UW Graduate School

May 10, 2017

How Prof. Houra Merrikh Works

Houra Merrikh, Assistant ProfessorHoura Merrikh

Department/program: Microbiology
Research focus: DNA Replication

In a 2016 interview, microbiologist Houra Merrik said her goal is to “be somebody who sets an example and facilitates the system in a way that people that have gone through hardships can bring their abilities to science.” Houra knows what it means to overcome adversity: born in Iran, she immigrated with her family to Turkey at age three. At 16, she moved to the U.S. without her family and put herself through community college by working at restaurants and selling cars. Now, she studies conflicts in the process of cell division: specifically, in the competing processes of replication and transmission. In 2016, she was one of three recipients of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.

Work

Give us a one-word description of how you work:

Relentlessly

How do you manage your to-dos?

E-mail Tasks Feature

What are your essential apps, software or tools?

Powerpoint, Outlook, Google Docs

Where do you most often work?

On campus, in my office.

How do you manage your time?

By priority.

What is your best time-saving shortcut?

Short email responses.

What are some of your productivity strategies you’ve honed over your years in academia?

Staggering my tasks.

Life

What mundane thing are you really exceptional at?

Sarcastic jokes

What’s the last thing that made you laugh?

A cat birthday party at a bar.

How do you recharge?

Exercise and sleep.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Six hours a night.

Inspiration

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Follow your heart.

Who’s your support system?

My husband.

What pitfall do you consistently see students falling into?

They lack time management.

What do your most successful students do?

They work hard.

How UW Works was inspired by LifeHacker’s How I Work.

Did you enjoy this series? Check back Wednesdays during the Spring quarter for the latest mid-week motivation! While you wait, you can read more in this series, nominate a student or professor to be featured, or answer the questions yourself! (Students should answer the questions via this form; faculty should use this form. If you prefer to answer the questions over email, drop us a line at gradnews@uw.edu).


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