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UMSOM's Dr. Margaret McCarthy Awarded Indiana University's Gill Transformative Investigator Award for Neuroscience Research

September 06, 2019 | Joanne Morrison

Margaret McCarthy, PhD

Dr. McCarthy is Recognized for Her Long-Standing Research in Understanding Cellular Mechanisms Behind Sex Differences in the Brain

Indiana University’s Gill Center for Biomolecular Science has given Margaret McCarthy, PhD, The James & Carolyn Frenkil Endowed Dean’s Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), The Gill Center for Biomolecular Science 2019 Gill Transformative Investigator Award.

This award, which is given annually, is granted to individuals for their exceptional contributions to cellular or molecular neuroscience research. The award will be presented on Sept. 25 at the Gill Symposium in Bloomington, Ind., and it recognizes Dr. McCarthy’s long-standing interest in advancing the understanding of cellular mechanisms involved in establishing sex differences in the brain.

“I am honored to receive this award and to be among such prestigious colleagues both this year and in the past, and for the opportunity to present the work of the many exceptional members of my research group,” said Dr. McCarthy.

Using a combination of behavioral and mechanistic approaches in rodents, Dr. McCarthy has worked to identify how processes might go selectively awry in males or females. For the past three decades, she and her colleagues have been exploring sex differences in the brain. With over 200 scientific manuscripts published, her research is leading to new innovations in policy by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The impact of these policy shifts will help establish new guidelines for the treatment of men versus women.

Among her recent research, Dr. McCarthy’s laboratory discovered an essential role for the innate immune system in brain development, with different roles in males versus females. A higher level of inflammatory signals and immune reactivity in fetal males may contribute to the greater prevalence of development neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders in boys, including autism spectrum disorders, speech and language impairments, attention deficits and early on-set schizophrenia.

Dr. McCarthy will also be one of five featured speakers at the 2019 Gill Symposium. The theme of the symposium is “Sex Differences in the Brain.”

“This is a well-deserved honor for Dr. McCarthy, whose research has provided important discoveries in the science behind brain development in males and females. Her research is critical in helping to address brain disorders early in life,” said UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor.

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 medschool.umaryland.edu

Contact

Joanne Morrison
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health
University of Maryland School of Medicine
jmorrison@som.umaryland.edu
Office: (410) 706-2884
Mobile: (202) 841-3369

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