BioGrad Alum Edgar Medina Awarded Prestigious HHMI fellowship!

HHMI has just announced its 2020 Hanna Gray Fellows to support diversity in biomedical research: Dr. Edgar Medina, a Duke Biology Ph.D., is part of this exceptional cohort of fellows!

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. 

Edgar 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. With this fellowship, Medina hopes to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying these traits in chytrids, which could aid efforts to fight fungal pathogens.

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. 

Edgar Medina is currently a postdoc in the Fritz-Laylin lab, at the University of Massachussets - Amherst. He completed his Ph.D. at Duke in 2019, through the University Program in Genetics & Genomics. His advisor was Dr. Nicholas Buchler, who has since moved to NC State.

We wish him many years of success, and look forward to seeing the amazing science that will come out of this exceptional fellowship!