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Texas Medical Center



6701 Fannin Street
Suite 1630
Houston, TX 77030

Marisa Hilliard, PhD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychology Section

Baylor College of Medicine


School Education Degree Year
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Post-doctoral Fellow Postdoctoral Fellowship 2012
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Internship O'Grady Residency (Predoctoral Internship) 2010
The Catholic University of America PhD Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology; Specialization in Children, Families, & Culture 2010
The Catholic University of America Masters Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology 2007
Georgetown University Bachelors Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish 2004


My work focuses on strengths-based approaches to helping youth and young adults with type 1 diabetes engage in health behavior change that promotes optimal health and quality of life outcomes.

Clinical Interests:

I do not currently provide clinical services.

Research Interests:

Dr. Marisa Hilliard’s Resilience And Diabetes (RAD) Behavioral Research Lab conducts behavioral research to learn about and support resilience in young people with type 1 diabetes and their families. Resilient diabetes outcomes include engaging in diabetes self-management behaviors, having good diabetes-related quality of life, and aiming for glycemic outcomes close to the targets, even while managing the challenges of living with diabetes.

The lab’s work includes observational and survey research to understand how different risk and protective factors relate to or predict resilient diabetes outcomes, qualitative interview studies to learn about everyday life experiences with diabetes, studies to develop and evaluate new assessment measures related to these topics, and strengths-based intervention research to help young people and families living with diabetes maximize their strengths and achieve optimal outcomes.

Research in the RAD Behavioral Research Lab spans the pediatric age range, including studies from early childhood to early adulthood, with a focus on transitional periods such as adapting to a new diabetes diagnosis, shifting family diabetes management responsibilities between childhood and adolescence, adjusting to a new medical regimen or device, and transitioning from pediatric to adult care.


Organization Name Role
American Diabetes Association Member; Chair-elect, Psychology/Behavioral Medicine Interest Group; Mental Health Provider Diabetes Education Program Steering Committee
International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes Member
Society of Behavioral Medicine Member
Society of Pediatric Psychology / American Psychological Association Division 54 Member; Associate Editor, Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Selected Publications

Carreon SA, Cao VT, Anderson BJ, Thompson DI, Marrero DG, Hilliard ME. “I don’t sleep through the night”: Qualitative study of sleep in type 1 diabetes. Diabetic Medicine 2021; Early View

Skedgell K, Cao V, Gallagher K, Anderson BJ, Hilliard ME. Defining features of diabetes resilience in emerging adults with type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes 2021; 22: 345-353. 

Hilliard ME, Cao VT, Eshtehardi SS, Minard CG, Saber R, Thompson D, Karaviti LP, Anderson BJ. Type 1 Doing Well: Pilot Feasibility and Acceptability Study of a Strengths-Based mHealth App for Parents of Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics 2020; 22: 835-845.

Hilliard ME, Minard CG, Marrero D, de Wit M, Thompson D, DuBose S, Verdejo A, Monzavi R, Wadwa RP, Jaser S, Anderson BJ. Assessing health-related quality of life in children and adolescents with diabetes: Development and psychometrics of the type 1 diabetes and life (T1DAL) measures. Journal of Pediatric Psychology 2020; 45: 328-339.

Hilliard ME, Eshtehardi SS, Minard CG, Wheat S, Gunn S, Sanders C, Klenk R, Anderson BJ. Strengths-based, clinic-integrated non-randomized pilot intervention to promote type 1 diabetes adherence and well-being. Journal of Pediatric Psychology 2019; 44: 5-15.

Hilliard ME, de Wit M, Wasserman RM, Butler AM, Evans M, Weissberg-Benchell J, Anderson BJ. Screening and support for emotional burdens of youth with type 1 diabetes: Strategies for diabetes care providers. Pediatric Diabetes 2018: 19, 534-543.

Hilliard ME, Powell PW, Anderson BJ. Evidence-based behavioral interventions to promote diabetes management in children, adolescents, and families. American Psychologist 2016; 71: 590-601.

Hilliard ME, Harris MA, Weissberg-Benchell J. Diabetes resilience: a model of risk and protection in type 1 diabetes. Current Diabetes Reports 2012 December;12(6):739-48. Pubmed PMID: 22956459.

View PubMed Publications

Awards & Honors

2021 Research Mentor Award (Associate Professor), Baylor College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics 

2020 Donald K. Routh Early Career Award, Society of Pediatric Psychology

2020 Top Downloaded Paper of 2018-2019, Pediatric Diabetes

2019 Top 20 Cited Articles of 2017, Journal of Pediatric Psychology

* Texas Children's Hospital physicians' licenses and credentials are reviewed prior to practicing at any of our facilities. Sections titled From the Doctor, Professional Organizations and Publications were provided by the physician's office and were not verified by Texas Children's Hospital.