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Meet the Dean

Chris McGahan in Talley Student Union

M. Christine McGahan is dean of the College of Sciences at NC State, serving as the lead administrator for an organization with 4,000 students, 610 faculty, staff and postdoctoral researchers, and about $40 million in annual research expenditures.

McGahan, who was named dean in November 2017, has spent her entire professional career at NC State and is recognized for her research scholarship and administrative leadership. She joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983 and was head of its Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences for 14 years immediately prior to her deanship. She is an avid researcher, having been funded continuously for more than three decades by a National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant, known as an R01. She currently serves as immediate past president of the International Society for Eye Research, which provides an international platform for discussion and exchange of ideas on contemporary topics in eye and vision research.

An expert in ocular physiology and pharmacology, McGahan studies the biochemistry of the ocular lens and retina. This involves investigations into the regulation of iron metabolism in the eye, mechanisms underlying post-surgical regrowth of lens tissue, retinal physiology and pathology, and studies of retinal cell biology related to retinal degenerations.

In 2013, shortly after NC State celebrated its 125th anniversary, McGahan was named by the university’s Council on the Status of Women as one of NC State’s 125 Transformational Women. Three years later, she was named to the inaugural class of the NC State Research Leadership Academy. As an administrator, she has been known for her dedication to faculty excellence, developing intensive mentoring and grant writing programs, and creating a supportive environment that equips all faculty, staff and students for success. In 2020 and 2021, she led efforts to develop the first strategic plan for the College of Sciences.

McGahan received her doctorate in pharmacology from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine at the City University of New York and did post-doctoral work at the Harkness Eye Institute at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.