Brown Bag with Dr. Dennis McKearin: The Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program

Monday, November 18, 2019 - 12:15pm to 1:15pm
Chittenden Hall (Rm. 110) 466 W Circle Dr, East Lansing, MI 48824

Dr. Dennis McKearin, Scientific Officer at Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), will be discussing the Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which seeks to recruit and retain individuals from gender, racial, ethnic, and other groups underrepresented in the life sciences, including those individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Applications are due January 8, 2020, with notifications of awardees planned for late April 2020. Read more here.


Dennis McKearin serves as a liaison to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigators at universities and research centers in the U.S. regarding scientific and administrative matters. His activities include management of HHMI’s Investigator reviews, scientific meetings, and competitions for the Investigator program and various grants programs. He also interacts with HHMI leadership to coordinate Institute operations.

McKearin joined HHMI in 2008 as a scientific officer. He served as HHMI’s vice president of operations from September 2016 to June 2019. He also served 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.

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. He is a developmental geneticist, with a particular interest in germline stem cell biology and signaling in the stem cell niche.