Margaret (Peg) McCarthy is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Peg is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and received a BA and MA in biology from the University of Missouri. She then moved east to attend Rutgers University – Newark NJ where she received a PhD from the Institute of Animal Behavior followed by postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University in NY city. She was a National Research Council Fellow at NIH before joining the faculty of the Department of Physiology at University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1993. Peg was the Associate Director of the Program in Neuroscience and the inaugural Director of the Graduate Program in Life Sciences as an Assistant and then Associate Dean before becoming the Chair of the Department of Pharmacology in 2011. She was appointed as the Director of the Program in Neuroscience at UMB in 2019. Peg has been recognized with the Patricia Sokolove Outstanding Mentor Award by the Graduate Student Association, Researcher of the Year and a Champion of Excellence by UMB and named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. She is a past-president of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences, a member of the Dana Alliance on Brain Research and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
For the past three decades Peg and her colleagues have been exploring brain development in an animal model to understand how the nervous system is formed in both health and disease. She has discovered novel mechanisms by which male and female brains become differentially vulnerable to the impact of injury and inflammation which can have life long consequences for risk of neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders. Peg is strongly committed to scientific training, having directly supervised over 3 dozen graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and hosted over 50 summer interns and visiting foreign scientists from Iran, Pakistan, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil and Mexico. She is a highly sought after speaker locally and internationally and has published close to 250 scientific manuscripts. She is also the proud mother of two young adults for whom she shares credit with her husband of 27 years.