A photo of Nadine Kasparian.

Director, Cincinnati Children's Center for Heart Disease and Mental Health, Heart Institute and the Division of Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Biography & Affiliation


Nadine Kasparian is professor of Pediatrics and founding director of the Cincinnati Children’s Center for Heart Disease and Mental Health, a partnership between the Heart Institute and Division of Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Nadine's research investigates the factors that shape emotional and neurobiological development in children with critical or chronic illness, particularly congenital heart disease (CHD). Her team seeks to understand how experiences of early medical adversity may alter developmental processes, including emotion regulation and stress reactivity, in ways that increase vulnerability to anxiety, depression and other mental health difficulties. Nadine's team also explores infant-parent bonding and attachment, and the ways in which we can best support young children and their families in the context of medical illness. In partnership with patients, parents and health care providers, the overarching goal is to discover the mechanisms that contribute to developmental risk and resilience, and deliver targeted interventions, strategies and policies to promote health and wellbeing throughout childhood and across the life course. Her team pursues this research using methods drawn from clinical and developmental psychology, neurobiology and medical science.

Nadine has a PhD in medical psychology from the University of Sydney and serves on the editorial board for Health Psychology Review and Psychology & Health. She holds a National Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellowship (2017-2020), has been continuously funded by the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia, and was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice based at Harvard Medical School (2018-2019). In 2018 her team received the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network Innovation Award for Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services for children with heart disease and their families.

Clinical Interests

Childhood heart disease; infant mental health; emotion regulation; bonding; attachment; neurodevelopment; child mental health; perinatal mental health; maternal mental health; antenatal anxiety; postnatal depression; paternal mental health; motherhood; fatherhood; parenting; family functioning; anxiety; depression; trauma; traumatic stress; adverse childhood experiences; psychotherapy; empathy; resilience; adaptation

Research Interests

Neurobiological responses to stress; neurodevelopment; heart-brain-gut axis; brain imaging; hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; microbiome; biomarkers; biobank; stress reactivity; perinatal mental health; intervention; randomized controlled trials; prospective cohort studies; psychotherapy; clinical research; translational research; health services; health policy; child development; mental health

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Behavioral Medicine, Heart


BA: Psychology (Honors Class I), University of Sydney, Australia.

PhD: Science, University of Sydney, Australia.

Licensed: Psychology Board of Australia.

Full Member: Australian Psychological Society.

Graduate Diploma: Infant Mental Health, NSW Institute of Psychiatry.


Selected Publication

A mediated model of mindful awareness, emotion regulation, and maternal mental health during pregnancy and postpartum. McDonald, HM; Sherman, KA; Kasparian, NA. Australian Journal of Psychology. 2021; 73:368-380.

Parent-child bonding and attachment during pregnancy and early childhood following congenital heart disease diagnosis. Tesson, S; Butow, PN; Marshall, K; Fonagy, P; Kasparian, NA. Health Psychology Review. 2021; 1-34.

Factors associated with psychological distress among Australian women during pregnancy. McDonald, HM; Sherman, KA; Kasparian, NA. Personality and Individual Differences. 2021; 172.

Maintaining Momentum in Infant Mental Health Research During COVID-19: Adapting Observational Assessments. Tesson, S; Swinsburg, D; Kasparian, NA. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2021.

Neurocognitive Dysfunction and Smaller Brain Volumes in Adolescents and Adults With a Fontan Circulation. Verrall, CE; Yang, JY M; Chen, J; Schembri, A; D'Udekem, Y; Zannino, D; Kasparian, NA; Du Plessis, K; Grieve, SM; Welton, T; et al. Circulation. 2021; 143:878-891.

Prevalence and Prognostic Association of a Clinical Diagnosis of Depression in Adult Congenital Heart Disease: Results of the Boston Adult Congenital Heart Disease Biobank. Carazo, MR; Kolodziej, MS; DeWitt, ES; Kasparian, NA; Newburger, JW; Duarte, VE; Singh, MN; Opotowsky, AR. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2020; 9.

Benefits of a brief psychological intervention targeting fear of cancer recurrence in people at high risk of developing another melanoma: 12-month follow-up results of a randomized controlled trial. Dieng, M; Morton, RL; Costa, DS J; Butow, PN; Menzies, SW; Lo, S; Mann, GJ; Cust, AE; Kasparian, NA. British Journal of Dermatology. 2020; 182:860-868.

How Patient Perceptions Shape Responses and Outcomes in Inherited Cardiac Conditions. O'Donovan, C; Ingles, J; Broadbent, E; Skinner, JR; Kasparian, NA. Heart Lung and Circulation. 2020; 29:641-652.

Health-Related Quality of Life in Children, Adolescents, and Adults With a Fontan Circulation: A Meta-Analysis. Marshall, KH; D'Udekem, Y; Sholler, GF; Opotowsky, AR; Costa, DS J; Sharpe, L; Celermajer, DS; Winlaw, DS; Newburger, JW; Kasparian, NA. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2020; 9.

Management of People With a Fontan Circulation: a Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Position statement. Zentner, D; Celermajer, DS; Gentles, T; d'Udekem, Y; Ayer, J; Blue, GM; Bridgman, C; Burchill, L; Cheung, M; Cordina, R; et al. Heart Lung and Circulation. 2020; 29:5-39.