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Magnuson, a renowned geneticist who studies chromatin and gene expression in various diseases, will lead efforts to connect academic units across campus with the University’s overarching mission and manage research-support offices as well as select centers and institutes. He says the development of new technology will help inform the community of the new ways researchers can come together.
He will lead a campus-wide research program that attracted nearly $1 billion in contract and grant funding in fiscal 2014.
The appointment, effective July 1, was approved by the Board of Trustees.
Magnuson succeeds Barbara Entwisle, who will serve as vice chancellor until the end of the fiscal year, when she will return to her role as Kenan Distinguished Professor of sociology in the sociology department and fellow of the Carolina Population Center. During her five-year tenure, UNC entered the ranks of the nation’s top-10 research universities in both overall and federal expenditures.
Magnuson was recruited to UNC in 2000 as founding chair of the genetics department and director of the newly established Carolina Center for Genome Sciences. He also created the Cancer Genetics Program in the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. In July 2010, he was appointed vice dean for research in the School of Medicine, helping oversee the construction of the University’s newest research-imaging building, Marsico Hall.
He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and also to the National Academy of Medicine. In 2014, he was appointed to the National Institutes of Health Council of Councils, an exclusive group of the top minds in the nation charged with guiding research projects that transcend NIH’s centers and institutes.
Born in Upper Peninsula, Mich., Magnuson grew up in Arcadia, Calif., graduated from the University of Redlands, earned a doctorate in biomedical sciences from Cornell University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. He served as professor and director of the developmental biology center at Case Western Reserve, until being recruited to UNC.