Filip Husnik

Photo of Filip Husnik in blue shirt
Filip Husnik
Assistant Professor
PhD (Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics), Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 2017
MSc. (Parasitology), University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, 2012
Czech Republic


I am broadly interested in major evolutionary transitions such as the origin of the eukaryotic cell and its symbiotic organelles, mitochondria and plastids. I work at the interface of multiple disciplines, particularly evolutionary biology, cell biology, genomics, microbiology, ecology, biochemistry, marine science, and computer science. My favorite model systems are any symbiotic organisms, insects, protists, and marine microbes.

I grew up near Prague, did my graduate work in Budweis, and then my research brought me to the USA, UK, Canada, and finally Japan.

Professional Experience

  • EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of British Columbia, Canada (2017-2020), with Patrick J. Keeling
  • Fulbright PhD Fellowship, University of Montana, USA (2014-2015), with John P. McCutcheon
  • Erasmus PhD Fellowship, University of Liverpool, UK (2012-2013), with Alistair C. Darby

Awards and Funding

  • HFSP Early Career Grant (2024-2026)
  • OIST Students' Choice Teaching Award (2023)
  • OIST Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Award (2023)
  • JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists (main PI; FYs 2023-2024)
  • JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists (main PI; FYs 2021-2022)
  • JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research B (co-PI; FYs 2021-2023)
  • JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Research Activity Start-up (main PI; FYs 2020-2021)
  • Postdoctoral fellow travel award, University of British Columbia (2019)
  • EMBO long-term postdoctoral fellowship (2017-2019)
  • Dean's award for Ph.D. thesis (2017)
  • 30 Under 30, Forbes Czech Republic (2015)
  • Fulbright visiting Ph.D. student fellowship (2014-2015)
  • Ph.D. research award, University of South Bohemia (2014-2015)
  • Erasmus visiting Ph.D. student fellowship (2012-2013)
  • Dean's award for MSc. thesis (2012)

Select Publications

  • Husnik F, Tashyreva D, Boscaro V, George EE, Lukes J, Keeling PJ: Bacterial and archaeal symbioses with protists. Current Biology 2021, 31(13): PR862-R877.
  • Husnik F & McCutcheon JP: Repeated replacement of an intrabacterial symbiont in the tripartite nested mealybug symbiosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2016, 113(3): E5416-5424.
  • Husnik F, Nikoh N, Koga R, Ross L, Duncan RP, Fujie M, Tanaka M, Satoh N, Bachtrog D, Wilson ACC, von Dohlen CD, Fukatsu T, McCutcheon JP: Horizontal gene transfer from diverse bacteria to an insect genome enables a tripartite nested mealybug symbiosis. Cell 2013, 153(7): 1567-1578.
  • Husnik F & McCutcheon JP: Functional horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to eukaryotes. Nature Reviews Microbiology 2018, 16 (2): 67.