Nadine Provençal

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences


  • BSc, Biology (Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology), Université Laval
  • PhD, Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Epigenetics), McGill University / Research Unit on Children’s Psychosocial Maladjustment, Montreal


Dr. Provençal completed her Ph.D. in epigenetics of early life adversity and aggression at McGill University in collaboration with the Research Unit on Children’s Psychosocial Maladjustment in 2013. She, then, did a short postdoctoral training at the University of Montreal continuing her research on epigenetics and child behavior. Thereafter, she received a research fellowship from the Canadian Institute of Health Research to complete a second postdoctoral training at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry (MPIP) in Germany. At the MPIP, she pursued her research on the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the response to stress in the context of psychiatric disorders. In 2014, she was awarded the Richard Todd Award from the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics for her research contribution to the genetics of child psychiatry. Dr. Provencal joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University as Assistant Professor in March 2017 and heads the EpiGenOmics of Developmental Trajectories (EGODT) laboratory. She is also an Investigator at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute and Guest Research Scientist at the MPIP.

Research Interests

Dr. Provençal’s research group aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of how early life environmental exposures influence the development of an individual leading to disease versus health. The laboratory uses a translational approach to study the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the long-lasting effects of early life adversities and their impact on the developmental trajectories of behavioral and stress-related disorders. Research in the lab combines multi-omic data analysis from cellular and animal models, where we can study in depth the molecular mechanisms at play, as well as multiple longitudinal and cross-sectional cohorts to translate these findings to patients exposed to early life adversities. The exchange between different fields of study is essential to shed light on different aspects of the development of complex diseases and give rise to new approaches and methods to tackle the mechanisms involved. To this end, research in the lab integrates knowledge and expertise from multiple fields including epigenetics, genetics, bioinformatics, statistics and clinical research.

Dr. Provençal is actively seeking for research assistant and graduate students for her lab (molecular biology or bioinformatics). Interested candidates should apply directly to Dr. Provençal at:

Teaching Interests

Dr. Provençal’s teaching interests include epigenetic mechanisms from cells to society, stress and development as well as developmental origin of health and diseases with a focus on epigenetic mechanisms.

Publications and Activities

List of Dr. Provencal's publications