Harmit Malik, PhD | Professor, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center
Harmit Malik grew up in the city of Bombay in India. He attended the Indian Institute of Technology where he received a degree in Chemical Engineering. He then joined the PhD program in Biology at the University of Rochester, under the mentorship of Tom Eickbush, studying the evolutionary origins of retrotransposable elements. He then worked on the evolution of centromeric histones and other assorted problems in Steve Henikoff’s lab, funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation. He decided to stay at the Hutch after his postdoctoral term and started his lab in fall of 2003. Harmit is interested in a variety of problems that could all be classified under the genetics of evolutionary conflict. He studies rapidly evolving proteins as a hallmark of this kind of conflict, hoping to better understand the molecular nature of the conflict, as well as uncover previously unrecognized sources of conflict. His lab is currently working on several rapidly evolving projects—including centromeres and heterochromatin, nuclear import and variant histones, and innate defense strategies against retroviruses.