Pacific Northwest Research Institute
Genetics, Genomics & Evolution
Microbiology, Infection & Immunity
The impacts of transposable element evolution on human genomes and human disease
Faculty Contact Information
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 (TEs) 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 TEs, the genetic mechanisms used by TEs to support their own propagation, how host genomes have co-opted TEs to innovate immune defense against pathogens, and previously undescribed ways that TEs drive human disease.
My approach to mentoring is guided by two principles that have been clearly discussed and defined by the lab as a whole: 1) build a training environment for junior scientists that provides a safe place and ample opportunities to create and drive research projects with support and accommodation from the PI and all other members of the lab; 2) build a team of creative analysts and problem solvers who are not limited by definitions of scientific fields, but learn the techniques needed to answer fundamental questions in biology or develop new techniques if none exists. Our lab also recognizes and regularly discusses the fact that higher education, specifically in the STEM fields, suffers from an inability to attract, retain, and promote women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. As such, we are committed to bringing the opportunity to understand and do science to as broad of a pool of young people as possible. In addition to our obligation to increase access to STEM research, we have seen first-hand that sociological, gender, racial, cultural, and other differences in individual identity translate into diverse approaches to analyzing the world and dissecting a problem. We believe the diverse backgrounds of the scientists in our lab engender non-traditional approaches to problem solving and idea generation – perhaps the most important component to advancing our understanding of fundamental problems in the sciences. Our lab combines a dedication to mentorship and scientific outreach with effort to build a communicative and accommodating space to enable creative, risky science.
-Best Practices for Supporting BIPOC and First-Gen Students in the Workplace, Rainier Scholars Training
-What does an equity minded space look like?, UW PR2ISM Workshop
-Culturally Aware Mentoring, National Research Mentoring Network, Level 2 training
-Faculty Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Training, UW Graduate Program in Neuroscience
-Optimizing Mentoring Relationships, Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) Workshop
-SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference Professional Development Sessions including ‘Mentoring Up: Addressing Diversity and Inclusion in Relationships with your Mentors’, ‘Out in STEM: Creating a Space for LGBTQ+ Inclusion’
SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference Professional Development Sessions including ‘Implicit Bias and Microaggressions: How Our Brains Take Short Cuts’, ‘Improving Work Climate: Responding to Sexual Harassment’, ‘Expanding Diversity as a Broader Impact of Your Research’
-Embracing LGBTQ diversity at the workplace, Hutch United Workshop
-Effective Mentoring Workshop, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
-HHMI EXROP Mentoring Workshop. HHMI EXROP Mentoring Training
-Focus on Mentoring Underrepresented Minority Scientists, Hutch United Workshop
The following publications were retrieved from PubMed:
Del Valle RP, McLaughlin RN Jr.
Science. 2022 Oct 28; 6618(378)356-357
Zhang L, Wang Y, Dong Y, Pant A, Liu Y, Masserman L, Xu Y, McLaughlin RN Jr, Bai J.
Dev Cell. 2022 Mar 28; 6(57)750-766.e5
Yang L, Emerman M, Malik HS, McLaughlin RN Jnr.
Elife. 2020 Jun 1; (9)
Colón-Thillet R, Hsieh E, Graf L, McLaughlin RN Jr, Young JM, Kochs G, Emerman M, Malik HS.
PLoS Biol. 2019 Oct; 10(17)e3000181
Sharma A, McLaughlin RN Jr, Basom RS, Kikawa C, OhAinle M, Yount JS, Emerman M, Overbaugh J.
PLoS Pathog. 2019 Jul; 7(15)e1007925
McLaughlin RN Jr
PLoS Biol. 2018 Mar; 3(16)e2005470
McLaughlin RN Jr, Malik HS.
J Exp Biol. 2017 Jan 1; Pt 1(220)6-17
McLaughlin RN Jr, Gable JT, Wittkopp CJ, Emerman M, Malik HS.
Mol Biol Evol. 2016 Aug; 8(33)1889-901
McLaughlin RN Jr, Malik HS.
PLoS Genet. 2015 Jul; 7(11)e1005364
McLaughlin RN Jr, Young JM, Yang L, Neme R, Wichman HA, Malik HS.
PLoS Genet. 2014 Sep; 9(10)e1004531
McLaughlin RN Jr, Poelwijk FJ, Raman A, Gosal WS, Ranganathan R.
Nature. 2012 Nov 1; 7422(491)138-42
Reynolds KA, McLaughlin RN, Ranganathan R.
Cell. 2011 Dec 23; 7(147)1564-75
O'Brien PJ, Pook HA, Klip A, Britt BA, Kalow BI, McLaughlin RN, Scott E, Elliott ME.
Res Vet Sci. 1990 Jan; 1(48)124-8
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