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Assistant Professor and Co-Director, Perinatal Psychiatry Program


Assistant Professor

Co-Director, Perinatal Psychiatry Program

Medical Director, NC Maternal Mental Health MATTERS Program


UNC Hospitals – Chapel Hill
UNC Mental Health Specialists – Chapel Hill

Education and Training:

Fellow in Mood Disorders, Johns Hopkins Women’s Mood Disorders Center
Psychiatry residency and Chief Resident, Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
First and second year of residency, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Johns Hopkins Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics
M.D., Drexel University College of Medicine
B.A., Political Science and Honors in Biology, Northwestern University

Summary Statement:

Mary Kimmel, MD is an Assistant Professor, Medical Director of NC Maternal Mental Health MATTERS program, and Co-Director of UNC’s Perinatal Psychiatry Program. She graduated with Honors in Biology and a second Political Science major at Northwestern University.  She was inducted into AOA and received awards for her work in women’s health before her graduation from Drexel University College of Medicine. She has training in obstetrics and psychiatry and served as a chief resident in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins.  She completed a fellowship at Johns Hopkins in Women’s Mood Disorders and her research and clinical work during her fellowship focused on integration of maternal mental health assessment and treatment into obstetrics and pediatrics and on mother-infant attachment. She was the medical director for over five years for the UNC’s Perinatal Psychiatry Inpatient Unit, the first unit of its kind in the United States to provide inpatient psychiatric care to pregnant and postpartum women. The NC Maternal Mental Health MATTERS program provides education and support to frontline providers and their pregnant and postpartum patients for the screening, assessment and treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, and other behavioral health disorders. Dr. Kimmel’s research includes studying the relationship of the microbiota-gut-brain axis, stress reactivity, and tryptophan/serotonin metabolism across pregnancy and the postpartum period and in relation to the development of maternal depression and anxiety and the child’s psychological development.  NIMH, HRSA, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and the Foundation of Hope funding support Dr. Kimmel’s work. She has presented her work in numerous national and international settings and has been an invited speaker on the microbiota-gut-brain axis and on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders.

Mary Kimmel