Catherine E. Monk

Dr. Catherine Monk directs the Perinatal Pathways lab at Columbia University Medical Center where she and her colleagues conduct research with pregnant women and their babies to improve their well–being and their future children’s lives. For over 20 years, this lab has contributed to the scientific evidence showing that when pregnant women experience stress, anxiety, and depression, it affects them as well as their offspring in utero, with long-term effects on the child’s neurobehavioral development. There is a ‘third pathway’ for the familial inheritance of risk for psychiatric illness beyond shared genes and the quality of parental care: the impact of pregnant women’s distress on fetal and infant brain–behavior development. Dr. Monk’s research that involves fetal assessment, newborn neuroimaging, genetics, epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, mother–child interaction, and supportive interventions aimed at (1) characterizing maternal pregnancy and postpartum experiences and the effects on children’s development and (2) promoting maternal psychobiological health for the mother–child dyad. 

Research Interests

Adverse Childhood Experiences
Long Reach of Childhood or Childhood Origins of Adult Health
Social Determinants
Social Support
Parenthood Programs
Toxic Stress
Trauma Informed Care