Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology
(in Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Director of Research, The Women’s Program
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University

Presbyterian Hospital
622 West 168th St, Room 1540
New York, NY 10032

Faculty Profile

Lab website

Research Summary

Perinatal Pathways Lab: Pregnancy, development, mental health

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.

Select Publications
  1. O’Connor TG, Monk C, Fitelson EM. Practitioner review: maternal mood in pregnancy and child development–implications for child psychology and psychiatry. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2014;55(2):99-111. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12153. Epub 2013 Oct 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 24127722; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3982916.
  2. Werner E, Miller M, Osborne LM, Kuzava S, Monk C. Preventing postpartum depression: review and recommendations. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2015 Feb;18(1):41-60. doi: 10.1007/s00737-014-0475-y. Epub 2014 Nov 25. Review. PubMed PMID: 25422150; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4308451.
  3. Spann MN, Smerling J, Gustafsson H, Foss S, Altemus M, Monk C. Deficient maternal zinc intake-but not folate-is associated with lower fetal heart rate variability. Early Hum Dev. 2015 Mar;91(3):169-72. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.01.007. Epub 2015 Feb 3. PubMed PMID: 25658874; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4471999.
  4. Flood P, McKinley P, Monk C, Muntner P, Colantonio LD, Goetzl L, Hatch M, Sloan RP. Beat-to-Beat Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Variability and Hypertensive Disease in Pregnancy. Am J Perinatol. 2015 May 13. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25970272.
  5. Doyle C, Werner E, Feng T, Lee S, Altemus M, Isler JR, Monk C. Pregnancy distress gets under fetal skin: Maternal ambulatory assessment & sex differences in prenatal development. Dev Psychobiol. 2015 Jul;57(5):607-25. doi: 10.1002/dev.21317. Epub 2015 May 6. PubMed PMID: 25945698; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4549003.
  6. Walsh K, Basu A, Monk C. The Role of Sexual Abuse and Dysfunctional Attitudes in Perceived Stress and Negative Mood in Pregnant Adolescents: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2015 Oct;28(5):327-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2014.09.012. Epub 2014 Sep 28. PubMed PMID: 26130137; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4490124.
  7. Werner EA, Gustafsson HC, Lee S, Feng T, Jiang N, Desai P, Monk C. PREPP: postpartum depression prevention through the mother-infant dyad. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2015 Aug 2. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26231973
  • The Effects of Prenatal Stress & Poor Nutrition on Brain and CognitionPrincipal Investigator: Monk, C. Role: Co–PI (multiple PI plan)

    Agency: NIMH R01 MH093677-01 Period: 10/1/11–10/30/16

  • Prenatal Stress: the Epigenetic Basis of Maternal and Perinatal EffectsPrincipal Investigator: Monk, C. Role: Co-PI (multiple PI plan)

    Agency: NIMH R01MH092580-01 Period: 7/1/11–6/30/16

  • Serotonergic Modulation of Brain Development: Genetic & Pharmacologic Influences on Structure, Function and BehaviorPrincipal Investigator: Gingrich, J. Role: PI

    Agency: NIMH 1P50MH090966-01 Period: 07/01/10 – 04/30/16

  • Early-Life Phthalate Exposure, Thyroid Function and Child Cognitive DevelopmentPrincipal Investigator: Whyatt, R. Role: Co–Investigator

    Agency: Envi Health Sci R01 ES013543-05A Period: 07/1/2010–6/30/2015

  • Effects of a Major Climatic Event – Superstorm Sandy – On Pregnancy Outcomes and Telomere LengthPrincipal Investigator: Monk, C Role: Co–PI (multiple PI plan)

    Agency: NIEHS1R21ES023582-01 Period: 05/15/2013 – 04/30/2015

  • Center for Research on the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic & Behavioral GeneticsPrincipal Investigator (Appelbaum, P.) Role: Investigator

    Agency: NIH 1P50HG007257-01 Period: 9/10/13–8/10/18

  • Pregnancy as a Window to Future Cadiovascular HealthPrincipal Investigator (Grobman, W.) Role: PI CU subcontract

    Agency: NHLBI 1U10 HL119992 Period: 9/1/15-8/31/16

  • PREPP Intervention & ResearchPrincipal Investigator: Monk, C. Role: PI

    Agency: Robin Hood Foundation Period: 7/1/13-6/15/15

  • PREPP Intervention & ResearchPrincipal Investigator: Monk, C. Role: PI

    Agency: Robin Hood Foundation Period: 6/30/15-1/1/16

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