Robyn McQuaid , PhD

Dr. Robyn McQuaid is a scientist in the Culture and Gender Research Unit at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR), affiliated with the University of Ottawa. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa and in the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University.

She obtained her BSc in Chemistry (2006) and Honours in Psychology (2009) from the University of Prince Edward Island, and her MSc (2011) and PhD (2015) in Neuroscience from Carleton University.

Dr. McQuaid’s research examines the impacts of stress and trauma on mental health. More specifically, she explores how adverse experiences interact with biological factors, such as genetics and inflammation, to promote or buffer against depression and suicide. A key feature of her research is to take a personalized approach to understanding mental health disorders by considering gender, culture and environmental experiences. One aspect of her research program examines the intergenerational impacts of trauma, such as the residential schools, and current disparities on the mental health and wellness of First Nations peoples in Canada. This work is done together with Dr. Amy Bombay, professor at Dalhousie University; Dr. Kimberly Matheson, Culture and Gender Mental Health Research Chair at the IMHR and Carleton University; and Dr. Hymie Anisman, professor at Carleton University.

Dr. McQuaid is a recipient of the IMHR’s Emerging Research Innovators in Mental Health (eRIMh) incubator program, and is part of a research team that received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Grant for 2018-2023. As she moves forward in her career, she will continue to take a multi-disciplinary approach to her research that cuts across a number of disciplines including neuroscience, genetics, psychology and social-cultural studies.