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Harmit Malik, Principal Investigator, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Human genomes are ancient battlegrounds of arms races waged between viruses and their hosts for millions of years. Just as historians reconstruct battlefields to better understand historical battles, evolutionary biologists and virologists can reconstruct how ancient viruses affected their hosts by analyzing their “fossil” remains in our genomes. Paleovirology is the study of such extinct viruses. Harmit Malik will discuss what the study of these viruses can tell us about old and new viral infections, the role they have played in shaping human biology, and the insights they can provide for combating pathogenic viruses today.