Kyle Card, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Translational Hematology & Oncology Research, has been named a Hanna Gray Fellow by the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The fellowship—which supports early career researchers and celebrates the importance of diversity in biomedical science—will help support Dr. Card’s postdoctoral work and provide start-up funds for his own laboratory, totaling roughly $1.4 million over eight years.
“I am an evolutionary biologist who studies the repeatability of biological adaptation,” said Dr. Card, who works in the laboratory of Jacob Scott, MD, DPhil. Specifically, his work addresses how the past accumulation of genetic differences among bacterial populations influences their future potential to develop antibiotic resistance. Since joining Dr. Scott’s lab, Dr. Card has expanded this work to examine how other factors, including population size and mutation rate, interact with history to alter the predictability of resistance evolution, and is also investigating similar questions in the context of cancer.
Dr. Card’s passion for research is matched only by his passion to promote inclusivity in science. To him, being named an HHMI Hanna Gray Fellow offers the opportunity to learn from and grow with a diverse group of researchers and to amplify the message that diversity and inclusivity in research is critical.
“I have a rare congenital neurological condition called Moebius syndrome that affects my facial muscles, speech and limb development. Living with my disability has made me so appreciative of all the differences that make each of us who we are, and has also taught me perseverance, which has made me a better and more well-rounded scientist,” said Dr. Card. “My primary goals are to pursue translational research that will better the lives of others, and to inspire people, who may not always see themselves reflected in academia, that there is an important place for them in science.”
Dr. Card joined Dr. Scott’s lab after receiving his PhD in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior from Michigan State University. Of Dr. Card, Dr. Scott said, “He is one of those rare finds who is able to combine big picture thinking about evolution across multiple biological contexts, together with deep domain knowledge, rigor and curiosity. Add to this a kind heart with the best interests of the entire scientific community held close, and you have the whole package. We feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work with Kyle while he is here, and to continue our collaboration for a lifetime.”
Dr. Card joins 20 other researchers in the 2020 class of Hanna Gray Fellows. The fellowship program aims to recruit and retain researchers from underrepresented groups in the life sciences by providing significant early-career support. Fellows receive support for their postdoctoral research, as well as funds committed to help them start their own laboratory as they transition to independence. The award is named to honor Hanna Holborn Gray, PhD.