researchteam

Research Team

Investigators mentor undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students who are keen to work with the All Our Families team.

Investigators

Drs. Suzanne Tough and Sheila McDonald lead the All Our Families research program with strong collaborations across the University of Calgary.

Suzanne Tough

Suzanne Tough, PhD

Dr. Suzanne Tough’s research on maternal health has led to fundamental changes in prenatal care and clinical practice. She is the Principal Investigator of the All Our Families study, a cohort of over 3,000 families followed prospectively for over 10 years resulting in a changed understanding of the relationship between early life events, mental health and long-term outcomes. She is a leader in translating evidence to practice, longitudinal research, and mental health. She is a Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, and has held leadership roles as a Scientific Director and Policy Fellow. She has been recognized by numerous agencies including the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Canadian Pediatric Society, Global YWCA Women of Vision, and the United Nations International Women’s Day for her leadership in innovation, science and mentorship.

Sheila McDonald

Sheila McDonald, PhD

Dr. Sheila McDonald is the Co-Principal Investigator of the All Our Families Study. She is also the Manager on the Early Years Health Promotion Team in the Department of Healthy Children and Families, Promoting Health, Provincial, Population and Public Health at Alberta Health Services (AHS), and an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She holds a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McGill University, with a specific focus on life course epidemiology and causal inference. She has extensive methodological skills in research methods, complex data sets, longitudinal analysis, and content expertise in maternal mental health, adverse childhood experiences, and child development. Other contributions include work in Evidence Informed Decision Making in AHS, including evidence syntheses and critical appraisal, and contributing to the development of practice guidelines and policy recommendations.

Katie Chaput

Katie Chaput, PhD

Dr. Chaput is a perinatal epidemiologist and assistant professor in the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Her overall research interests lie in the intersections of perinatal mental health, substance use, and associated maternal and infant health outcomes. She uses advanced, mixed-methods of inquiry and analysis to address contemporary challenges in maternal and infant health research, to generate evidence for optimizing perinatal health policy and services. Her program of research includes ongoing studies on prenatal and postpartum mental health, breastfeeding, health service use, substance use in pregnancy and the postpartum, and infant neurodevelopment.

Susan Graham

Susan Graham, PhD

Dr. Susan Graham is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and a registered clinical psychologist. She is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and previously held the Canada Research Chair in Language and Cognitive Development. She is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Cognition and Development. Her research and supervision has been recognized with the Killam Annual Professor Award and the Izzak Walton Killam Award for Graduate Supervision and Mentoring. After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Manitoba, she moved to Concordia University to complete her graduate studies. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1996. Her research focuses on language and cognitive development during the infancy and preschool years and is currently funded by a Discovery Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and an Insights Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Sheri Madigan

Sheri Madigan, PhD

Dr. Sheri Madigan is a Canada Research Chair in the Determinants of Child Development. She joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary in 2015 and is currently directing the Determinants of Child Development Lab, a lab that is dedicated to conducting research on the multidimensional influences that shape children's developmental trajectories. Dr. Madigan is a principal-investigator on several research projects on children's development supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program, and the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation.

Donna Slater

Donna Slater, PhD

Dr. Donna Slater is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physiology & Pharmacology and Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and the Co-Director for Biomedical Sciences Stream in the Bachelor of Health Sciences Undergraduate Program, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Dr. Slater obtained her Ph.D. in Genetics from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, University of London, UK and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Imperial College School of Medicine, London and the University of Warwick. Her lab research focuses on the human uterus to determine the factors involved in regulating uterine contractions and relaxation, and to understand the mechanisms that lead to pregnancy complications such as preterm labour and post-partum haemorrhage, with the long term goal of better prevention, treatment and outcomes for both mother and child. She has expertise in molecular, cellular, physiology and pharmacology techniques in the lab, and has developed a number of cell based models, to investigate the mechanism of preterm labour, which can be used to safely test new targets. The research is funded by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Health Research.


Research Staff

Mary_Canning

Mary Canning, BA

Mary Canning joined the All Our Families team in 2011 as a Data Research Assistant, initially involved with checking and cleaning data. Over the next several years, her role has evolved to include managing requests to access the All Our Families data, development of follow up questionnaires, and maintaining databases and data sets. Mary provides direction and consultation to internal and external investigators in their use of the AOF data. As a licensed practical nurse in a postpartum patient care unit, Mary also offers a clinical background in the area of child and maternal health.

Muci_Wu

Muci Wu, BSc

Muci Wu joined the All Our Families team in 2012 as a Research Assistant and has since moved into her current role with the team as Research Program Manager. Muci completed her BSc in Statistics at the University of Calgary, and has experience in survey development, database design, and data management. In her free time, she can be found baking, hiking, and throwing pottery.

Julia_Wilson

Julia Wilson, MSc

Julia Wilson joined the All Our Families team in 2023 as a Research Assistant. She completed her BMSc and MSc in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences at the University of Western Ontario where she specialized in maternal and fetal health. Her graduate research focused on identifying disparities in maternal and child health outcomes by investigating access to prenatal care, maternal substance use, the role of community support, and the impact of socioeconomic factors on well-being. In Julia’s spare time, she enjoys running outdoors, reading, and spending time with friends and family. 

