Dr. Catherine Monk


Catherine Monk, PhD, is a Professor of Medical Psychology in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Psychiatry, Director of Research at the Women’s Program, Co-Director of the Domestic Violence Initiative at Columbia University Medical Center, and Research Scientist VI at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Originally trained as a clinical psychologist, in 2000 Dr. Monk completed her postdoctoral research studies in the Psychobiological Sciences at Columbia University via a National Institutes of Health (NIH) fellowship, joining the faculty here a year later.

Dr. Monk’s research brings together the fields of perinatal psychiatry, developmental psychobiology, and neuroscience to focus on improving women’s well-being during pregnancy as well as the earliest influences on children’s developmental trajectories — those that happen in utero to affect child outcomes. She is internationally recognized for her contributions to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Research model as they relate to prenatal exposure to maternal stress and depression: in addition to shared genes and the postnatal environment, there is a third pathway for the familial inheritance of mental illness, that is, factors in the prenatal environment play a role as well.

Her research has been continuously funded by the NIH since her first support as a NIH ‘K’ Career Development Awardee in 2001 as well as by the March of Dimes, NARSAD, the Robin Hood Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and the Bezos Family Foundation.

Visit her Perinatal Pathways lab at

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Courtesy of Natalia Deriabina/Shutterstock

The Womb is an Influential First Home.

by Dr. Catherine Monk
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