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Mary Kimmel, MD

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Mary Kimmel, MD is an Assistant Professor, Medical Director of NC Maternal Mental Health MATTERS program, and Medical Director of the UNC’s Perinatal Psychiatry Inpatient Unit (PPIU), and associate member of UNC’s Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease. The PPIU is the first psychiatric inpatient unit in the U.S. dedicated to the care of women during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. NC Maternal Mental Health MATTERS program is being developed to improve screening and treatment of maternal depression in North Carolina. Dr. Kimmel has received funding from the NIMH, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and the Foundation of Hope. Dr. Kimmel’s research focuses on the microbiota-gut-brain axis and stress reactivity across the perinatal period (pregnancy through the postpartum period) in relation to the development of maternal mood and anxiety disorders and the child’s psychological development. Dr. Kimmel has published numerous articles on the microbiome and maternal-child mental health. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop novel diagnostic, prevention, and treatment tools utilizing the microbiota-gut-brain axis and to integrate them into clinical services.

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