MACON – Dr. Jean R. Sumner, dean of Mercer University School of Medicine, recently announced the appointment of Dr. Robert McKallip as vice-chair of the newly formed Department of Biomedical Sciences.
Dr. McKallip will work with department chair Dr. Robert Visalli. The new department was created by joining the Basic Sciences Department on the Macon campus and the Biomedical Sciences Department on the Savannah campus. Columbus faculty in the biomedical sciences will join the department as that campus grows.
“Mercer University School of Medicine is fortunate to have the quality of leadership that Dr. McKallip and Dr. Visalli offer,” said Dr. Sumner. “They represent a faculty group of incredibly talented scientists. I anticipate continued outstanding work and growing commitment to excellent research from this faculty and department.”
Dr. McKallip earned his B.S. in biology and M.S. in immunology form Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular oncology from The George Washington University. He was supported by an individual postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia.
Before joining Mercer's faculty in 2009, Dr. McKallip worked in industry as a research scientist and as an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
He currently serves as an associate professor of immunology at Mercer. Prior to accepting the position of vice-chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, he served as interim chair of the Division of Basic Medical Sciences on the Macon campus.
Dr. McKallip's research interests include examining the influence of the cellular microenvironment in inflammation and cancer. His research is actively funded and has been supported by grants from numerous organizations, including the National Institutes of Health (NIDA, NCI and NHLBI), the Georgia Cancer Coalition and Navicent Health.
Dr. McKallip's laboratory places an emphasis on mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom have moved on to careers in the fields of medicine and science. His work has resulted in 36 publications, including 16 since joining the Mercer faculty.
He has assumed a leadership role in numerous committees, including the Research Committee, where he served as the chair from 2011-2013, and the Institutional Biosafety Committee, where he has served as chair since 2012. In addition to research, Dr. McKallip plays an active role in the School's curriculum as a tutor and a member of various curricular development committees.
Dr. McKallip enjoys spending his free time with his family, running and playing an occasional round of golf. He is married to Jill McKallip, a high school math teacher in Monroe County, and they are the proud parents of three daughters and a son.