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John J. McGowan, Ph.D.

Deputy Director

John J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Dr. John J. McGowan

John J. McGowan, Ph.D., serves as the NIAID Deputy Director for Science Management. In this position, Dr. McGowan provides leadership for scientific, policy, business, and administrative management of the Institute and conducts senior-level interactions with the extramural community, other National Institutes of Health (NIH) components, and the NIH Office of the Director.

A virologist, Dr. McGowan started his NIH career in 1986 as one of the first staff members in what is now the NIAID Division of AIDS (DAIDS). He established the Developmental Therapeutics Branch and served as its first chief. Dr. McGowan and his staff worked on the development of therapies to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS and associated opportunistic infections. He later became director of the DAIDS Basic Research and Development Program.

In 1991, Dr. McGowan was appointed director of the NIAID Division of Extramural Activities. In that role, he was widely recognized for moving NIH into the digital age and improving the grants process at both the Institute and NIH levels.

With research interests in microbiology, virology, and molecular biology, Dr. McGowan was an assistant professor in the department of microbiology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, from 1982 to 1986.

During this time, he developed a research program on the molecular biology of rhabdo, corona, and bunya viruses. He received NIH grants and other funding to study vesicular stomatitis virus, mouse hepatitis virus, and Korean hemorrhagic fever virus. A native of Mobile, Alabama, Dr. McGowan received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Southern Alabama in 1973 and earned his doctoral degree in microbiology from the University of Mississippi in 1980. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia in 1982.

Dr. McGowan received the U.S. Public Health Service Superior Service Award in 2004 for developing the electronic Research Administration system for NIH, the U.S. Public Health Service Superior Service Award in 2003 for assisting in the development of NIAID biodefense programs, the Presidential Rank Award in 1999 for assisting in AIDS research efforts, the NIH Director’s Award in 1991 for "superb leadership, resourcefulness, and innovation," and the U.S. Public Health Service Superior Service Award in 1994 for "extraordinary contributions to AIDS research, building collaborative research programs, and management of NIAID scientific programs." Dr. McGowan has published numerous journal articles and book chapters. ​

Last Updated April 15, 2015