Harmit Malik, Ph.D.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

Harmit Malik studies rapidly evolving genes to further understand and discover genetic conflicts and the role selection plays in the shaping of our genomes. His lab focuses on the rapid reciprocal evolution of the host and the pathogen proteins that result from their interactions. Another area of focus is on expanding the list of categories to which rapidly evolving proteins can belong and understanding the selective pressures that drive their unexpectedly rapid evolution.

Malik’s primary appointment is as Professor and Associate Director in the Division of Basic Sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. He is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and an Affiliate Professor in the Genome Sciences Department in the School of Medicine at the University of Washington.

Growing up in Bombay (now Mumbai) in India, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology but became interested in molecular biology under the guidance of K. Krishnamurthy Rao at the Institute’s Biotechnology Center. He then pursued a Ph.D. at the University of Rochester where he studied the evolutionary origins of retrotransposable elements. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation at Fred Hutch with Steve Henikoff, where he worked on the evolution of centromeric histones.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Malik has been awarded the Genetics Society of America’s Edward Novitski Prize, the Eli Lilly Prize in Microbiology, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers.

Photo of Harmit Malik, Ph.D.