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Houra is named a Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists Finalist!

Read more about it here.


Our legendary MD/PhD student Mark Ragheb defends his thesis. Congrats Mark!!!


August 1, 2018

Kevin received a prestigious NIH F32 postdoctoral fellowship award for his proposal on replication-transcription conflicts.

May 31, 2018

Our former undergraduate researcher and PhD candidate Ari completed her degree! Nice work, Ari 🙂

March 6, 2018

Ari’s paper DNA gyrase activity regulates DnaA-dependent replication initiation in Bacillus subtilis, was published in Molecular Microbiology. Her data strongly support the idea that the well established antibiotic kills cells by inhibiting bacterial replication initiation, rather than elongation as previously thought.

January 16, 2018

Happy birthday to Houra! She was just granted tenure and will be an Associate professor as of July.


October 1, 2017

Monica is now an official NIH Molecular Biophysics Training Grant awardee!

August 16th

Our back-to-back publications in Cell with Karlene Cimprich’s group were covered in several fora:
– A preview by Yea-Lih Lin and Philippe Pasero at Cell: Link
– A brief write-up about our paper here at UW: Link
– A discussion about the Cimprich lab’s paper in the Stanford Scope

January 12, 2017

Microscopy from Sarah Mangiamelli’s paper was featured on the cover of elife. The horizontal rows are individual cells imaged repeatedly over the course of a full cell cycle. Individual DNA replication forks are labelled with YFP in the center of the cell.

January 15, 2017

Sarah’s second publication (in the same week) was accepted at eLife! This study, Transcription leads to pervasive replisome instability in bacteria, shows that transcription causes frequent replisome collapse (multiple times per cell cycle) in both B. subtilis and E. coli. From a big picture perspective, the results suggest that 1) replication (overall) is discontinous, and 2) the speed of the replication fork is at least twice as fast as previously appreciated.


September 14th

Congratulations to Ashley for winning an RNA Society Award for Graduate Student Presentation at the Rnase H Meeting in Kyoto, Japan.

June 26th

Houra was interviewed by the Huffington Post! Houra shares her experience of growing up in Iran, Turkey, North Cyprus, and finally the US. She also discusses the lab’s previous findings and future directions.

February 2nd

Houra was one of three recipients of the 2016 Vilcek prize for creative promise in biomedical science. The Vilcek foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from former Czechoslovakia. Each year their foundation recognizes immigrants who make major contributions to biomedical science, and the arts.

The award was also covered by the UW NewsBeat.


June 1, 2015

The first of the Merrikh and Merrikh papers!
Chris’ manuscript, The B. subtilis accessory helicase PcrA facilitates DNA replication through transcription units, was just accepted at PLoS Genetics!

May 28th, 2015

Sam Million-Weaver, the Merrikh Lab’s first graduate student, just successfully defended his PhD thesis! Congratulations Sam!

May 1, 2015

Our next publication!
Sam and Ari’s manuscript, Replication restart after replication-transcription conflicts requires RecA in Bacillus subtilis, was just accepted at the Journal of Bacteriology! Congratulations to Sam and Ari!

February 11th

The Merrikh lab wins a University of Washington Innovation Award

Faculty of 1000 highlights our paper describing the mechanism by which head-on oriented genes are targeted for increased mutagenesis.


Ars Technica write up about accelerated evolution via replication-transcription conflicts.
The UW Daily covers conflicts and Sam’s wardrobe.
Science Daily