Professor Sears has been on the faculty at the University of California Santa Barbara campus since 1977 following completion of his postdoctoral studies on the biochemistry of murine MHC antigens in Stanley Nathenson's laboratory at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Prior to this, he earned his Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry at Columbia University where he analyzed the kinetics of immunoglobulin heavy and light chain assembly for his doctoral thesis studies in Professor Sherman Beychok's laboratory, sparking his life-long interest in immunology. Since arriving at UCSB, the unifying theme of his research projects has been the analysis of various immunologically-related cell killing mechanisms. This work is underscored by a fundamental interest in understanding the function-structure relationships of proteins as reflected in the instructional web sites he has developed for his protein biochemistry and immunology courses.
Characterization of the anti-pathogen and anti-cancer killing mechanisms and immune regulation of cytotoxic cells, including natural killer (NK) lymphocytes, cytotoxic T lymphoctyes (CTLs), and macrophages. Education Research: Participation in nationwide and international initiatives aimed at improving undergraduate science education particularly in the areas of biochemistry and molecular biology.
J. T. Tansey, T. Baird Jr., M. M. Cox, K. M. Fox, J. Knight, D. Sears, and E. Bell. "Foundational Concepts and Underlying Theories for Majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ. 41:289-296 (2013)
C. Mattos, M. Johnson, H. White, D. Sears, C. Bailey, E. Bell. "Introduction: promoting concept driven teaching strategies in biochemistry and molecular biology" Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ.41: 287-288 (2013)
D.W. Sears, S. E. Thompson, and R. S. Saxon. "Reversible ligand binding reactions: Why do biochemistry students have trouble connecting the dots?" Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ. 35:105-118 (2007)
S. E. Thompson and D. W. Sears. "Simplifying structure analysis projects with customizable Chime-based templates" Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ. 33, pp.344-350 (2005)
P.S. Tan, A.L. Gavin, N Barnes, D.W. Sears, D Vremec, K. Shortman, S. Amigorena, P.L. Mottram, and P. M. Hogarth. "Unique monoclonal antibodies define expression of FcγRI on macrophages and mast cell lines and demonstrate heterogeneity among subcutaneous and other dendritic cells" J. Immunol. 170, pp. 2549-2556 (2003)
D.W. Sears. "Using Inquiry-Based Exercises and Interactive Visuals to Teach Protein Structure/Function Relationships" Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ. 30, pp.208 (2002)
D.L. Farber, R. Giorda, M.Y. Nettleton, M. Trucco, J.P. Kochan, D.W. Sears. "Rat class III Fcγ receptor isoforms differ in IgG subclass binding specificity and fail to associate productively with rat CD3" J. Immunol. 150, pp. 4364‑4375 (1993)
D.L. Farber, D.W. Sears. "Rat CD16 is defined by a family of class III Fcγ receptors requiring co‑expression of heteroprotein subunits" J. Immunol. 146, pp. 4352‑4361 (1991)
E.S. Song, K. Young, D.W. Sears. "Rat and human natural killers (NK) exhibit contrasting Ig subclass specificities in antibody dependent cellular cytoxicity (ADCC) reflecting differences in their Fc receptors (FcγR)" J. Leukocyte Biol. 48, pp. 524‑530 (1990)
D. L. Zeger, P. M. Hogarth, and D. W. Sears. "Characterization and Expression of an Fcg Receptor cDNA cloned from Rat Natural Killer Cells." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81:5204-5208 (1990).
D. W. Sears, N. Osman, B. Tate, I. F. C. McKenzie, and P. M. Hogarth. "Molecular Cloning and Expression of the Mouse High Affinity Fc Receptor for IgG." J. Immunol. 144:371-378 (1990).
J. E. Christiaansen and D. W. Sears. "Unusually Efficient Tumor Cell Lysis by Human Effectors of Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity Mediated by Monoclonal Antibodies." Cancer Res. 44:3712-3718 (1984).
S. S. Burnside, P. Hunt, K. Ozato, and D. W. Sears. "A Molecular Hybrid of the H-2Dd and H-2Ld Genes Expressed in the dm1Mutant." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81:5204-5208 (1984).