Malik Lab

Malik Lab Members

Dr. Harmit Malik

Harmit Malik grew up in the city of Bombay (now renamed Mumbai) in India. He attended the Indian Institute of Technology where he received a degree in Chemical Engineering. There, he was introduced to molecular biology thanks largely to the generous mentoring of Dr. K. Krishnamurthy Rao in the nascent Biotechnology Center. He then joined the Ph.D. program in Biology at the University of Rochester, under the mentorship of Tom Eickbush, studying the evolutionary origins of retrotransposable elements. He then arrived in Seattle to work 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. Tired of moving and because he is such a Mariners fan, 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. Harmit's role in the lab ranges from supervising the projects of other lab members to serving as their glorified technician.

Harmit is married to Chandni and has two young sons, Aman and Vivek. He used to be an avid reader of comic books and graphic novels. After Aman and Vivek, he is getting interested in linguistic studies of toddlers!


Publications Prior to Opening the Lab

Jackman JE, Montange RK, Malik HS, Phizicky EM.

Identification of the yeast gene encoding the tRNA m1G methyltransferase responsible for modification at position 9.
RNA (New York, N.Y.) 9(5): 574-585, May 2003
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Henikoff S.

Conflict begets complexity: the evolution of centromeres.
Curr. Op. Genet. Dev. 12(6): 711-718, Dec 2002 
Abstract  |  Full Text  |  (*cover article)  |

Henikoff S, Malik HS.

Centromeres: selfish drivers.
(concept)Nature. 417(6886): 227, May 2002
Abstract  |  Full Text

Burke WD, Malik HS, Rich SM, Eickbush TH.

Ancient lineages of non-LTR retrotransposons in the primitive eukaryote, Giardia lamblia.
Mol. Biol. Evol. 19(5): 619-630, May 2002 
Abstract  |  Full Text

Thomas H. Eickbush and Harmit S. Malik.

Origins and evolution of retrotransposons. Craig, R. Craigie, M. Gellert, and A. Lambowitz, eds. American Society of Microbiology Press. Washington D.C.
Mobile DNA II. 1111-1144, Apr 2002

Malik HS, Vermaak D, Henikoff S.

Recurrent evolution of DNA-binding motifs in the Drosophila centromeric histone Cid.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99(3): 1449-1454, Feb 2002
Abstract  |  Full Text

Borodin PM, Henikoff S, Ahmad K, Malik HS.

Speciation and centromere evolution.
(Letter & Response) Science 294: 2478-2480, 2001
Full Text

Henikoff S, Ahmad K, Malik HS.

The centromere paradox: stable inheritance with rapidly evolving DNA.
(Review)Science. 293(5532): 1098-1102, Aug 2001
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Eickbush TH.

Phylogenetic analysis of ribonuclease H domains suggests a late, chimeric origin of LTR retrotransposable elements and retroviruses.
Genome Res. 11(7): 1187-1197, Jul 2001
Abstract  |  Full Text | Cover Article

Malik HS, Henikoff S.

Adaptive evolution of Cid, a centromere-specific histone in Drosophila.
Genetics. 157(3): 1293-8, Mar 2001 
Abstract  |  Full Text

Claypool JA, Malik HS, Eickbush TH, Sandmeyer SB.

Ten-kilodalton domain in Ty3 Gag3-Pol3p between PR and RT is dispensable for Ty3 transposition.
J. Virol. 75(3): 1557-1560, Feb 2001
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Henikoff S, Eickbush TH.

Poised for contagion: evolutionary origins of the infectious abilities of invertebrate retroviruses.
Genome Res. 10(9): 1307-1318, Sep 2000 
Abstract  |  Full Text  |  Cover Article 

Malik HS, Henikoff S.

Dual recognition-incision enzymes might be involved in mismatch repair and meiosis.
Trends Biochem. Sci. 25(9): 414-418, Sep 2000
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Burke WD, Eickbush TH.

Putative telomerase catalytic subunits from Giardia lamblia and Caenorhabditis elegans.
Gene. 251(2): 101-108, Jun 2000
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Eickbush TH.

NeSL-1, an ancient site-specific lineage of non-LTR retrotransposons in C. elegans.
Genetics. 154(1): 193-203, Jan 2000
Abstract  |  Full Text

Yang J, Malik HS, Eickbush TH.

Identification of the endonuclease domain encoded by R2 and other site-specific non-long terminal repeat retrotransposable elements.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96(14): 7847-7852, Jul 1999
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Eickbush TH.

Modular evolution of the integrase domain in the Ty3/Gypsy class of LTR retrotransposons.
J.Virol. 73(6): 5186-5190, Jun 1999
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Burke WD, Eickbush TH.

The age and evolution of non-LTR retrotransposons
Mol. Biol. Evol. 16(6): 793-805, Jun 1999
Abstract  |  Full Text

Burke WD, Malik HS, Jones JP, Eickbush TH.

The domain structure and retrotransposition mechanism of R2 elements are conserved throughout arthropods.
Mol. Biol. Evol. 16(4): 502-511, Apr 1999
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Eickbush TH.

Retrotransposable elements R1 and R2 in the rDNA units of Drosophila mercatorum: abnormal abdomen revisited.
Genetics. 151(2): 653-665, Feb 1999
Abstract  |  Full Text

Spinelli SL, Malik HS, Consaul SA, Phizicky EM.

A functional homolog of a yeast tRNA splicing enzyme is conserved in higher eukaryotes and in E. coli.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95(24): 14136-14141, Nov 1998
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Eickbush TH.

The RTE class of non-LTR retrotransposons is widely distributed in animals.
Mol. Biol. Evol. 15(9): 1123-1134, Sep 1998
Abstract  |  Full Text

Hall BG, Malik HS.

Determining the evolutionary potential of a gene.
Mol. Biol. Evol. 15(8): 1055-1061, Aug 1998
Abstract  |  Full Text

Burke WD, Malik HS, Lathe WC 3rd, Eickbush TH.

Are retrotransposons long-term hitchhikers?.(Scientific Correspondence)
Nature 392(6672): 141-142, Mar 1998
Abstract  |  Full Text

Malik HS, Eickbush TH, Goldfarb DS.

Evolutionary specialization of the nuclear targeting apparatus.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 94(25): 13738-13742, 1997
Abstract  |  Full Text