Center News

Malik Lab postdoc wins HHMI award

Nitin Phadnis receives three-year fellowship for research at the ‘intersection of evolutionary and molecular biology’

Aug. 31, 2009
Dr. Nitin Phadnis

Dr. Nitin Phadnis' award winning research involves a population genomics approach that utilizes the power of Drosophila genetics and evolution-based methods to understand the molecular arms races between viruses and their hosts.

Photo by Carol Insalaco

Dr. Harmit Malik believes Hutchinson Center faculty and staff will be reading a lot about the research of Dr. Nitin Phadnis—a postdoctoral research fellow in his lab—starting with the news that Phadnis is the recipient of a $168,000 Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellowship from the Life Sciences Research Foundation.

The fellowship, sponsored by HHMI, will fund Phadnis' research in the Basic Sciences Division lab for three years, providing full salary and additional support for research expenses.

Phadnis characterizes his research as an “intersection of evolutionary and molecular biology.” It involves a population genomics approach that utilizes the power of Drosophila genetics and evolution-based methods to understand the molecular arms races between viruses and their hosts. In particular, said Malik, the awarded research focuses the evolutionary battle for dominance played between the Drosophila RNA interference pathway that has anti-viral function and viral suppressors of RNA interference, which allow viruses to escape host defenses.

The LSRF’s mission is to support high quality young scientists in all areas of life sciences. Their awards are highly competitive.

"I am delighted that Nitin has won a prestigious LSRF fellowship. I thank the foundation for their enthusiastic support of our research and for recognizing his potential," Malik said.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.