Angie Uy

Angie Uy, BCR

Angie Uy joined the All Our Families team in 2023 to complete her senior practicum where she studied the relationship between physical activity and chronic pain in neurodivergent children. She has completed her Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies with a minor in Health and Society. During her senior year she served as the Student’s Union Cumming School of Medicine Representative, where she successfully gained funding for a BCR scholarship and launched an ongoing accessibility project for the Foothills Campus. In June 2024, Angie began her role as a research assistant with the team and plans to pursue a MSc in Epidemiology in the future. Her research interests include socioeconomic health disparities and sexual health. In Angie’s spare time she enjoys going to raves, riding her bike, and hanging out with her friends and family.


Trainees

Tona_Pitt

Tona Pitt, PhD Student

Tona joined the All Our Families team in 2021. He completed his BSc in Kinesiology and MSc in Population/Public Health at the University of Calgary. His training and previous work has primarily been in injury epidemiology with a focus on child health, active transportation, and injury prevention. Tona is responsible for the analysis of the incoming survey data that goes into the reports and presentations. He also works with the analysis of other data/epidemiology related projects as they come up. Sports, especially grappling, have always been a part of Tona's life, and he started doing Judo was he was 7. Once he started studying at the University of Calgary, he transitioned to the University of Calgary Dino’s wrestling team.

Anjola_Adeboye

Anjola Adeboye, MSc Student

Anjola joined the All Our Families team in the summer of 2021 as a Research Assistant. Since then, she has been with the study in different capacities leading to her current graduate work. Anjola holds a BHSc in Bioinformatics with a minor in Health and Society. Currently, she is working towards her MSc in Population and Public Health at the University of Calgary. Her project aims to develop a flourishing proxy measurement for well-being. When she's not behind her computer screen, Anjola can be found playing volleyball, engaging with her community, and listening to her favorite history podcasts.

 

 

Berna_Ilchi

Berna Ilchi, BSc

Berna joined the All Our Families team at the end of 2023. She has completed her BSc in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology, where she conducted a project in the field of developmental biology. She is now working towards her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Her project with AOF aims to gain insight into effective interventions for breastfeeding difficulties related to breast engorgement and blocked ducts through a systematic review and meta-analysis. During her breaks from studying, Berna enjoys reading, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, and trying new restaurants around Calgary.

Nadia DiMarzo

Nadia DiMarzo, BHSc

Nadia DiMarzo joined the All Our Families team in 2019, and was a research assistant at the study for five years. She has completed her BHSc in Biomedical Science and is currently working towards her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Her project at AOF aims to describe insights gained from the 12-14 year youth and material questionnaires. In her free time, Nadia enjoys hiking, music, and spending time with her friends.

Rowan Chetner

Rowan Chetner, Summer Student

Rowan is joining the AOF team again this summer to expand upon her work from 2023 that examined the relationship between mothers’ personality and their children’s externalizing behavior (e.g., aggression, hyperactivity, and conduct problems). This summer, she will be investigating the differences in boys’ and girl’s internalizing behavior (e.g., depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal) and their mothers’ personality traits. She is planning to present her work at this year’s ACHRI/Owerko Summer Student Research Symposium. Rowan is currently an undergraduate student at Tufts University in Massachusetts where she is working towards her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Child Studies & Human Development and Hebrew. Her research interests are in Positive Psychology, family dynamics, and child development. In her spare time, Rowan can be found swimming, skiing, running, creating writing, and video making.


Postdoctoral Fellows

Zahra_Clayborne

Zahra Clayborne, PhD

Zahra joined the All Our Families team in 2022 as a postdoctoral fellow. She received a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Calgary in 2015, and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa in 2022, where her doctoral research focused on identifying modifiable factors influencing the associations between prenatal maternal stress and children’s mental health outcomes. During her PhD, she also worked as an epidemiologist in positive mental health surveillance at the Public Health Agency of Canada. Zahra’s postdoctoral research will involve the study of flourishing, wellbeing, and their correlates in mothers and children from All Our Families. In her free time, she can be found running Calgary’s beautiful pathways and trails, reading, knitting, or spending time with friends and family.


Volunteers

Kristine Pesigan

Kristine Pesigan, BHSc

Kristine joined the All Our Families team as a volunteer research assistant in 2024. She completed her BHSc in Psychology at the University of Calgary in 2023, where her thesis was a meta-analysis on individual level predictors of well-being in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside volunteering, Kristine currently works in the psych department’s Trailblazing Research for Equitable Care Lab as a research coordinator. She hopes to gain more experience in epidemiological-focused research to gain a clearer understanding for her future studies. Kristine has a keen interest in positive psychology and equitable care and in her free time, she enjoys Olympic weightlifting, tinkering with keyboards, and reading.