Danang Crysnanto (University of Edinburgh)
I feel honoured to receive the Sir Kenneth Mather Memorial Prize for my Masters work at The University of Edinburgh. Thanks to Dr Darren Obbard who has become a great supervisor and Professor Andrew Leigh Brown who has nominated me for the award. My study in the UK was also made possible with funding from Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education and full support from my family (especially my parents and wife). It is very rewarding that my hard work for the project is recognized with a prestigious prize from Genetics Society.
For my master research, I took advantage of the availability of genomic and transcriptomic dataset in the public repository to explore the evolutionary dynamic of duplicated immune genes across Drosophila phylogeny. The viruses and immune systems are locked in an evolutionary arms race in which that virus is able to develop counter-defence against the immune system, resulting in a rapid adaptive evolution. I showed that the duplicated immune genes are consistently evolving faster than the ancestral genes and become expressed specifically in one sex, which indicates the diversification of the immune machinery to mediate the host-virus co-evolution. I am now working on the population genomics data of Swiss Brown Cattle for my doctoral research at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Finally, genetics has always been my interest and this award will further motivate me to do my best and make contributions in the field of genetics.
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