Catherine Monk, PhD
Associate Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Catherine Monk holds a joint appointment as an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, and Obstetrics & Gynecology. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of her research, she is affiliated with two divisions in Psychiatry: Behavioral Medicine and Developmental Neuroscience. She is Director for Research at the Women’s Program, as well as Co–Director of the Sackler Parent–Infant Project and of the Domestic Violence Initiative. After completing her NIH post–doctoral fellowship in the Psychobiolgoical Sciences at Columbia in 2000, Dr. Monk joined the faculty and established the Perinatal Pathways Laboratory. She also maintains a clinical practice primarily focused on treating women during the perinatal period.
Treatment of women during the perinatal period, with special focus on depression, anxiety, pregnancy loss, infertily.
622 West 168th Street
Room 1540 New York, NY 10032
Phone: (646) 774-8941
Public Transportation: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
We study a possible third pathway by which risk for psychiatric disorders runs in families.
We investigate pregnant women’s experiences — depression, stress, medication use, and nutrition — as they shape fetal and infant neurobehavioral development, with implications for the future child’s mental health.
This research pushes the study of the mother–infant dyad to an earlier time, prior to birth, and considers psychological and biological factors as the mechanisms of maternal influence. We also conduct clinical trials of interventions during the perinatal period to improve women’s well-being for her, and for her child.
Our work is part of a burgeoning research domain known variously as the fetal origins of adult disease (FOAD) or the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHAD). Based on animal models as well as epidemiological and observational samples, findings indicate that distress–based changes in pregnant women’s biology are associated with adverse cardiovascular, metabolic, as well as psychological effects in children and adults. In our FOAD studies, we focus on the perinatal period, the time when the maternal influence is thought to occur, and on children’s neurobehavioral development. We have four primary research questions carried out across a number of studies.