Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN
Dean, Cizik School of Nursing
Diane M. Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, was named dean of Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston in September 2020, after leading the school on an interim basis for two years. Under her leadership, Cizik School of Nursing has improved in national rankings, increased NIH research funding, and expanded degree offerings and innovative technologies. She joined the school as a member of the community health clinical faculty in 2009 and advanced her career while building a robust research program.
An associate professor in the Department of Research, Santa Maria has expertise in public health nursing, adolescent health, HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention, intervention development, randomized controlled trials, mobile technology, and predictive modeling. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Center for Health Promotion and Research at UTHealth School of Public Health, where she teaches Public Health Nursing and Research Methods.
Santa Maria has served as the principal investigator and co-investigator on multiple research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, CPRIT, and various foundations. With wide-ranging experience working in underserved communities in the U.S. and abroad, she currently is conducting HIV prevention and stress reduction research with youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.
She holds The Jane and Robert Cizik Distinguished Chair and the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in Nursing Education Leadership at Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston.
She received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and her master’s degree in Public Health Nursing from Case Western Reserve University. She completed a Leadership Education in Adolescent Health predoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine and was a visiting professor in the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies.