• Portrait of Nathan Nickel
  • Associate professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Department of Community Health Sciences
    408 - 727 McDermot Avenue
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3P5

    Phone: 204-789-3666

Research achievements

Research summary

Dr. Nickel is an applied population health scientist who uses administrative data to conduct policy-focused health outcomes research.

Specifically, Dr. Nickel’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, Métis and Inuit organizations in Manitoba.

Research themes

  • Administrative data
  • Breastfeeding
  • Causal inference
  • Child protection services
  • Health policy
  • Intervention research
  • Justice system involvement
  • Maternal child health
  • Social determinants
  • Social policy
  • Structural determinants
  • Substance use

Research affiliations

Research groups

Social Policy Evaluation Collaborative Team Research at Universities in Manitoba



Dr. Nickel is an associate professor of community health sciences in the Max Rady College Of Medicine, director of the Manitoba Centre For Health Policy, co-director of the Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre, and associate editor of the International Breastfeeding Journal.

As a population health scientist, Dr. Nickel’s work focuses on generating evidence that can inform policy decision making.

He began his research career working with hospitals to implement and evaluate maternity practices to support health and well-being among mothers and their infants. Since then, he has worked with stakeholder groups and community to investigate maternal-child health outcomes associated with social programs as well as the social and structural determinants of health and well-being.

Through his partnerships, he has expanded his focus to examine how substance use and justice involvement intersect with the social and structural determinants and the subsequent impact on well-being.

Dr. Nickel has authored maternal-child health policy statements for the American Public Health Association, sat on pan-Canadian working groups focused on health equity, and produced evidence that was used to guide provincial decision making around treatment for people living with substance use.

Dr. Nickel volunteers at the local and national levels, sitting on boards for community health organizations and research groups, and scientific planning committees for professional organizations.

He currently teaches principles of epidemiology, an introductory course for graduate students; previously, he taught a course focused on quantitative methods for causal inference.

Dr. Nickel enjoys working with students. His graduate trainees have gained a broad range of experiences including working with decision makers, being part of peer-reviewed publications, and partaking in extra-curricular trainings and workshops. They regularly receive awards at the local and national levels for their research.


Doctor of Philosophy in Maternal and Child Health Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2011)

Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (2007)



  • Inducted into Delta Omega - the US National Honor Society for Public Health by UNC Chapel Hill


  • Future 40 Under 40 in Manitoba
  • Terry G Falconer Rh Award for Health Services Research


  • Kenneth Hughes New Investigator Award for Medical Research, University of Manitoba
  • Sidney S. Chipman Alumni Award, UNC Chapel Hill


  • CIHR New Investigator Prize for Health Equity Research

Dr. Nathan Nickel In the news

Contact us

Community Health Sciences
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room S113 - 750 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W3 Canada