Kimberly Carpenter, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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Dr. Carpenter is a neurobiologist specializing in translational developmental neuroscience, with expertise in functional and structural neuroimaging in clinical and pediatric populations. Dr. Carpenter’s research focuses on three primary content areas: (A) The neuroscience of early childhood mental health, (B) Risk factors for psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders in preschool-age children, and (C) The development of new technologies for evidenced-based screening for neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders in young children. Through this work, she aims to increase access to, and provide a solid neurobiological foundation for, evidence-based screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism and associated psychiatric comorbidities in children from birth to 5 years of age.  

Dr. Carpenter’s research career has spanned multiple levels of neuroscience from animal models of disease to human post-mortem brain and neuroimaging studies. Throughout her training, Dr. Carpenter has always incorporated her background in basic neuroscience into the development and interpretation of human neuroimaging research. Since joining the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, Dr. Carpenter has overseen a number of projects focused on early detection, intervention, and the neurobiologic correlates of autism and associated comorbid psychiatric disorders. Dr. Carpenter has contributed to a number of peer reviewed articles, review papers, and book chapters on the involvement of social and cognitive neural networks in the neurobiological underpinnings of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. She is also the recipient of a 2015 NARSAD Young Investigator Award and a Career Development Institute in Psychiatry Awardee.

Dr. Carpenter has a Ph.D in Neurobiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a bachelor of science in biology with a minor in chemistry, and a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.



Representative Publications

1. Carpenter KLH, Li W, Wu B, Xiao X, Liu, C, Worley G, Egger HL (2016). Magnetic susceptibility of brain iron is associated with childhood spatial IQ. Neuroimage 132, 167-174. PMCID: PMC4851899.

2. Carpenter KLH, Angold A, Chen NK, Copeland WE, Gaur P, Pelphrey K, Song AW, Egger HL (2015). Preschool anxiety disorders predict different patterns of amygdala-prefrontal connectivity at school-age. PLoS One.10(1):e0116854. PMCID: PMC4308069.

3. Hashemi J*, Campbell K*, Carpenter KLH*, Harris A, Qiu Q, Tepper M, Espinosa S, Schaich Borg J, Marsan S, Calderbank R, Baker JP, Egger HL, Dawson G, and Sapiro G (2015).  A scalable app for measuring autism risk behaviors in young children: A technical validity and feasibility study. Proceedings of the 5th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare - “Transforming Healthcare through Innovations in Mobile and Wireless Technologies.” doi:10.4108/eai.14-10-2015.2261939.

4. Belger A, Carpenter KLH, Yucel GH, Cleary KM, Donkers FC (2011). The neural circuitry of autism. Neurotoxicity research. 20(3):201-14.

5. Sasson NJ, Pinkham AE, Carpenter KLH, Belger A (2011). The benefit of directly comparing autism and schizophrenia for revealing mechanisms of social cognitive impairment. Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders. 3(2):87-100.