K-RITH appoints interim director

2013-08-15 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) has appointed an interim director after the sudden resignation of Dr William Bishai.

Dr Dennis McKearin, whose appointment is expected to be finalised by the end of the month, is a senior scientific officer at the United States-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He has been a member of the K-RITH scientific advisory board and has served as principal liaison between K-RITH and HHMI for the past three years.

“McKearin came to HHMI from the University of Texas [UT] Southwestern Medical Centre at Dallas, where he was a professor of molecular biology and associate dean. His research focused on stem-cell biology. He also oversaw the medical scientist training programme and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT.

“McKearin earned his doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,” said K-RITH in a statement.

The institute said the planned appointment follows the resignation of Bishai, who made the announcement earlier this month.

Bishai said:“It has been a privilege to help UKZN [University of KwaZulu-Natal] and HHMI build K-RITH from a concept to a vibrant scientific institute populated with first-rate scientists.”

He will be returning to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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