Dr. Tamar Ringel-Kulka

Tamar Ringel-Kulka, MD, MPH

Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health
421A Rosenau
CB# 7445
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Tamar Ringel-Kulka, MD, MPH is a pediatrician with 20 years of research and teaching at UNC. Dr. Ringel-Kulka is a graduate of the Gillings School of Global Public Health (Health Policy and Administration, 2000). She is interested in health promotion and disease prevention in early childhood, including child abuse and neglect and reducing health disparities in children. In addition, she research the microbiome and its association with health and disease conditions.

Dr. Ringel-Kulka is a research assistant professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health where she directs the North Carolina Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center, a collaboration with NC DHHS divisions of child development and early education (DCDEE) and Child and Family Well-Being (DFWB). Dr. Ringel-Kulka has served as principal investigator for over 30 research and service awards sponsored by the State of North Carolina, the NIH, Norway Research Council (sub-awards) and the pharma industry. Her grants total $1.5M in 2022. 

Research Activities

Primary Investigator: Promoting Healthy & Safe Environment for Young Children

Primary Investigator: North Carolina Child Care Health & Safety Resource Center

Primary Investigator (sub-award): Children At Risk and Oral Health 

Service Activities

North Carolina Child Care Health Consultants (CCHC) System Workgroup, 2021-present

North Carolina Perinatal Oral Health Improvement Plan Committee, 2020-present 

Academic Editor, PLOS ONE, 2019-present

Editorial board, EC Paedeiatrics, 2017-present

Editorial board, Gastroenterology Research and Practice 2015-present

Practice Activities

Director, North Carolina Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center. Promoting health and safety of children at child care centers through training and technical support to child care health consultants (CCHC) and child care workforce in North Carolina. 


Key Publications

Association of oral bacteria with oral hygiene habits and self reported ginigval bleeding. Bertelsen RJ, Barrionuevo AMP, Lie SA, Real FG, Ringel-Kulka T, Åstrøm AN, Svanes C. (2022). J Clin Periodontol.

Exposure to environmental phenols and parabens, and relation to body mass index, eczema and respiratory outcomes in the Norwegian RHINESSA study. Vindenes HK, Svanes C, Lygre SHL, Real FG, Ringel-Kulka T, Bertelsen RJ (2021). Environ Health.
View publication

Genetic analysis of 53,400 people with irritable bowel syndrome highlights shared pathways with neuroaffective traits. Eijsbouts C et al. and the Bellygenes initiative banner authorship. (2024). Nat Genet.

A Geospatial Analysis of the Impact of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative on Breastfeeding Initiation in North Carolina. Liberty A, Wouk K, Chetwynd E, Ringel-Kulka T. (2024). J Hum Lact.

Use of probiotics and prebiotics in infant feeding. Bertelsen RJ, Jensen ET, Ringel-Kulka T (2016). Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol.

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of synbiotic yogurt effect on the health of children. Ringel-Kulka T, Kotch JB, Jensen ET, Savage E, Weber DJ. (2024). J Pediatr.


  • MPH, Health Policy and Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000
  • Cum Laude, MD, Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 1991