Deinera Exner-Cortens

Assistant Professor


Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

MA - Human Development

Cornell University, 2011

MPH - Social and Behavioral Science

Boston University, 2009

BSc - Cellular, Molecular & Microbial Biology

University of Calgary, 2007

Contact information


Office : AD270

Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mental Health
  • Psychoeducation
  • Psychology of Gender

Research activities

Our research focuses on building healthy relationships as a foundation for well-being in childhood and adolescence. Currently, our projects fall into four areas: 1) evaluating healthy relationships/mental health promotion activities in school and community settings, 2) developing and evaluating implementation support tools for school-based mental health/healthy relationships service delivery; 3) prevention of adolescent dating violence; and 4) school-based suicide prevention. Our lab collaborates with a number of community and research partners both provincially and nationally.


Deinera Exner-Cortens is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary, and is jointly appointed to the Department of Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Exner-Cortens is also a full member in the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, and an Associate Member in the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education. She holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology (Cornell University) and a Master of Public Health (Boston University). Dr. Exner-Cortens completed her CIHR-funded post-doctoral work at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Centre for Prevention Science and with Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence in the University of Calgary's Faculty of Social Work. 




  • Tier II Canada Research Chair (Childhood Health Promotion)
  • Government of Alberta Inspiration Awards, Innovation Award: Leadership in Family Violence Prevention
  • Society for Prevention Research Early Career Preventionists Network John B. Reid Early Career Award
  • Top 40 Under 40, Avenue Magazine