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Mangun named dean of social sciences


By Claudia Morain


George R. Mangun, professor of psychology and neurology, was appointed dean of the Division of Social Sciences.

Mangun emerged as the top candidate during a national search that started when Steven M. Sheffrin stepped down in May 2008 after 10 years in the dean’s office. Mangun has served as interim dean since Aug. 1.

The division includes more than 240 faculty members, 10 departments, three research centers and eight interdisciplinary programs. The division educates 6,000 undergraduate students — more than any other school or college on campus — and some 440 graduate students.

A distinguished scholar widely recognized for his research into the cognitive neuroscience of visual attention, Mangun came to UC Davis from the faculty of Dartmouth Medical School in 1992. At UC Davis, he joined the Department of Psychology, was a founding faculty member of the Center for Neuroscience and served as head of the Perception and Cognition Area, teaching courses in perception and neuroscience.

‘He’s the leader we need’

“Ron Mangun is an accomplished academic and an experienced administrator with a clear vision of the opportunities, challenges and priorities for the Division of Social Sciences,” said Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. “He is proactive and consultative and deeply values interdisciplinary scholarship. He’s the leader we need.”

From 1998 to 2002, Mangun founded and directed the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, where he built leading programs for training and research.

Mangun returned to UC Davis in 2002 as founding director of the Center for Mind and Brain, an interdisciplinary research and training unit dedicated to understanding the nature of the human mind and how it arises from the biology of the brain.

The center now comprises 17 faculty laboratories, including Mangun’s, that are supported by more than $16 million in federal and private grants and work to address a range of questions at the cutting edge of mind and brain research in health and disease.

Acclaimed scientist

Mangun consults on numerous university, U.S. government, and international scientific panels and advisory boards, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences and the Finnish Academy of Science.

He is past editor of Cognitive Brain Research, an associate editor of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience and a senior editor of Brain Research. He is a founder and current treasurer of the international Cognitive Neuroscience Society.

He has published more than 110 scientific papers, chapters, books, edited volumes and special journal issues. Among other awards, he was elected a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science in 2007.

Mangun earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Northern Arizona University and his doctorate in neurosciences at UC San Diego.

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