An expert in foodborne and intestinal infections, Cynthia Sears is a professor of medicine and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is the microbiome program leader of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins and is director of the Johns Hopkins Germ-free Murine Facility.
She is an infectious diseases expert who has focused on gut infections including diarrhea, foodborne illnesses Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and Helicobacter pylori during her career. In the laboratory and in clinical settings, she has studied the pathogenesis of enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) over the past 25 years. The current focus of the Sears laboratory is to determine how the microbiota and specific bacteria contribute to colon carcinogenesis. The Sears laboratory integrates studies in humans and mouse models, employing microbiology, bioinformatics and immunologic methods. Dr. Sears has worked abroad in Thailand, Brazil, Haiti, Bangladesh and Malaysia.
Dr. Sears served as associate editor of Clinical Infectious Diseases from 2000 to 2016. She has been an active member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) for more than 20 years, serving the society in numerous capacities, and is currently president of the organization.
Dr. Sears received her medical degree from Thomas Jefferson Medical College followed by training in internal medicine at The New York Hospital (Cornell Medical School) in New York City. She trained in infectious diseases at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute and the University of Virginia. Dr. Sears joined the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1988.