Dr. Nickel is an Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Research Scientist and Associate Director at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, and Co-Director of the Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC). Nickel received his Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Community Health Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles and his PhD in Maternal and Child Health Policy from the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Nickel is an applied population health scientist. He uses administrative data to conduct health and social policy research. Nickel’s research program centres on examining how social and structural determinants impact population health and well-being and health and social 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, methamphetamine and opioid 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. In 2019, he was inducted into the US National Honor Society for Public Health for excellence in research and service in population health.
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.
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.