Dr. Edgar Medina

I am a 2020 HHMI Hanna Gray Postdoctoral Fellow in the Fritz-Laylin Lab. I am interested in understanding the evolutionary changes that fueled the rise of the Fungal kingdom. Chytrids are within the deepest lineages of Fungi and combine ancestral animal-like ciliated “zoospore” cells that swim and crawl with fungal traits like hyphae. During zoospore formation, chytrids undergo morphogenetic transformations akin to animal embryonic development. My research will determine if early fungal morphogenesis exploited the same molecular pathways as animals or represent an evolutionary innovation.