Catherine Monk

Catherine Monk, PhD, is Professor of Medical Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Director of Research, the Women’s Program, Senior Sackler Scientist, Columbia University Medical Center; Research Scientist VI, New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is also a board member of ZERO TO THREE.

Catherine Monk

Professor, Medical Psychology, Columbia University

Contributions to the Field

Dr. Monk conducts research studies with pregnant women and their babies to improve their well–being and their future children’s lives. For 20 years, through NIH grants as well as those from foundations such as the March of Dimes and Robin Hood, she 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. There is a ‘third pathway’ for the shaping of children’s futures beyond shared genes and the quality of parental care: the impact of pregnant women’s toxic stress on fetal and infant brain–behavior development. Dr. Monk’s projects involve fetal assessment, newborn neuroimaging, genetics, epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, mother–child interaction, and supportive interventions to (1) characterize maternal experiences and the effects on children’s development and (2) promote maternal psychobiological health for the mother–child dyad.

Affiliations:

  • Board of Directors, Seleni Institute
  • Executive Committee, NIH ECHO project

Current Research:

Several NIH funded projects including: a randomized controlled trial of a new intervention to prevent postpartum depression that leverages the mother-infant relationship and begins during pregnancy; examination of women’s childhood adversity affecting their children even before birth, including fetal assessment and brain-behavior outcomes; contribution to NIH’s ECHO studies, Environmental influences on Children’s Health Outcomes, a planned cohort of 50,00 children including pre and postnatal exposure to maternal toxic stress and children’s neurobehavioral development,

Recent Honors:

  • Fellow, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research