Much of my current research focuses on understanding the role of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotic evolution. HGT is the process of genetic changes across the boundaries of species or genomes and has been recognized as an important force in the evolution of life. In prokaryotes, acquisition of foreign genes from other organisms is considered as the major means to gain novel genes and, therefore, to create beneficial phenotypes and abilities to live in previously unexplored niches. However, the importance of HGT in eukaryotic evolution is less clear. We are currently performing genome analyses to identify transferred genes in eukaryotes and to understand the impact of HGT on the evolution of recipient organisms.