Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair

Alana Cattapan profile picture.Areas of Specialization

  • Gender and public policy
  • Reproductive justice
  • Public engagement
  • Community-engaged research
  • Health policy and biotechnology
  • Canadian politics


BA (Ottawa), MA (Toronto), PhD (York)

Alana Cattapan is the Canada Research Chair in the Politics of Reproduction (Tier II) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. She studies gendered inclusion in policy making, identifying links between the state, the commercialization of the body, and reproductive labour. She is also a Board member and the Research and Action Chair of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, and part of the organizing group of Rise Up! A Digital Archive of Feminist Activism.

Before joining the University of Waterloo, she was an Assistant Professor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan, where she was also an Associate Member of the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. Prior to that appointment, she was a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow at Novel Tech Ethics in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University, focusing on interest group organizing for infertility care, and the governance of reproductive tissues.

She has published peer-reviewed articles in Studies in Political Economy, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Public Affairs Quarterly, the Canadian Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Medical Ethics, among others. She is also the co-editor of Surrogacy in Canada: Critical Perspectives in Law and Policy (Irwin Law, 2018).

Current Research

Dr. Cattapan is currently investigating the emergence of the concept of “women of reproductive age” in biomedical research ethics and public health campaigns, focusing on the Canadian case. She is also conducting community-engaged research with egg donors, and at Sanctum 1.5, a prenatal home for women at high-risk of contracting HIV/AIDS in Saskatoon. These projects draw together a range of methodological approaches, using a combination of archival research, interviews, talking circles, focus groups, socio-medical file review, and discourse analysis.

Current grants

  • 2020-2024: Sanctum 1.5’s Hope Through Strength.” Canadian Institutes of Health Research Project Grant. Co-Investigator.
  • 2019-2024: Surrogates’ Voices: Exploring Surrogates’ Experiences and Insights. Co-Applicant.
  • 2017-2022: “Perpetually, Potentially Pregnant: Women of Childbearing Age in Public Health Policy and Biomedical Research.” CIHR New Investigator Award in Maternal, Reproductive, and Child Health (with support from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, the University of Saskatchewan, University of Waterloo). Principal Investigator.

Selected Publications


Cattapan, Alana, Julianne Acker-Verney, Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Tammy Findlay, and April Mandrona. “Public Engagement in a Time of Confinement.” Canadian Public Policy 46.S3 (2020): S287-S299.

Moore, Samantha and Alana Cattapan. “Women’s Reproductive Health and Failure Speak.” Canadian Medical Association Journal. 192.12 (March 2020): E325-6.

Bisaillon, Laura, Alana Cattapan, Lorena Anton, Annelieke Driessen, et. al. “Doing Academia Differently: I Needed Self-Help Less Than I Needed a Fair Society.” Feminist Studies 46.1 (2020): 130-157.

Cattapan, Alana. “Medical Necessity and the Politics of In Vitro Fertilization in Ontario.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 53.1 (2020): 61-77.

Tessaro, Lara, Alana Cattapan, Jennie Haw, and Roxanne Mykitiuk. “Toxic Conceptions: The Assessment and Regulation of Male-Mediated Transgenerational Effects of Chemical Exposures.”  Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31.2 (2019): 346-365.

Cattapan, Alana, Katharine Browne, Donna M. Halperin, Antonia Di Castri, et. al. “Motivation for Participating in Phase I Vaccine Trials: Comparison of an Influenza and Ebola Randomized Controlled Trial.” Vaccine 37.2 (2019): 289-285.

Cattapan, Alana and Dave Snow. “Everything and Nothing: Regulating Embryo Research in Canada.” New Genetics and Society 36.1 (2017): 43-65.

Cattapan, Alana. “Precarious Labour: On Egg Donation as Work.” Studies in Political Economy 97.3 (2016): 234-252.

Cattapan, Alana and Quinn DuPont. “Moving Forward, Looking Back: Taking Canadian Feminist Histories Online.” Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, and Social Justice 37.2 (2016): 225-237.

Cattapan, Alana. “Good Eggs? Evaluating Consent Forms for Egg Donation.” Journal of Medical Ethics 42.7 (2016): 455-459.

Cattapan, Alana and Ashley Doyle. “Patient Decision Making on the Disposition of Surplus Cryopreserved Embryos in Canada.” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada 38.1 (2016): 60-66.

Cattapan, Alana and Françoise Baylis. “Frozen in Perpetuity? ‘Abandoned Embryos’ in Canada.” Reproductive Biomedicine and Society Online 1.2 (2015):104-112.

Cattapan, Alana and Dave Snow. “Of Research and Reproduction: Defining Embryo Research in Canada.” Monash Bioethics Review 33.4 (2015): 379-395.

Petropanagos Angel, Alana Cattapan, Françoise Baylis, and Art Leader. “Social egg freezing: risk, benefits and other considerations.” Canadian Medical Association Journal. 187.9 (2015): 666-669.


Baylis, Françoise and Alana Cattapan. “Personalized Medicine and the Politics of Human Genome Transfer.” In Personalised Medicine, Individual Choice, and the Common Good. Britta van Beers, Sigrid Sterckx, and Donna Dickenson, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018. pp.17-36.

Cattapan, Alana. “On Reproductive Citizenship: Thinking About Social Rights and Assisted Reproduction in Canada.” In Fertile Ground: Exploring Reproduction in Canada. Stephanie Paterson, Francesca Scala, and Marlene Sokolon, eds. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014. pp.152-177.

University of Waterloo
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