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Assistant Professor and Co-Director, Perinatal Psychiatry Program


Assistant Professor

Co-Director, Perinatal Psychiatry 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 and Medical Director of the UNC’s Perinatal Psychiatry Inpatient Unit (PPIU). Her clinical expertise is in treating women’s mood and anxiety disorders and in treating psychiatric disorders and other mental health issues during pregnancy and the postpartum time period. As part of her work on the PPIU, Dr. Kimmel provides care to many who have had treatment resistant postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis. She supervises residents caring for perinatal patients in UNC’s psychiatry outpatient clinic and in UNC’s Family Practice office. Dr. Kimmel has been an invited speaker at numerous state, national, and international conferences about the care of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She has published work on the risk factors for postpartum depression and on the care of perinatal patients in a variety of settings. Dr. Kimmel’s research interests include studying changes of systems such as the microbiota-gut-brain axis, the stress system and the immune system across pregnancy in relation to the development of maternal depression and anxiety and in relation to the child’s psychological development in order to develop treatments. Dr. Kimmel has NIMH and foundation funding to study the microbiota-gut-brain axis in relation to stress reactivity and the development of postpartum depression and anxiety and to study the maternal microbial composition in relation to the child’s microbial composition and the child’s stress reactivity.