About David Marra
Dr. Marra is a University of Florida alumnus, graduating with his bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in statistics. After completing his graduate work at Marquette University, Dr. Marra returned to the Swamp to complete his pre-doctoral internship, where he stayed on at UF to complete his post-doctoral research fellowship.
Broadly, Dr. Marra’s previous research aimed to improve health outcomes and used advanced analytic techniques to elucidate these factors. His early research experience involved understanding and modifying cognitive decline in healthy older adults. During Dr. Marra’s post-baccalaureate employment at the University of Florida, he facilitated research studies that examined cognitive and behavioral interventions aimed at improving cognitive function in healthy older adults. During Dr. Marra’s graduate training, he identified a novel cognitive intervention (digital art video game) and conducted a 6-week intervention study. Stemming from Dr. Marra’s passion for statistics, he also immersed himself in research that utilized novel analytic techniques to predict health outcomes and psychological task performance. For example, he received a TL1 Fellowship and conducted the largest mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) meta-analysis to date. This meta-analysis utilized contemporary meta-regressive techniques to elucidate the individual differences that may account for the high variability in cognitive recovery after sustaining an MTBI.
Currently, Dr. Marra is actively involved in a project that uses electronic medical record data to create an algorithm to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias five years before symptom-onset/diagnosis. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic he has also conducted research to document and facilitate changes in neuropsychological practice, focusing on the utilization of telehealth services in order to ensure continued clinical care, while maintaining the health and safety of vulnerable older adult populations. Finally, Dr. Marra received a pilot CTSI grant to work with a multi-disciplinary team of neurologists, neuropsychologists, and bioinformatic specialists to investigate the neurologic effects of COVID-19 in a large, OneFlorida dataset.