A Conversation with Houra Merrikh
with Jeremy Horn
Houra Merrikh is an assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Washington in the Department of Health & Sciences with a focus on DNA replication, mutagenesis and evolution. Her research into the mutagenic nature of co-directional gene collisions were revolutionary in the field and won her the 2016 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. Basically professor Merrikh discovered mechanisms by which the evolution of specific genes (through duplication and expression) could be controlled or accelerated. It took all of my restraint to not ask her how far away we were from scientifically creating X-Men.
We also discuss the many complications including race, gender, and existing power structures that impede scientific exploration.