Malik Lab

Malik Lab Members

Janet Young

Janet is originally from the UK, with an undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in Genetics from University College London. Her graduate work was performed in Sue Povey’s lab, looking at the genetic basis for a human genetic disease called tuberous sclerosis. This was followed by twelve years working with Barbara Trask in Fred Hutchinson’s Human Biology division, first as a post-doc and then as staff scientist. There, her research mostly focused on the evolution and transcriptional regulation of some very large mammalian gene families, the olfactory and vomeronasal (“pheromone”) receptors. Janet also applied her bioinformatics skills to a number of other projects in the Trask lab, including copy-number gain and loss in prostate cancer and measurement of methylation levels across the human genome. Before joining the Malik lab, Janet spent time in the lab of Stephen Tapscott looking at a human disease called FSHD (facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy) in which retroelements play an intriguing but mysterious role.

Janet joined the Malik lab in September 2011 and is involved in various projects, including the evolution of a family of innate immunity genes, and on retroelements, a fascinating set of DNA sequences that were derived long ago from infectious viruses but have since taken up residence within the genomes of more complex organisms like ourselves. These retroelements are often considered to be “junk” DNA, but can also cause various biological problems, and have even occasionally been subverted by the host organism to perform useful functions.

Outside of the lab, Janet loves exploring the great Pacific Northwest, hiking and camping as much as possible during the summer, and going skiing in the winter. She is also passionate about playing the trumpet as a member of two Seattle-based community orchestras. She originally intended to stay in Seattle for just a two or three year spell as a post-doc before returning to the UK, but somehow can’t escape the pull of the mountains, her fantastic community of friends, and the great working environment of the Hutchinson Center.

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Selected Publications

  • C. Cheng*, J. Young*, C. Lin, J. Chao, H. Malik & M. Yao (2016) The piggyBac transposon-derived genes TPB1 and TPB6 mediate essential transposon-like excision during the developmental rearrangement of key genes in Tetrahymena thermophila. Genes and Development, 30, 2724-2736.     * Equal contributions
  • T. Franks, C. Benner, I. Narvaiza, M. Marchetto, J. Young, H. Malik, F. Gage & M. Hetzer (2016) Evolution of a transcriptional regulator from a transmembrane nucleoporin. Genes & Development, 30, 1-17
  • Z. Newman, J. Young, N. Ingolia & G. Barton (2016) Codon bias and GC content help dictate the balance of the nucleic acid sensing Toll-like receptors TLR7 and TLR9. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 113, E1362-71.
  • J. Li, C. Cao, D. Fixsen, J. Young, C. Ono, H. Bando, N. Elde, S. Katsuma, T. Dever & F. Sicheri (2015) Baculovirus protein PK2 subverts eIF2α kinase function by mimicry of its kinase domain C-lobe. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 112, E4364-73. PMCID: PMC4538665.
  • R. McLaughlin, J. Young, L. Yang, R. Neme, H. Wichman & H. Malik. (2014) Positive selection and multiple losses of the LINE-1-derived L1TD1 gene in mammals suggest a dual role in genome defense and pluripotency. PLoS Genetics, 10, e1004531.
  • M. Daugherty, J. Young, J. Kerns & H. Malik. (2014) Rapid evolution of PARP genes suggests a broad role for ADP-ribosylation in host-virus conflicts. PLoS Genetics, 10, e1004403.
  • J. Young, J. Whiddon, Z. Yao, B. Kasinathan, L. Snider, L. Geng, J. Balog, R. Tawil, S. van der Maarel & S. Tapscott. (2013) DUX4 Binding to Retroelements Creates Promoters that are Active in FSHD Muscle and Testis. PLoS Genetics, 9, e1003947. PMCID: PMC3836709.
  • R. Brunette, J. Young, D. Whitley, G. Barber, I. Brodsky, H. Malik & D. Stetson. (2012) Extensive evolutionary and functional diversity among mammalian AIM2-like receptors. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 209, 1969-83.
  • J. Young, R. Luche & B. Trask. (2011) Comprehensive bioinformatic analyses of olfactory receptor promoters confirm enrichment of O/E and homeodomain binding sites but reveal no new motifs. BMC Genomics, 12, 561.
  • J. Young, H. Massa, L. Hsu & B. Trask. (2010) Extreme variability among mammalian V1R gene families. Genome Research, 20, 10-18.
  • I. Holcomb, J. Young, I. Coleman, K. Salari, D. Grove, L. Hsu, L. True, M. Roudier, C. Morrissey, C. Higano, P. Nelson, R. Vessella & B. Trask. (2009) Comparative analyses of chromosome alterations in soft-tissue metastases within and across patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer. Cancer Research, 69, 7793-7802.
  • C. De Bustos*, E. Ramos*, J. Young*, R. Tran, U. Menzel, C. Langford, E. Eichler, L. Hsu, S. Henikoff, J. Dumanski & B. Trask. (2009) Tissue-Specific Variation in DNA Methylation Levels Along Human Chromosome 1. Epigenetics and Chromatin, 2, 7.
    * Equal contributions
  • J. Young, R. Endicott, S. Parghi, M. Walker, J. Kidd & B. Trask. (2008) Extensive copy-number variation of the human olfactory receptor gene family. American Journal of Human Genetics, 83, 228-242.
  • J. Young and B. Trask. (2007) V2R gene families degenerated in primates, dog and cow, but expanded in opossum. Trends in Genetics, 23, 212-215.
  • E. Linardopoulou, E. Williams, Y. Fan, C. Friedman, J. Young & B. Trask. (2005) Human subtelomeres are hot spots of interchromosomal recombination and segmental duplication. Nature, 437, 94-100.
  • J. Young, M. Kambere, B. Trask & R. Lane. (2005) Divergent V1R repertoires in five species: amplification in rodents, decimation in primates, and a surprisingly small repertoire in dogs. Genome Research, 15, 231-240.
  • J. Young, C. Friedman, E. Williams, J. Ross, L. Tonnes-Priddy, and B. Trask. (2002)  Different evolutionary processes shaped the mouse and human olfactory receptor gene families.  Human Molecular Genetics, 11, 535-546 (cover article).