About Caroline Mitchell, MD

Dr. Mitchell runs a referral vulvovaginitis clinic at the Massachusetts General Hospital and is a faculty member in the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology. Dr. Mitchell received her BA in Women’s Studies from Harvard College and spent 2 years in the Peace Corps in Southern Africa before returning to Harvard Medical School for her MD degree.  She did her OB/Gyn residency training at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she also received her MPH degree.  She spent 7 years on faculty at the UW before returning to MGH in 2014.

Dr. Mitchell spends the majority of her time in the lab doing translational and basic science research. Her work focuses on the relationship between the vaginal microbiota and the reproductive mucosal immune response, and how interactions between humans and our microbes influence reproductive health.

She has received career development awards from NIH and the Doris Duke Foundation. She is currently funded by the NIH  as a co-investigator on a trial evaluating treatments for genitourinary symptoms of menopause, and received a Harvard Catalyst Microbiome Pilot Award to study the role of the microbiome in fertility.  She has also received funding from the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation, and is an MGH Claflin Award recipient

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Locations

Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Service
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
617-724-6850

Medical Education

  • MD, Harvard Medical School
  • Residency, University of Washington Medical Center

American Board Certifications

  • Obstetrics & Gynecology, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


Research

There are more bacterial cells in and on our bodies than human cells, and we are learning that these bacteria can have a profound influence on our health.The goal of the Mitchell Lab is to understand how vaginal microbes influence reproductive health and disease.   Our current projects include:

  • Dr. Mitchell is part of the MSFLASH menopause research network and was the first author of a report in JAMA Internal Medicine on a randomized trial of two treatments for menopausal vaginitis symptoms which showed similar efficacy between vaginal moisturizer, vaginal estrogen and placebo.  Biologic samples from that same study will be used to evaluate the role of the vaginal microbiota after menopause.
  • In 2019 Dr. Mitchell received a Harvard Catalyst Microbiome Pilot award to study the effects of microbiota on fertility outcomes
  • A proposal focused on identifying characteristics of Lactobacillus species associated with beneficial reproductive health outcomes was the basis of Dr. Mitchell’s successful application for an MGH Claflin Scholar Award in 2015.  
  • The Domolky Innovation Award allowed Dr. Mitchell to initiate a study of vulvovaginal symptoms and the microbial community in women with inflammatory bowel disease, which is the first of its kind in this population.

Publications