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Margaret "Peg" McCarthy, PhD, is Invested as the Second James and Carolyn Frenkil Dean's Professor

April 04, 2019

Margaret McCarthy, PhD

In front of a standing ovation at Westminster Hall on March 26, Margaret McCarthy, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, became the second University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) faculty member to hold the James and Carolyn Frenkil Dean’s Professorship. The two professorships, made possible by the generosity of UMSOM Board of Visitors member and longtime philanthropist Carolyn B. Frenkil, were established to recognize distinguished faculty in the basic sciences. The ceremony followed the investiture of James Kaper, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, in March.

“Endowed Professors are the gold standard for our faculty,” Ms. Frenkil said in her remarks. “And, basic science is the foundation of knowledge essential for developing cures for our most debilitating diseases.”

Jessica Mong, PhDAlong with Ms. Frenkil and UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, friends, family and colleagues of Dr. McCarthy filled the hall, listening to several speakers provide compelling testimonies to her leadership, scholarship, teaching and mentoring over a distinguished 25-year career at the UMSOM. Three of her colleagues, reflected on their personal and professional relationships with Dr. McCarthy, highlighting her passion, creativity and advocacy for women in science. Jessica Mong, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology, who is serving as Acting Chair while Dr. McCarthy is on sabbatical, echoed a phrase from UNESCO, saying “The world needs science and science needs women!,” adding that “Science especially needs women like Peg McCarthy!”

For the past three decades, Dr. McCarthy and her colleagues have been exploring gender differences in the brain. Dr. McCarthy has been awarded nearly $19 million in federal funding since 1994, currently has $6.75 million in NIH grants, and has had close to $4 million awarded to trainees under her immediate supervision. With over 200 scientific manuscripts published, Dr. McCarthy’s research is leading to new innovations in policy by the NIH and FDA. The impact of these policy shifts will establish new guidelines for the treatment of men versus women.

In her acceptance remarks, Dr. McCarthy thanked numerous colleagues, past and present, as well as her husband, and family for their unwavering support.

James Kaper, PhD, Carolyn B. Frenkil, and Margaret M. McCarthy, PhDThe UMSOM now has 84 endowed professors. In addition to Dr. Kaper, Wei Chao, MD, PhD, FAHA, Professor of Anesthesiology, recently received the Anesthesiology Endowed Professor in Translational Research, made possible by the Department of Anesthesiology.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and more than $530 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit


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