Postdoctoral Research Training

The Center for Women’s Mood Disorders within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosts the only NIH-funded postdoctoral training fellowship program in the field of Reproductive Mood Disorders.

 

The program, designed to train both MD and PhD scientists, fosters the development of researchers with expertise in both the biological basis and clinically relevant (predictive) phenotypes of reproductive mood disorders (perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopausal depression). Training will involve a broad-based and integrative perspective, involving not only psychiatry but cardiology and genetics, endocrinology, neuroscience, and obstetrics/gynecology.

The program’s emphasis is on training in pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie reproductive mood disorders. The trainees will develop mastery in the following: reproductive hormonal physiology and signaling; methods for manipulating the reproductive system; and clinical phenomenology of reproductive mood disorders. Additionally, trainees will develop expertise in at least one of four methodological training tracks: Neurosciences, Genetics, Stress Physiology, or Clinical Trials Methodology. Fellows will have a primary research mentor (representing their training track) and a secondary mentor (from a different track), thereby providing exposure to the interdisciplinary nature of science. Fellows who complete this program will be poised to become independent researchers, having the requisite foundation to examine biobehavioral mechanisms in reproductive mood disorders and the ability to identify therapeutic biologic targets in their future independent research.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill represents an ideal setting for this program because it possesses a well-known collaborative infrastructure, a vibrant women’s mood disorder clinical program (which includes the first inpatient perinatal depression program in the country), and a critical mass of researchers in reproductive mood disorders with a track record of success.

This is a two year training program, with possible extension for a third year. Salary is consistent with the NIH post-doctoral stipend levels. Criteria for selection include demonstrated experience in reproductive mood disorders (or a highly related area), a strong potential to become an independent investigator, strength in verbal and written communication, curiosity, and genuine commitment to advancing the scientific rigor of the reproductive mood disorders field. Applicants with interdisciplinary interests are strongly encouraged.

 

If interested, send your curriculum vitae to Susan Girdler, Ph.D. (co-Program Director) at susan_girdler@med.unc.edu or Department of Psychiatry CB 7175 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599