World-Renowned Women’s Mood Disorders Program

David R. Rubinow, M.D.

UNC Department of Psychiatry

Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine
Founder, UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders

Support from the Foundation of Hope created the Women’s Mood Disorders Program at UNC. This program is now world-renowned and remains the only one in the country with an inpatient peripartum unit and with an NIH T32 training fellowship. Among other accomplishments, studies by the program investigators have demonstrated the following:

1) Estrogen prevents both depressive symptoms and acceleration of cardiovascular disease in perimenopausal women (thus arguing for the potential re-introduction of hormone therapy in this population); and

2) The unique susceptibility of some women to mood disorders during periods of reproductive change resides, at least in part, in differential genomic responses to hormone stimuli (which has shown to be present in the cells of hormone-sensitive women).

These and other findings have led to new treatments, treatment targets, and treatment recommendations for women with reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders.