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Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

Harris is studying the recent evolutionary history of humans and other species through the lens of population genetic theory and advances in DNA sequence analysis. She opened her UW Medicine lab in 2018 and is an assistant professor of genome sciences at the UW School of Medicine.

Among her several research topics is the fitness cost of Neanderthal and ancient human interbreeding. She is looking at how Neanderthals’ unhealthy inbred gene pool may have limited their contribution to modern genetic diversity. The findings might be a broader lesson for conservational biology on attempting genetic rescue of inbred species. Harris has also undertaken genomic studies of ancient human migration patterns across the Earth, such as the peopling of the Americas.

Read more on the UW Medicine Newsroom.