Edgar M. Medina

Dr. Edgar M. Medina is an evolutionary cell biologist exploring the origins of the fungal cell, their developmental programs and how they deviated from the forms we see in the Animal lineage. To tackle these questions, Edgar enlists the help of “chytrid” fungi, some of the deepest lineages in the fungal kingdom. The special biology of chytrids spured Edgar to develop Spizellomyces as the first genetically tractable member of this lineage. When chytrids form swimming cells, they undergo morphogenetic changes reminiscent of animal embryogenesis. Edgar is now identifying the cellular machinery and regulatory mechanisms that drive this process. His objective is to dissect the axes of conservation and innovation in morphogenetic programs during the rise of the fungal Kingdom. Edgar is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Fritz-Laylin Lab and a 2020 HHMI Hanna H. Gray Fellow.