The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has named Edgar Medina, a postdoc in the Fritz-Laylin Lab, as one of their 2020 Hanna Gray Fellows. Medina’s mentor is Lillian Fritz-Laylin, assistant professor of biology.
HHMI announced the cohort of 21 early career researchers on Thursday, Feb. 17.
HHMI’s goal with the Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program is to recruit and retain individuals from gender, racial, ethnic and other groups underrepresented in the life sciences, including those individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Hanna Gray Fellows receive funding for their postdoc training and may continue to receive funding during their early career years as independent faculty. In total, fellows may receive up to $1.4 million each and be supported for up to eight years.
Medina studies chytrids, one of the most ancient lineages of fungi, to explore the evolutionary pressures and adaptations that spurred the divergence of fungi and animals. Chytrids are unique among fungi because they share certain traits with animals that have been lost in other fungi over time, including cells that swim in a similar fashion to animal sperm cells. Medina hopes to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying these traits in chytrids, which could aid efforts to fight fungal pathogens.