The All Our Families team works closely with investigators at the University of Calgary, other academic institutions across Canada, and international colleagues.

University of Calgary Colleagues


Katie Birnie, PhD, R.Psych

Dr. Katie Birnie is a Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, and the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary where she leads the Partnering For Pain program. She is the Associate Scientific Director of Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP), a national knowledge mobilization network working to improve evidence-based children’s pain management through coordination and collaboration. Dr. Birnie completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University in 2016, including a predoctoral residency in Pediatric Health Psychology at the IWK Health Centre. She completed a CIHR-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Birnie also spent time as a clinical research postdoctoral fellow and clinical psychologist at the University Health Network, including with the Transitional Pain Service at Toronto General Hospital and the Interventional Pain Program at Toronto Western Hospital. Dr. Birnie joined the Alberta Children’s Hospital as a medical psychologist in 2018, where she continues to provide clinical care through the Vi Riddell Children’s Pain and Rehabilitation Program.


Kamala Dahal, PhD

Dr. Kamala Dahal is a senior scientist with the PPPH branch of Alberta Health Services. Her research aims to identify psychosocial, medical, and obstetric predictors of adverse pregnancy outcomes and their impacts on maternal short- and long- term health. One of her current research focuses is to develop and validate a prediction model that accurately distinguishes women at high risk from the women at low risk for delivering preterm babies. Her current research also examines the relationship between adverse pregnancy outcomes and future chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular, renal and diabetes mellitus) over time. She is hoping to use linked, diverse data sources to answer research questions. Through her research, she aims to improve the health outcomes of mothers, not only during pregnancy and postpartum period but also thereafter throughout their life, their infants and their children.


Brae Anne McArthur, PhD, R.Psych

Dr. Brae Anne McArthur is the Director of the Psychology Clinic and an Instructor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology: Applied Developmental Emphasis from the University of Guelph, and completed her internship in Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Dr. McArthur’s program of research focuses on understanding individual and family level risk and resiliency factors that influence child development and mental health. Her current work focuses on understanding the impact of screen use on child development, specifically behaviour problems and psychopathology.


Amy Metcalfe, PhD

Dr. Amy Metcalfe is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. She is also an active member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health. Amy’s program of research focuses on examining the impact of medical management of chronic disease in pregnancy on maternal and fetal health; evaluating the ability of alternative models of prenatal care to improve disease control and obstetrical outcomes; and assessing the risk of long-term disease complications following pregnancy. Underlying these key questions is a focus on validation of existing data sources for use in research and the application of novel statistical methods to answer clinically important questions.


Melanie Noel, PhD, R.Psych

Dr. Melanie Noel is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Calgary, and a Full Member of the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. She directs the Alberta Children’s Pain Research Lab within the Vi Riddell Pain & Rehabilitation Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Canada. Dr. Noel’s expertise is on children’s memories for pain and co-occurring mental health issues, and pediatric chronic pain. She has published guiding conceptual models of children’s pain memory development, co-occurring PTSD and chronic pain, and fear-avoidance. In recognition of her contributions to advancing knowledge of the psychological aspects of children’s pain, Dr. Noel received early career awards from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), the Canadian Pain Society, the American Pain Society, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Society of Pediatric Psychology. She was named Avenue Magazine Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 (Class of 2017) and a Killam Emerging Research Leader (2020).


Serena L. Orr, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Serena L. Orr is a pediatric neurologist with a subspecialty in headache medicine, and the director of the pediatric headache program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is also an assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Clinical Neurosciences and Community Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, and a clinician-scientist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary. Her work with All our Families focuses on identifying early life risk factors for chronic pain, specifically headache disorders. She is interested in learning more about environmental risk factors for headache disorders, and using this information to help develop initiatives for preventing headache disorders in children and adolescents. Previously, she completed her headache fellowship at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. She did her pediatric neurology residency and her Master's degree in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and her MD degree was completed at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Jane Shearer, PhD

Dr. Jane Shearer is a Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine, Faculty of Kinesiology and Biomedical Engineering. She is a full member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and presently serves as a translational research lead in neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Shearer obtained her PhD in Nutrition from the University of Guelph (ON) and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Vanderbilt University. The Shearer research program employs knowledge of nutrition and metabolism to predict, detect, prevent, and treat acute and chronic disease states. Related to AOF, the laboratory is presently undertaking metabolomics (a comprehensive screen of small molecules) analysis of second trimester blood samples to examine circulating factors and signalling molecules that affect birth outcomes. Areas of interest include maternal weight gain, maternal stress, neurodevelopmental outcomes, and environmental heavy metal exposures.

Canadian Collaborators


Sarah Edwards, PhD

Dr. Sarah Edwards is a staff scientist with the ICES research team in Ontario, Canada. She holds a PhD (epidemiology) and MHSc (Community Health & Epidemiology) from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.


Erin Hetherington, PhD

Dr. Erin Hetherington is a social epidemiologist and postdoctoral fellow at McGill University in the department of epidemiology, biostatistics and occupational health. Erin holds a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Calgary, an MSc in Population and International Health from The Harvard School of Public Health and a BA in political science from McGill. A former doctoral student with the All Our Families team, Erin has held numerous scholarships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Alberta Innovates and the University of Calgary. Erin’s work focuses on how social support impacts maternal mental health in the postpartum and parenting period. She is also interested in understanding how structural inequalities impact mental health, and child development.


Nicole Racine, PhD, R.Psych

Dr. Nicole Racine is a clinical psychologist and Independent Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Racine received her PhD in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at York University and completed a residency in Clinical and Pediatric Child Psychology at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Her research program examines the impact of maternal and childhood adversity on mental health and wellbeing, risk and resilience processes, and what prevention and intervention strategies break cycles of risk across generations.