Dr. Malcolm Sears, the Founding Director of the CHILD Study, received a warm tribute from many of his colleagues during the 2019 Research Conference of the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network (AllerGen).
To recognize his years of leading the Study, his career-long accomplishments, his mentoring of others and serving as a model of decency and kindness, a video montage of over two dozen heartfelt testimonials was screened during the Gala evening of the event, on January 29.
“We all know that without Malcolm there would be no CHILD Study,” said Dr. Judah Denburg, AllerGen’s Scientific Director, as he introduced the video.
Following the screening, the Study’s current Director, Dr. Padmaja Subarrao, commented: “As a woman in science, to have a mentor like Malcolm has been amazing; it has rocketed my career… Malcolm has been like a dad to me at work, and I’m always moved by how thoughtful he is and how much he cares about everyone in the Study.”
“It’s been a tremendous journey; I have thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Dr. Sears in response to the tributes.
“One of the reasons I have stayed engaged is because I keep learning… [and, if it was like] herding cats to get this study together, well, it’s been a fun lot of cats.”
Dr. Sears also advised that “if you want to retire early, do not start a longitudinal study when you’re in your sixties,” before it was announced that his long-postponed full retirement would occur within the year.
Dr. Sears stepped down from the position of CHILD Director in July 2017. He led the planning for the Study from initial discussions in 2004 and served as its Director from its inception in 2007.
View the video tribute to Dr. Sears: