Nicole Catherine

Mowafaghian University Research Associate, Faculty of Health Sciences

Education

  • BSc, Pharmacology, University of Dundee, Scotland
  • MSc, Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto
  • PhD, Human Development, Learning & Culture, University of British Columbia
  • CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship, Psychology, Simon Fraser University

Biography

Dr. Nicole Catherine is Adjunct Professor and Mowafaghian University Research Associate with the Children’s Health Policy Center in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU. She is also Scientific Director of the BC Healthy Connections Project (BCHCP), a five-year randomized-controlled trial (RCT) evaluation of the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) prevention program, being led by the Children’s Health Policy Centre in partnership with the BC Government and five BC Health Authorities over the next five years (for more information on the BCHCP, please see childhealthpolicy.ca). Nicole completed her BSc in pharmacology at Dundee University, Scotland, followed by an MSc in nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD in educational psychology at UBC, studying the neurobiology of social support and child behaviour. She was then a CIHR-funded post-doctoral fellow in psychology at SFU, modeling longitudinal data on adolescents at high risk for aggression, prior to joining the Children’s Health Policy Centre. Dr. Catherine’s graduate research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Human Early Learning Partnership, UBC’s Child and Family Research Institute and UBC.

Research Interests

Dr. Catherine is an interdisciplinary researcher with doctoral and post-doctoral training in neurobiology, developmental psychology and public health. She also has more than 10 years of experience leading RCTs evaluating clinical and behavioural interventions. In her role as BCHCP Scientific Director, Dr. Catherine co-leads an RCT examining the effectiveness of NFP — a public health nursing program aimed at young, low-income first-time mothers — in reducing child injuries, mental disorders and learning problems. Parallel to this work, Dr. Catherine is currently investigating the incidence of childhood injuries in BC using large-scale government administrative health data sets to estimate base rates of injuries to young children in BC to inform provincial-wide prevention efforts. Dr. Catherine is also co-investigator with a BCHCP ancillary study investigating the biological processes (physiological stress systems, epigenetics) by which early interventions such as NFP may mitigate toxic stress in childhood and improve outcomes over the lifespan.

Teaching Interests

 Dr. Catherine’s teaching interests include the social determinants of health, child socio-emotional and neurobiological development, and randomized controlled trial methodology.

Publications and Activities

Funding

  •  Biological Evaluation of Psychosocial Adversity in Children Study          
    • Principal Investigators: Gonzalez, A; MacMillan, H; McGowan, P
    • Co-Investigators: Atkinson, L; Barr, R; Boyle, M; Catherine, N; Ferro, M; Jack, S; Nepomnaschy, P; Sheehan, D; Tonmyr, L; Varcoe, C; Wadell, C.
    • Funding: CIHR Operating grant $191,000
    • Duration: 2013 - 2018