Dennis McKearin is also the department's liaison to the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) in Durban, South Africa. Other responsibilities include serving as liaison to HHMI human research policy development.
McKearin earned a BS in plant biology from the University of New Hampshire and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined HHMI in 2008 from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where he was associate dean for the Medical Scientist Training Program and professor of molecular biology. Among his other professional duties and honors, McKearin has served on multiple National Institutes of Health review panels, and he was elected a member of the executive committee, MD/PhD section of the American Association of Medical Colleges before joining HHMI.
His research focuses on germ-line stem cell biology in Drosophila and signaling in the stem cell niche.