UGA’s University Research Animal Resources has a new director—Dr. Maryann “M.A.” McCrackin. She was selected from a highly competitive applicant pool following a national search and began her current role Dec. 2.
McCrackin has served in leadership roles at the University of Montana, Virginia Tech, and most recently at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Charleston VA. At UGA, she will lead the continued evolution and growth of URAR to ensure exceptional animal care is provided to support the university’s research and instructional missions. In addition to this key leadership role, McCrackin has been appointed professor of population health at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
McCrackin graduated from the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine and then completed a residency in surgery at University of Tennessee, returning to UGA as an assistant professor in small animal medicine and surgery. Three years later, she left to pursue research interests, earning a Ph.D. in infectious diseases for her work at the NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratories. She has the distinction of being a board-certified diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.
“We are truly excited to have recruited a veterinarian with M.A.’s experience and acumen to lead URAR in its essential role in UGA’s research and instructional missions. Her considerable expertise and impressive soft skills will be crucial for the continued evolution of the program as it strives to meet the needs of a growing research enterprise,” said Chris King, associate vice president for research. “URAR has incredibly competent, committed and compassionate staff members. I am confident that M.A. will provide the leadership that is critical to build upon this foundation, meet the growing needs of the research community, and ensure our obligation to provide excellent animal care.”
“It is a distinct honor to be selected director of URAR at such a prestigious research institution as UGA. I am thrilled to return home to my alma mater to serve researchers, staff, students and animals,” McCrackin said. “I truly look forward to moving the program forward collaboratively during this exciting time of growth and productivity.”
McCrackin’s first priorities include supporting the 45-person URAR team that has dealt with numerous significant changes in the past few years; ensuring that the online resource management solution, ANOPs, is a functional tool for researchers and staff; and helping address critical space needs for research.