Dr. Jennifer E. Khoury

Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience (Tier II)

Assistant Professor


Office: EVR 439

Phone: 902 457 5409

Email: jennifer.khoury@msvu.ca

Education and Training

2020 Postdoctoral Fellowship, McMaster University
2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Hospital
2017 Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Ryerson University
2013 M.A. Clinical Psychology, Ryerson University
2010 Honours B.Sc. Psychology, University of Toronto


Research Interests

My research adopts an interdisciplinary and multi-method approach to understand how early life stress impacts the brain and behaviour of parents and children, at different stages of development. Early life stress encompasses circumstances such as abuse and neglect, parental mental health, and caregiving difficulties, which can adversely impact child development.

My research examines both typical and atypical development, spanning from the prenatal period to adulthood, using experimental, observational, and clinical research methods as well as meta-analyses.  Much of this research includes longitudinal studies which examine neurobiological stress and emotion regulation, in parents and children. I study stress responses primarily through physiological markers, including the stress hormone, cortisol, as well as through brain imaging techniques. Stress and emotional regulation are important contributors to child developmental outcomes, including developmental psychopathology. Thus, understanding these processes can inform research and practice to reduce adverse effects on child health and development.

My recent research includes a longitudinal study assessing the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and stress in pregnancy, a series of meta-analyses to examine outcomes of childhood maltreatment, as well as collaborations on a study assessing a family intervention and a study examining the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the intergenerational transmission of childhood maltreatment.

This research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), as well as funding from the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and Research Nova Scotia.

I am always looking for students to join the lab. Potential students who are interested in this research and would like to gain research experience, please email jennifer.khoury@msvu.ca.


Selected Publications

Khoury, J. E., Bosquet Enlow, M., Patwa, M. C., & Lyons-Ruth, K. (2020). Hair cortisol in pregnancy interacts with maternal depressive symptoms to predict maternal disrupted interaction with her infant at four months. Developmental Psychobiology. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.21950


Khoury, J. E., Jamieson, B., Gonzalez, A., & Atkinson, L. (2020). Child depressive symptoms: Associations with salivary cortisol and alpha amylase in two distinct challenges. Biological Psychology, 107808. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.107808


Khoury, J. E., Bosquet Enlow, M., Plamondon, A., & Lyons-Ruth, K. (2019). The association between adversity and hair cortisol levels in humans: A Meta-Analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 103, 104-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.01.009


To view my most up-to-date publication list, please visit: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=i1TjJe0AAAAJ