About Dr. McLaughlin
“Understanding how evolution designed the amazing diversity of form and function in nature drives my passion for genetic research.”
Richard (Rick) McLaughlin, PhD has a lifelong passion for studying evolution. This passion comes to life in his lab at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute (PNRI), where he studies the evolution of retroelements, major component of noncoding DNA.
Rick joined PNRI as an assistant investigator in 2018. He also holds faculty positions with the University of Washington’s Department of Genome Sciences and the Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program. Students from these programs play a key role in fueling Rick’s lab.
Rick was inspired to pursue his PhD in molecular biology and protein evolution with Dr. Rama Ranganathan at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He then studied the genetics of evolutionary conflict during his postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Harmit Malik at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.