As vice president of operations, McKearin oversees key operational functions, including operations services, finance, business solutions, and people and culture.

McKearin joined HHMI in 2008 as a scientific officer. In 2013, he was appointed to serve as the acting director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV (K-RITH) in Durban, South Africa. Under McKearin’s leadership, K-RITH joined forces with the Africa Centre for Population Health to become the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), an interdisciplinary institute to fight tuberculosis, HIV, and related diseases. AHRI is supported by HHMI and the Wellcome Trust, with University College London and the University of KwaZulu-Natal as significant academic partners.

Prior to joining HHMI, McKearin served on the faculty of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BS in plant biology from the University of New Hampshire. He is a developmental geneticist, with a particular interest in germline stem cell biology and signaling in the stem cell niche.