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Photo of Maki, Pauline M.

Pauline M. Maki, PhD

Senior Director of Research

Program Director, Principal Investigator, BIRCWH, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and OB/GYN

Center for Research on Women and Gender


Dr. Pauline M. Maki, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  In this role, she also serves as Director of Women’s Mental Health Research, Senior Director of Research of the Center for Research on Women and Gender, and Program Director of the K12 BIRCWH program (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health). Dr. Maki received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 1994, and completed postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1994-1996), and at the National Institute of Aging, through the NIA National Research Council Fellowship (1996-1999).  Following this training, Dr. Maki was a tenure-track investigator in the NIA Laboratory of Personality and Cognition, until she joined the UIC faculty in 2002.  She has a longstanding interest in the effects of sex hormones and phytoestrogens on cognition, brain function, and psychological well-being in young, midlife and elderly women. For the past 20 years, she has led a program of NIH-funded research on the role of sex steroid hormones on cognition, mood, brain function, and stress responsibility.

For the past 23 years, Dr. Pauline Maki has led a program of NIH-funded research on women, cognition, mood and dementia, with a particular focus on the menopause. She has 175+ research publications in women’s health and leads a program of research on neuroAIDS in women. She is credited with conducting the earliest studies to identify the brain targets of hormone therapy in women and implementing the largest longitudinal study of the natural and treated history of HIV on cognition in women living with HIV. She has contributed to multiple expert panels and positions statements. Recently, she co-led a task force with Susan Kornstein, MD that resulted in the first published guidelines for identifying and treating perimenopausal depression, along with a systematic review of the literature supporting those guidelines (Maki, Kornstein et al., 2018). She has contributed to position statements and practice guidelines on staging menopause (Harlow et al., 2012; cited 900+ times), use of hormone therapy for VMS (North American Menopause Society, 2012; cited 647+ times), non-hormonal therapies for VMS (Carpenter, 2015), and others. Dr. Maki is Past President of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), Current Trustee of the International Menopause Society, Chair of the Society for Women’s Health Research Interdisciplinary Network on Alzheimer’s Disease, and Past Head of the Neurocognitive Working Group of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. She is on the editorial board for Menopause and Women’s Midlife Health. She won the 2018 Woman in Science Award from the American Medical Women’s Association and the Thomas B. Clarkson Outstanding Clinical and Basic Science Research Award from the NAMS. Now she serves as Co-PI on an RF1, Multi-PI on an R03, Co-I on 2 other R01s, PI on two NIH-funded pilot studies, and Multi-PI on a contract from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Throughout her career, Dr. Maki has made mentorship a priority at the assistant professor, graduate students, and undergraduate levels. From 2010-17 she served as Program Director of the BIRCWH and thereafter as Program Director of the Bridge Program. At UIC, she has mentored 17 junior faculty through: K awards (4), the BIRCWH (as Leadership Team Mentor to 5 Scholars), the BIRCWH Associates Program (as Leadership Team Mentor to 3 Scholars) and HIV training grants (2). She currently mentors an Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Scholar and four graduate students in the Behavioral Neuroscience Division of the Department of Psychology. She has also mentored graduate students through the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and the Medical Student Training Program. Her students and trainees have published first-author papers in high impact journals such as Neurology, Biological Psychiatry, and AIDS. Twenty undergraduate research volunteers are active in her lab, including 16 underrepresented minority students, most of whom contribute to work on perinatal depression. In 2015, she was honored with the first Capstone Mentor of the Year award from the Honors College. For five successive years, she was elected to the UIC and Statewide University of Illinois College of Medicine Executive Committees, providing regular communication with the Deans of Medicine in Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, Rockford, and Peoria. She also served on the College of Medicine Mentorship Program Committee, which implemented a college-wide mentoring program for all Assistant Professors. She serves as co-Chair of the FAAC-DI and reports to the Dean of the College of Medicine on the status of women and minority faculty and make recommendations for appropriate training and policy solutions to advance these missions.