McKearin to head M.D./Ph.D. program

Dr. Dennis McKearin, associate professor of molecular biology and chair of the Genetics and Development Program in the graduate school, has been named an associate dean for the Medical Scientist Training Program in the Southwestern Medical School and Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. McKearin began overseeing the program April 1. The MSTP integrates medical and research training for qualified students at the graduate level, leading to both an M.D. and Ph.D. The goal of the program is to prepare individuals as physician-scientists who typically pursue careers in academic medicine and biomedical research.

"Dennis is an accomplished researcher and educator and a wonderful choice to supervise this program, which trains the next generation of leaders in academic medicine," said Dr. Robert Alpern, medical school dean.

Dr. McKearin earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign in 1986 and completed his postdoctoral work in developmental genetics at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. His research has focused on the molecular genetics and biology of stem cells, as well as the mechanisms of germ cell differentiation.