Developmental Origins of Adult Health and Disease (DOHaD)

We conduct research studies with pregnant women and their babies to improve their well-being and their future children’s lives. For nearly 20 years, we have 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 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. Our 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.

For more information, visit the Perinatal Pathways lab website.

Faculty Active in this Area

Catherine Monk, PhD