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Dean Frederick MacKinnon, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Dean Frederick MacKinnon, M.D.
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Adult Psychiatry, Affective Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Mood Disorders, Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Research Interests

bipolar disorder endophenotypes

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Appointment Phone: 410-955-5212
600 N. Wolfe Street
Meyer Building, Suite 3-181
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 443-287-6330 | Fax: 410-955-0152


Before joining the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Johns Hopkins in 1996 I majored in intellectual history at University of Pennsylvania, completed medical school at University of California, San Diego, and did my psychiatry training and fellowship at Johns Hopkins. 

My main clinical interest is in the evaluation and treatment of patients with complex and treatment refractory depression and manic depressive illness. My major non-clinical interest is medical student teaching. I developed and run the first year course Brain Mind Behavior, which introduces students to psychiatry and behavioral science. Based on my experience as an educator and clinician, I have written and published two books: Trouble in Mind: An Unorthodox Introduction to Psychiatry (2011), and Still Down: What to Do When Antidepressans Fail (2016). more


  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD, University of California San Diego School of Medicine (1990)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry And Neurology / Psychiatry (1995)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

MacKinnon DF, Zandi PP, Gershon E, Nurnberger JI Jr., Reich T, DePaulo JR. "Rapid switching of mood in families with multiple cases of bipolar disorder," Arch Gen Psychiatry 2003; 60:921-928

MacKinnon DF, Pies R: Affective instability as rapid cycling: theoretical and clinical implications for borderline personality and bipolar spectrum disorders. Bipolar.Disord. 2006; 8:1-14

MacKinnon DF, Craighead B, Lorenz L. Carbon dioxide induces erratic respiratory responses in bipolar disorder. J Affect Disord 2009 112:193-200

MacKinnon DF: Trouble in Mind: An Unorthodox Introduction to Psychiatry. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press (2011)

MacKinnon DF: Still Down: What to Do When Antidepressants Fail. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press (2016)

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Brain Mind Behavior
    Course Director
  • Topics in Interdisciplinary Medical Education: Substance Use Disorders
    Course co-leader

Activities & Honors


  • American Psychiatric Association, 1996
    General Member
  • American Psychopathological Association, 2000
  • Association for Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry, 2007
  • Maryland Psychiatric Society, 1991
  • Public Affairs Committee, 1994 - 1995
  • Residents Committee, 1992 - 1994

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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