Our Research

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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; pregnancy and developmental trajectories; 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


Pregnancy and developmental trajectories

Theme lead: Rhonda Bell

Many chronic diseases (such as heart disease) and health conditions begin early in life. Research into early life events will:

  • minimize pregnancy complication rates;
  • optimize infant outcomes, and
  • develop early intervention and prevention strategies to reduce risk of chronic disease.

Children's health and well-being

Theme lead: vacant

Children's disorders collectively form the most common reason for families to seek care at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. We support multiple areas of child health, 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 

Theme lead: Sue Ross

Until recently, research used male models as the standard of care, which meant that women’s unique health needs weren’t fully addressed. At WCHRI, we strive to support research that helps women throughout their lives. This includes:  

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