BiographyBarbara L. Parry, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) where she has served as Director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Clinic of the UCSD Outpatient Psychiatric Services, Director of the Women’s Mental Health Clinic at the San Diego Veterans Administration Healthcare Center and Associate Director of the Medical Student Clerkship in Psychiatry. Before joining the faculty at UCSD in 1985, she did a research fellowship in Clinical Psychobiology at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She completed a residency in Psychiatry and an internship in Internal Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her clinical research focus is the chronobiology of mood disorders specific to women: premenstrual, pregnancy/postpartum and menopausal depression. She conducts sleep, light, melatonin and other hormonal studies with the aim of developing non-pharmacological approaches to treatment. Her work is supported by NIH funding, she has authored or co-authored over 280 publications and served on NIH study sections, Data and Safety Monitoring Boards and the editorial boards of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the Journal of Biological Rhythms, the International Journal of Endocrinology and Equilibria, the Journal for Postpartum Psychiatric Illness Research.
Research InterestsMy research and clinical background is in women’s mood disorders related to the reproductive cycle, and in chronobiology: With regard to my background in women’s mood disorders, as a medical student, I published a manuscript on the biologic basis of oral contraceptive-induced depressions (Mentor: A. John Rush, M.D.); as a psychiatric resident at the University of California, Los Angeles, I initiated, and subsequently published, a study on cerebrospinal fluid and endocrine measures in Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder-PMDD (Mentor: Robert Gerner, M.D.). I continued my studies of women’s mood disorders at the NIH, expanding into its chronobiological aspects, and for the last 29 years since coming to UCSD have extended the endocrine and chronobiological investigations in PMDD to other depressive disorders related to the reproductive cycle in women (pregnancy, postpartum, menopause). With regard to chronobiology, I did a research fellowship in Clinical Chronobiology at the National Institute of Mental Health (Mentors: Frederick K. Goodwin, M.D., Thomas A. Wehr, M.D. and Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D.), where as a clinical research associate I helped to implement studies primarily of melatonin circadian rhythms and of sleep and light therapies in mood disorders (rapid cycling bipolar illness and seasonal affective disorder) and initiated my own studies on melatonin circadian rhythms, sleep and light therapies in PMDD. Since joining the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 1985, I have extended the studies of melatonin and other hormones (cortisol, thyroid, prolactin, estradiol, progesterone, gonadotrophins) and of sleep and light therapies to not only PMDD, but also to pregnancy, postpartum and menopausal depressive disorders (Collaborators: J. Christian Gillin, M.D., Daniel F. Kripke, M.D., Richard L. Hauger, M.D., Jeffrey A. Elliott, Ph.D., Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D.). I served on the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-III-R and DSM-IV committees to develop diagnostic criteria for PMDD (and as a consultant for postpartum mood disorders), the Advisory Panel for the Surgeon General’s Women’s Mental Health Project, the NIH Office of Research for Women’s Health: Planning the Women’s Health Agenda for the 21st Century and the Executive Board of the Marce’ Society, The International Society for the Study and Treatment of Mental Illness during Childbearing. In these areas pertaining to the chronobiology of women’s mood disorders, I have published over 285 publications, maintained a consistent level of funding support through primarily NIH and other sources as PI, served as a reviewer on study sections, special emphasis panels, stimulus package grant applications and Data and Safety Monitoring Boards, and been on the editorial boards of multiple journals including the American Journal of Psychiatry, the Journal of Biological Rhythms, the International Journal of Endocrinology and Postpartum Equilibria: Journal of Postpartum Depression Research.