Margaret Gail Spinelli, MD

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Dr. Margaret Spinelli is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and a Research Psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Spinelli is the Founder and Former Director of the Women’s Program in Psychiatry at Columbia University and the recipient of research awards from the National Institutes of Mental Health to study depression and pregnancy. Dr. Spinelli’s clinical, teaching, research activities and publications have focused on psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum periods. In the past 20 years, she has taught and lectured all over the world about perinatal depression. She has worked tirelessly to educate medical faculty, nurses and social workers in psychiatry, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology in addition to students and residents in training, She has educated attorneys, law students and judges about the importance of peripartum mental illness and Infanticide.


2016: Distinguished Lifetime Fellow: American Psychiatric Association

2014: Alexandra Symonds Award: Assoc. of Women Psychiatrists and the American Psychiatric Association for advancement of women’s mental health in the fields of clinical services, research, and education.

2010: Maternal and Child Health Community Service Award: Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership: New York City Dept. of Mental Health

2010: Channi Kumar Memorial Award: International Marce Society for Prevention of Postpartum Disorders

2004: Manfred S.Guttmacher Award: American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law: outstanding literary contribution to psychiatry and the forensic sciences

2005: Residents Choice Award: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute

Academic Appointments

  • Clinical Professor of Psychiatry

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • Female

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Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • Cornell University Medical College, NY
  • MD, 1988 Cornell University Medical College, NY
  • Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
  • Fellowship: New York State Psychiatric Institute

Board Certifications

  • Psychiatry


Dr. Spinelli's research activities have focused on psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum periods. She has also performed clinical trials on the treatment of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

Dr. Spinelli's current research is funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health to study depression during pregnancy at 3 New York City Hospitals. The study is a 12-week bilingual treatment intervention for Latina, African-American and Caucasian pregnant women with major depression. The treatment uses Interpersonal Psychotherapy. The study has a strong focus on depression, mother-infant interaction, social support and economic status of women.

Research Interests

  • Depression and other psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period
  • Premenstrual Mood Disorder: Hormones and Mood
  • Reproductive and Perinatal Psychiatry

Selected Publications

  • Spinelli M: Infanticide: Psychosocial and Legal Perspectives on Mothers who Kill: , American Psychiatric Press Inc,, Washington, DC, usa, 2002
  • Spinelli M: Maternal Infanticide Associated with Mental Illness: Prevention and the Promise of Saved Lives. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2004;161(9): 1548-57
  • Spinelli M, Endicott J : Controlled Clinical Trial of Interpersonal Psychotherapy Versus Parenting Education Program for Depressed Pregnant Women. American Journal of Psychiatry 2003;160: 555-562
  • Oren D, Wisner K, Spinelli M. Epperson CN, Peindl K, Terman JS, Terman M: An Open Trial of Morning Light Therapy for Treatment of Antepartum Depression. The American Journal of Psychiatry 2002;159: 666-669
  • Spinelli M: Depression and hormone therapy. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology 2004;47: 428-436