MACON – Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM) Dean Jean R. Sumner, M.D., FACP, announced recently that Christy Chancy Bridges, Ph.D., has been appointed interim chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, effective Aug. 1.

Dr. Bridges succeeds Dr. Robert McKallip, who is leaving Mercer at the end of July after serving as department chair since 2019.

“I am deeply grateful to Dr. McKallip for his outstanding work as department chair and wish him the very best,” said Dr. Sumner. “Dr. Bridges is imminently qualified to step into this important role. I look forward to watching the department grow under her leadership.”

Dr. Bridges, who also serves as professor of histology and director of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBMS) program, joined the MUSM faculty in 2006. 

“I am very pleased with the selection of Dr. Bridges,” said Dr. McKallip. “She is uniquely capable to assume this position. She has demonstrated strong leadership in the MSBMS program, a commitment to mentoring students in her laboratory and a passion for research that is validated by her prolific publication in top-tier peer-reviewed journals.”

Dr. Bridges earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Berry College and her Ph.D. in cellular biology from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. She completed postdoctoral training at the Medical College of Georgia in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and at MUSM in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Bridges’ laboratory studies environmental toxicants, with a particular emphasis on the effects of mercury exposure. Her research has been widely published and supported by grants from numerous organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, Navicent Health Foundation and MedCen Research Foundation.

“Our biomedical sciences faculty are some of the best in the state, and I am honored to serve with them to fulfill MUSM’s mission,” said Dr. Bridges. “Even though we have three campuses, we are one school. My desire is to keep the department moving in a forward direction that allows faculty on each campus to be successful in their teaching, research and service responsibilities.”

About Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)

Mercer University’s School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened additional four-year M.D. campuses in Savannah in 2008 and in Columbus in 2021. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School’s primary teaching hospitals: Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center and Piedmont Macon Medical Centers in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master’s degrees in preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. in rural health sciences in Macon and a master’s degree in family therapy in Macon and Atlanta.

Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson is the director of marketing and communications for Mercer University School of Medicine. She is responsible for the School’s communications strategy as well as managing all of its print and digital marketing needs, including the website, recruitment materials, and electronic newsletters.