Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH, Ray M. Hayworth and Family Distinguished Professor of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, has been appointed Assad Meymandi Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, effective October 1.
Gary Gala, MD, has served as the department’s interim chair since July, following the retirement of David Rubinow, MD. Rubinow led the department for 13 years.
“It has been a great privilege and pleasure to be a part of the UNC Department of Psychiatry for the last 19 years and I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead the Department into the next decade,” said Meltzer-Brody. “I look forward to working with wonderfully talented and dedicated colleagues to achieve the collective mission of the UNC School of Medicine and Health Care system by enhancing our commitment to scientific discovery, training the next generation, and providing outstanding clinical care to the patients we serve.”
Meltzer-Brody brings a wealth of clinical, research, and administrative experience to the position. Meltzer-Brody is Founder and Director of the NC Perinatal Psychiatry Program of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Her focus is on the epidemiologic, genetic, and other biomarker models of perinatal depression as well as novel ways to deliver psychotherapy to perinatal women. Her work has impacted treatment of women from Chapel Hill to Sub-Saharan Africa. She established the international postpartum depression consortium (PACT) and is co-investigator of the PPD ACT app, a smart phone study that is a large, international genetic study of postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. She has also served as the academic principal investigator of the brexanolone clinical trials. In March, brexanolone – marketed as Zulresso – became the first drug to receive FDA approval for the treatment of postpartum depression.
Meltzer-Brody has been a champion for provider well-being. She founded Taking Care of Our Own, a resource for physician well-being and burnout prevention. She was instrumental in UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine’s adoption of the Quadruple Aim, and currently serves as Executive Medical Director of the UNC Well-Being Program.
Over the course of her career, Meltzer-Brody has been honored with a number of awards including the 2019 Alexandra Symonds Award, given by the American Psychiatric Association in recognition of outstanding contributions and leadership in promoting women’s health and the advancement of women. Meltzer-Brody also currently serves as President of the North American Chapter of the Marce Society of Perinatal Mental Health. The group will be hosting its biennial conference in Chapel Hill this October.
“Dr. Meltzer-Brody is an internationally renowned clinician and researcher, a respected leader, and a trusted colleague. I look forward to working closely with her as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and to watching her build on the solid foundation created by Dr. Rubinow during tenure as Chair,” said Cristy Page, MD, MPH, Executive Dean of the UNC School of Medicine.