Monica A. Ghabrial, Ph.D.


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Twitter: @MonicaGhabrial

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About me

I am an Assistant Professor of Health Psychology at Algoma University. 

Trained as a health psychologist with experience in public health and epidemiology, my research involves the use of mixed methods and a variety of approaches (content analysis, qualitative methods, psychometrics, psychophysiology) and focuses on stress, resilience, and cardiovascular activity/reactivity among queer and trans (QT) Black people, Indigenous people, and people of Colour (BIPOC).
For example, I developed and validated the first measure of positive identity among Queer BIPOC, the Queer People of Color Identity Affirmation Scale. I also led the first study of autonomic resilience in this population, by conducting a laboratory stress task and comparing metrics of cardiovascular activity (e.g., heart rate) to performance on psychosocial measures (e.g., the scale I had previously developed).
In addition to continuing strengths-based research with QTBIPOC, I am interested in examining experiences of QT newcomer and refugee people - in particular, the barriers that QT people face in immigration/refugee services. 

I obtained my M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Toronto. My dissertation, which involved the studies described above, was selected to represent University of Toronto in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts division of the 2021 CAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award competition. As a CIHR-funded Postdoctoral Fellow at Western University, Harvard University, and University of Toronto, I was involved in national and community-based research in trans and non-binary health across Canada and the United States. 

I also enjoy and have experience with advocacy, education, and knowledge translation. With funding from CIHR, I run an education website on QT health, If you are seeking consultation in developing educational materials or are in need of a speaker for an event related to stigma and health, equity in academia, or issues concerning QT and/or BIPOC populations, please feel welcome to contact me. 

In my free time, I enjoy learning about art history, reading memoirs, lifting weights, and, if I'm fortunate enough, travelling (as pictured throughout this website!). 

Affiliations and Positions 

Assistant Professor | Health Psychology
Department of Psychology
Algoma University

Member | Harvard SOGIE Health Equity Research Collaborative
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Harvard University

Former Postdoctoral Fellow | Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Health Equity in Epidemiology Research Group
Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
Western University

Member | Re:searching for LGBTQI2S+ Health
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto

Awards Chair | Executive Committee
Society for the Psychology of Women: Sexual & Gender Diversity
American Psychological Association


English (native speaker)            Arabic (intermediate)


2020    Ph.D. in Health and Social Experimental Psychology
University of Toronto

Thesis: Identity Affirmation, Minority Stress, and Cardiovascular Health Among Sexual and Gender Minority People of Colour; Advisor: Dr. Judith Andersen

2014        M.A. in Social & Community Psychology
    University of Toronto

 Thesis: “Trying to Figure Out Where We Belong”: Narratives of Racialized Sexual Minorities on Community, Identity, Discrimination, and Health; Advisor: Dr. Judith Andersen

2010        Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Psychology: Brain &             Cognition
    University of Guelph

Thesis: Factors Influencing Housing-Seeking Difficulty for Battered Women: An Investigation of Racial Discrimination and Attitudes Held By Landlords; Advisor: Dr. Paula Barata