Nitin Phadnis, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor; Mario Capecchi Chair in Biology
Department
Department of Biology
Institution
University of Utah
Address
257 South 1400 East
City, State, Zip
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Phone
(434) 260-1166
E-mail
nitin.phadnis[at]utah.edu
Website
http://flygenetics.com
Research Field
Genetics, Evolutionary Biology
Award Year
2016

Research

Our genomes, instead of being static entities, are dynamic battlegrounds where host defense mechanisms are in a constant and unending struggle against selfish genetic elements such as transposable elements and segregation distorters. The battle between genes containing selfish genetic elements, and selfish genetic elements that have evolved to escape genetic suppression, can lead to dramatic changes in the cellular components, resulting in an unequal transmission of genes from parents to offspring. My laboratory studies such intragenomic conflicts in Drosophila fruit flies to understand how these quiet ongoing wars within the genome profoundly shape the architecture of genes, cellular mechanisms, and species. In my previous work, I developed new approaches to identify conflict-driven genes that cause breakdown of hybrid between species. Our current investigations at the intersection of cell biology, genomics, and evolutionary genetics will enhance our understanding of the genetic warfare that can shape the evolution of species and provide new insights into chromosome mechanics and the regulation of the cell cycle.