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Infectious Diseases Society of America Announces Next Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Infectious Diseases

Pictured: Cynthia L. Sears, MD, FIDSA

The Infectious Diseases Society of America is pleased to announce that Cynthia L. Sears, MD, FIDSA, has been selected as the next editor-in-chief of The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Sears will succeed Martin S. Hirsch, MD, FIDSA, at the end of 2022, following his distinguished two decades of service to JID.

“Throughout my career, JID has been a constant source of knowledge and ideas, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve the journal in this new capacity,” said Dr. Sears. “Dr. Hirsch has been an inspiring leader for JID, and I hope to build on the strong foundation he has laid.”

Dr. Sears is a professor of medicine and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and 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 director of the Johns Hopkins Germ-free Murine Facility.

She is an infectious diseases expert whose clinical interests and research have focused on gut infections including diarrhea and foodborne illnesses, Clostridium difficile and Helicobacter pylori. In the laboratory and in clinical settings, she studied the pathogenesis of enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis, which led her to studies about how bacteria, biofilms and the microbiome impact the pathogenesis of colon cancer and immunotherapy.

Dr. Sears served as associate editor of IDSA’s journal Clinical Infectious Diseases from 2000 to 2016. She has been an active member of IDSA for more than 20 years, serving the Society in numerous capacities, including as president from 2018-2019. During her time as IDSA president, she helped to launch the Society’s inclusion, diversity, access and equity initiative, which has led to the adoption of IDA&E as core values of the Society and the establishment of an IDA&E Committee and roadmap for the organization. She also led the development of a bold new strategic plan for the Society in 2019 that laid the groundwork for significant investments in key areas such as guidelines development, advocating for the value of the infectious diseases physician, facilitating the growth and development of the ID workforce and combating antimicrobial resistance.

Dr. Sears received her medical degree from Thomas Jefferson Medical College and trained in internal medicine at The New York Hospital (Cornell Medical School). She trained in infectious diseases at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute and the University of Virginia.

JID’s editor-in-chief search was led by the JID Search Committee, chaired by Louis D. Saravolatz, MD, FIDSA. The committee launched an open call for applications in March 2021, with special attention to encouraging applications from groups underrepresented in medicine. Following the application deadline, the committee reviewed all written applications and selected finalists. The finalists each gave a detailed presentation on their plans for the journal and were interviewed by the committee. Ultimately, the committee determined that Dr. Sears’ qualifications, vision for the future of JID and commitment to diversity, inclusion, access and equity within the field of infectious diseases were the best fit for the role. The IDSA Board then approved the search committee’s recommendation.

“Dr. Sears is known as both a leader and a visionary in our field, and she will bring that vision with her to JID,” said Dr. Saravolatz. “But she is also known as a mentor and as someone who brings new people into our field and elevates their voices. I expect her to do great things as an editor-in-chief.”

In addition to Dr. Saravolatz, the search committee members were Kathryn M. Edwards, MD, FIDSA; Susan L. Koletar, MD, FIDSA; Roger J. Bedimo, MD, FIDSA; Janet R. Gilsdorf, MD, FIDSA; Upinder Singh, MD, FIDSA; Richard R. Watkins, MD, FIDSA; and Cesar A. Arias, MD, PhD, FIDSA.

About IDSA
The Infectious Diseases Society of America is a community of over 12,000 physicians, scientists, and public health experts who specialize in infectious diseases. Its purpose is to improve the health of individuals, communities and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health and prevention relating to infectious diseases. Learn more at

About The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Published continuously since 1904, The Journal of Infectious Diseases is the premier global journal for original research on infectious diseases. The editors welcome Major Articles and Brief Reports describing research results on microbiology, immunology, epidemiology and related disciplines, on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases; on the microbes that cause them; and on disorders of host immune responses. Learn more at

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