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Kevin Dowling, MS2

News Description

Research interest / current research work 
Very briefly, I am interested in the basis for cognitive dysfunction in neuropsychiatric diseases, particularly in psychosis spectrum disorders like schizophrenia.

Field of clinical interest 

Undergrad institution
Macalester College

Type of News

What are your hobbies?
It may make me sound more at home in the 13th century than the modern era, but I really enjoy needlepoint and embroidery. I was gifted a needlepoint of a pyramidal neuron while working at MGH before starting in the MSTP, which got me started with needlepoint and I’ve never looked back since.
I play the Great Highland Bagpipes and Scottish Smallpipes (the highland bagpipe’s quieter, indoor-friendly, and ear-protection-optional cousin). I used to actively compete in the pipe band circuit and I travelled to Scotland to play in the world championships back in 2010, which was quite a bit of fun. Accordingly, when I can get away with it, I can often be found at formal events wearing my kilt.
Amateur birding, or at least “birding” in the sense that since the pandemic began I’ve taken to wandering around Pittsburgh’s great parks looking for interesting birds. It’s been quite a bit of fun and 10/10 would recommend birding as an ideal pandemic activity. If that’s not your cup of tea, though, I recommend taking a socially-distanced trip to the National Aviary (conveniently located in Pittsburgh) to see Tawny Frogmouths — those birds are absolutely wild. 
I’m a pretty avid cycler, both road and mountain bike, and after the pandemic is over I’m hoping to start rowing again.

Fun fact
I am an aspirational urban farmer, and ideally hope to raise chickens at some point during my time in the MSTP.

Craziest experience you’ve ever had?
While I was briefly living in Denmark as an undergraduate a few friends and I decided to take a trip to Doolin, a town in Ireland which is known for traditional music and located right next to the Cliffs of Moher. While there we decided to do a walk along the Cliffs of Moher run by a local farmer. However, 45 minutes into our excursion the farmer and I discovered we were cousins. Following this surprise revelation the farmer advised to go to a hotel in the next town over and ask for a very specific person who would be able to give me directions to the home of another relative who lived nearby. Little did we realize that this relatively simple request would spark a series referrals that would evolve into a 5 hour trek from pub to pub and farm to farm inquiring after a rapidly growing list of people who I was told would be able to direct me to the home of one of my other relatives in the next town over. The trek culminated in our small group knocking on the door of a home just outside Lisdoonvarna in Knockaguilla (for those following along with the overly-detailed Irish geography), and my informing the somewhat bewildered homeowner that we were related. Fortunately they were kind enough to welcome us in, it might not be the craziest experience but it definitely made for one of my more memorable outings.

Are you married?
Not yet, but I will be come 10/8/2022!

Different career in another life?
In another life I would probably have been a military historian. My apartment library/book collection (as the son of a librarian I lead a book-heavy existence) is probably 70% military history and 30% everything else, spanning from the first peloponnesian war to nearly the present day. In college our local chain coffee company would give customers 25 cents off for answering their daily trivia questions, and I managed to earn a bit of an unusual reputation for always getting the really obscure, pseudo-unanswerable questions about WWII right. I guess that might make me helpful for very specific pub trivia nights once the pandemic is over?