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2022 Sarah Gund Prize

Margaret (Peg) McCarthy, PhD

Each year the Child Mind Institute’s Scientific Research Council selects an exceptional researcher for the Sarah Gund Prize, in recognition of an outstanding contribution to child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology or developmental neuroscience. The award honors contributions either to clinical science or basic science. The award carries a prize of $25,000 and is presented at the Child Mind Institute’s Annual Child Advocacy Award Dinner. The award recipient, along with several other scientists selected because they have been influenced by recipient’s work, are featured presenters at our next On the Shoulders of Giants scientific symposium.

Dr. Margaret (Peg) McCarthy completed a PhD at the Institute of Animal Behavior at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University and was a National Research Council Fellow at NIAAA before joining the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1993. She was a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Associate Dean for Graduate Education before becoming the Chair of the Department of Pharmacology in 2011 and the Director of the Program in Neuroscience in 2020.

McCarthy has a long-standing interest in the cellular mechanisms establishing sex differences in the brain. She uses a combined behavioral and mechanistic approach in the laboratory rat to understand both normal brain development and how these processes might go selectively awry in males versus females. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and her work has been cited over 20,000 times.

Dr. McCarthy is a Fellow and member-at-large of AAAS, a fellow in ACNP and is the former President of Organization for the Study of Sex Differences and President-Elect of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. She was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2009 and awarded the University of Maryland Researcher of the Year and Champion of Excellence in 2015 and 2017. More recently, Dr. McCarthy’s distinguished career was recognized with the awarding of the James and Carolyn Frenkil Dean’s Professorship.