Our Research

WCHRI is an academic institute of the University of Alberta (U of A), working with researchers and clinicians at the U of A, the Stollery Children's Hospital (STO) and the Lois Hole Hospital for Women (LHHW). WCHRI currently has three major areas of focus: lifelong women's health, healthy development and children’s health and well-being.

WCHRI believes that research is integral to excellence in health care. We support:

  • basic and discovery research in the laboratory that has the potential to impact outcomes in women’s and children’s health.
  • clinical and translational research by creating research-integrated hospitals and communities.

WCHRI members’ areas of research


Healthy development

Research has shown that early life events (i.e. pregnancy complications) can increase the risk of chronic disease later in life for both the mother and her child, and thus impact the health of all Albertans. It is important to strive to improve the health of women and children by:

  • minimizing pregnancy complication rates;
  • optimizing infant outcomes, and
  • developing early intervention and prevention strategies to reduce risk of chronic disease.

Children's health and well-being

Improved pregnancy outcomes are only the beginning in improving children’s health. Children’s disorders often affect multiple organ systems. While some of these disorders may be individually rare, collectively they form the most common reason for families to seek care at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Multiple areas of child health research are supported, including (but not limited to):

  • Brain, neurodevelopment
  • Cardiovascular health and disease
  • Emergency medicine and critical care
  • Gastrointestinal health and disease
  • Lung health and disease
  • Mental health
  • Nutrition, obesity and physical activity

Lifelong women's health 

Lifelong women’s health goes beyond pregnancy and maternal health outcomes to support research that addresses mechanisms related to the unique health needs of women. Some of the areas of women’s health research supported include:

  • Mature women’s health
  • Mental health and stress disorders
  • Ovarian / gynecologic cancer
  • Reproductive health