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Dr. Gary L. Johnson, Kenan Distinguished Professor and former chair of the Department of Pharmacology retired at the end of May after 16 years with the department, 13 of which he was the Department Chair.

Dr. Gary Johnson's retirement reception

Pharmacology held a party with entire department on May 21 and a reception with faculty and administrative staff at Tandem Restaurant later the same evening at which he was presented an Apple Watch in recognition of his retirement and all the good times we’ve shared with him.

Dr. Gary Johnson at retirement party

Gary grew up in California, got his PhD with John Perkins at U Colorado, where he worked with a graduate student Ken Harden (Kenan Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Pharmacology).

Gary was for 13 years the chair of our department, for 16 years one of the most productive, most highly funded, and most internationally recognized scientists at UNC. He’s trained more the 80 students and postdocs, published more than 300 papers, and has taken pharmacology to the highest tiers of academic departments of any kind, anywhere.

He shared much of that career with his wife Nancy, also an accomplished scientist, and together they raised a son and are proud grandparents.

A different kind of lasting legacy, is his scientific family. The students, and students of students, and people he recruited, and people he collaborated with and befriended over the past decades. We all owe him a big thank you for his stewardship, mentorship, and most of all his friendship.

Gary will continue on as a research track Professor in the department, but will spend more of his time with his family in Colorado.

We wish him all the best as he enters this new phase in his long and distinguished career.

Pics from his parties, click for larger view:

More pictures are posted on our Facebook page.

You may also like to view this news item: “Steelman Symposium Honoring Gary Johnson Held.”