Dr. Nathan C. Nickel

Academic Background:

Nathan Nickel received his Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Community Health Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a focus in maternal and child nutrition policies and global health. He completed his PhD in Maternal and Child Health Policy at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 2013 he joined the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy as a Research Scientist and received a faculty appointment in the Department of Community Health Sciences.

In 2020 he was promoted to Associate Professor and became the Associate Director for Deliverables at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.


Dr. Nickel is an applied population health scientist. He uses administrative data to conduct policy-focused health outcomes research as well as research into the organization of the healthcare system. Specifically, Nathan’s research interests centre on examining how the social and structural determinants impact population health and health inequities. Within this framework he has conducted evaluation research looking at programs aimed at improving child outcomes; mental health and addictions research examining outcomes associated with alcohol use disorders and methamphetamine use; and outcomes associated with interactions with provincial systems such as the justice and child welfare systems. Much of his research is done in partnership with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit organizations in Manitoba.

Areas of Specialty:

Maternal and Child Health; Mental Health and Addictions; Health Equity; Program/Policy Evaluation; Causal Inference; Health Services; Structural and Social Determinants

Teaching and Supervision:

Dr. Nickel supervises MSc and PhD students with a keen interest in understanding how the social determinants – and the broader structural determinants – influence health. His trainees have been successful in securing funding in local, provincial, and national competitions. Students who are interested in working with him are encouraged to contact him early in their planning for graduate studies.

He currently teaches a Principles of Epidemiology for the Department of Community Health Sciences. He previously taught a methods course on tools for causal inference.


Dr. Nickel is active with the Breastfeeding Forum of the American Public Health Association - he is the current Scientific Chair for the forum and previously served as the Forum's secretary. Nathan also sits on the Scientific Program Planning Committee for the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. Nickel has served on several national working groups focused on health equity. In 2020, Dr. Nickel completed his term on the Executive Council for the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation. And, in 2016, he completed his term as Associate Editor for the Journal of Human Lactation.

Recent Awards:

Dr. Nickel’s research has been recognized by several awards. Locally, he received the Kenneth Hughes Young Investigator Award for Health Services Research and the Rh Foundation’s Emerging Researcher Award in Health Sciences in 2017 and 2018, respectively. In 2018, he was recognized as one of Manitoba’s 40 leaders under 40 for his contributions to population health. At the national-level, he was awarded a Young Investigator Prize from CIHR for his health equity research in 2016. He received the Sydney S. Chipman Alumnus Award for Excellence in Maternal-Child Health Research from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2017. In 2019, UNC elected Dr. Nickel as one of its 10 alumni inductees for the US National Honor Society in Public Health – Delta Omega – in recognition of his leadership and service to the field of public health.

Last Updated: July 24, 2020
Nathan Nickel

Dr. Nathan C. Nickel

Rank: Associate  Professor
Credentials: MPH (UCLA); PhD (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Phone: 204-789-3666
Email:  Nathan_Nickel@cpe.umanitoba.ca

Bio - University of Manitoba - Community Health Sciences