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Robert McGinty, MD, PhD, a 2011 alumnus of the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program, has been selected as a 2017 Searle Scholar. The Searle Scholars Program supports research of outstanding individuals who have recently begun their appointment at the assistant professor level, and whose appointment is their first tenure-track position at participating universities and research centers. Each year, fifteen new scientists are named Searle Scholars. Recipients are awarded $300,000 in flexible funding to support their work over the next three years.
Dr. McGinty studies the mechanisms governing epigentic signaling at the nucleosome and chromatin levels. Nucleosomes are a basic unit of DNA packaging in cells, and nucleosomes form chromatin, the material that makes up chromosomes. He uses protein chemistry to reconstitute "designer" nucleosomes and chromatin containing defined patterns of post-translational modifications. Dr. McGinty is an assistant professor in the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy. He is also the associate director of structural biology in the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, an associate member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the UNC School of Medicine.