better from strokes than adults do, but they provide us with a great deal of knowledge about stroke care that can help the adult population,” says Dr. Dowling.

While Dr. Dowling originally planned on neurology as his medical career, it wasn’t until he completed a pediatric rotation that he decided to focus on treating children. “Strokes in children are different and unique, which really intrigued me,” he says. “But the reason I decided on pediatric care was because children are just so much more fun.”

Despite the seriousness of stroke in children, Dr. Dowling is inspired by his patients and their families who come to the clinic from across the country. “Parents bring their child in having an acute problem and we have the ability help and fix that. It’s very rewarding,” he says. “But what inspires me most is the love and energy that these parents bring to the care and attention of their child.”

Patient Jesus is making Dr. Dowling laugh at his appointment at Children's Health.

Dr. Dowling is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He earned his medical and graduate degrees from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He served as a pediatric intern and resident at Children’s Medical Center. He completed a pediatric neurology fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Health.

He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the Child Neurology Society fellow of the American Stroke Association and is a member of the International Pediatric Stroke Study. He is a professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at UT Southwestern with research interest in strokes in children and the neurologic complications of sickle cell disease.

Outside of his practice, Dr. Dowling enjoys time with his family, traveling, star gazing and studying Roman archaeology. 

Education and Training

Medical School
Columbia University (1995)
Children's Medical Center Dallas (1996), Pediatrics
UT Southwestern Medical Center (HR) (2000), Pediatric Neurology
Children's Medical Center Dallas (1997), Pediatrics
Board Certification
American Board of Psy&Neurology/Child Neurology
  • Research Interests

    • 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
  • Publications

    • Arteriopathy Influences Pediatric Ischemic Stroke Presentation, but Sickle Cell Disease Influences Stroke Management. Guilliams KP, Kirkham FJ, Holzhauer S, Pavlakis S, Philbrook B, Amlie-Lefond C, Noetzel MJ, Dlamini N, Sharma M, Carpenter JL, Fox CK, Torres M, Ichord RN, Jordan LC, Dowling MM, Stroke 2019 May 50 5 1089-1094
    • Characteristics and Outcome in Children With Craniectomy Following Acute Ischemic Stroke in the International Pediatric Stroke Study. Lehman LL, DeVeber G, Pergami P, Guilliams KP, Chung M, Felling R, Dowling MM, Rivkin MJ, Journal of child neurology 2019 Jul 883073819855534
    • Arterial Ischemic Stroke Secondary to Cardiac Disease in Neonates and Children. Chung MG, Guilliams KP, Wilson JL, Beslow LA, Dowling MM, Friedman NR, Hassanein SMA, Ichord R, Jordan LC, Mackay MT, Rafay MF, Rivkin M, Torres M, Zafeiriou D, deVeber G, Fox CK, Pediatric neurology 2019 Jun
    • Advances in Understanding Ischemic Stroke Physiology and the Impact of Vasculopathy in Children With Sickle Cell Disease. Guilliams KP, Fields ME, Dowling MM Stroke 2019 Feb 50 2 266-273
  • Professional Activities

    • American Academy of Neurology
    • American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
    • Child Neurology Society
    • International Pediatric Stroke Study
    • International Pediatric Stroke Organization
  • Awards and Honors

    • Best Pediatric Specialists in Dallas, (2007, 2010-2014, 2016-2019, 2021, 2022) D Magazine
    • Best Doctors in Dallas, (2015, 2016, 2020, 2022) D Magazine
    • Golden Boots Resident Teaching Award 2018-2019, UT Southwestern Pediatric Neurology
    • Best Pediatricians in Dallas, (2002, 2017, 2018) D Magazine
    • Texas Super Doctors 2017, Texas Monthly
    • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Award 2015, UT Southwestern Gamma Chapter
    • Trephined Cranium Award for Outstanding Teaching 2014, UT Southwestern Neurology Residents
    • 8th Annual Excellence in Teaching Award 2012, UT Southwestern
    • Core Clerkship Teaching Award 2009, UT Southwestern Medical Students
    • Innovations in Clinical Research Award 2009, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
    • Clinical Scholar Award 2006, UT Southwestern
    • Sickle Cell Scholar Award 2004, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Where I Provide Care: