Christopher McBain, Ph.D., has been appointed scientific director and director of the Division of Intramural Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. McBain has been acting scientific director of the NICHD Division of Intramural Research since June 2021. In that capacity, he directed and managed the activities and operations of the division, overseeing a budget of $200 million and more than 1,000 staff members who carry out its basic and clinical research mission. He established a new position within the division, associate scientific director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility to oversee hiring practices and determine the most effective strategies to reach a broad spectrum of candidates.
“Dr. McBain is an internationally renowned research scientist and an accomplished leader,” said Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., NICHD Director. “He has contributed to our understanding of synaptic transmission, developed and led highly competitive and innovative programs, fostered numerous interdisciplinary collaborations, trained several scientists, and implemented novel scientific infrastructure.”
Dr. McBain earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Wolfson College at Cambridge University in England. He joined NICHD in 1993 as an investigator in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, conducting electrophysiological analysis of excitability and synaptic circuitry. He was appointed chief of the newly established Laboratory of Cellular and Synaptic Neurobiology in 2001 and then chief of the Program in Developmental Neurobiology in 2007.
Dr. McBain’s efforts will play a major role in planning research to meet a key objective of the NICHD Strategic plan: to better understand the early neurodevelopmental trajectories associated with health and disease. He plays a significant role in the local neuroscience community, performing reviewing duties for many granting agencies in the United States and abroad. He is also a frequent reviewer and has served as an editor for major neuroscience journals.
About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): NICHD leads research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all. For more information, visit https://www.nichd.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit https://www.nih.gov.