Pacific Northwest Research Institute,
Genetics, Genomics & Evolution
Microbiology, Infection & Immunity
Coevolution of transposable elements and host genomes
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The McLaughlin lab seeks to understand how the evolutionary past of humans and their pathogens has shaped their current function. Fascinated by the scale of the impact transposable elements have had on the human genome (around half of the human genome comes from these elements), our lab wants to understand the genetic mechanisms used by humans to defend against retroelements, the genetic mechanisms used by retroelements to support their own propagation, and how host genomes have co-opted retroelements to innovate immune defense against pathogens.