Evergreen 2021: Many thanks to all 504 phage phans!

Issue 139 | August 13, 2021
12 min read
Capsid and Tail

Last week, in collaboration with Dr. Betty Kutter and her unstoppable team, we helped run the iconic Evergreen International Phage Meeting — but with a twist — this time it was a hybrid virtual/in-person event! We are overjoyed with how it went, and so grateful for the incredible engagement of the phage community. Over 500 registrants, 64 of which attended in person!

In this week’s feature article, we’ve got a thank-you letter from Betty, as well as directions on accessing the >100 videos you can watch (as nearly everything was recorded), plus a giant poster & abstract library for you to peruse!

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Special student writing opportunity!

Did you attend Evergreen this year? Did you have a favourite talk (or two?). In collaboration with PHAGE Journal, we are looking for 2-3 students to help us provide a window into the Evergreen conference for the community.

Your role would be to write a short description (1-2 paragraphs) of a talk you found especially interesting, and why you thought so. (We have all the recordings from the conference available if you need to rewatch as you write!).

Your write-up(s) would be jointly published in both PHAGE Journal (News & Views section) and as a feature blog article in Capsid & Tail.

If you’re interested in contributing, please email Martha Clokie ([email protected]), and CC Jessica Sacher ([email protected]) to register your interest by Wed, Aug 18.

*This has a tight turnaround, as it will be published in print and online, so we would need your writeup by Aug 23.

What’s New

Proteon Pharmaceuticals announced an investment of 21 million Euro to accelerate commercialization of its phage products, which aim to reduce reliance on antibiotics in aquaculture and livestock farming, improve on-farm performance and increase sustainability.

Biotech newsFunding news

Ameneh Khatami (The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and University of Sydney) and colleagues published a new paper in EMBO Molecular Medicine on bacterial lysis, autophagy and innate immune responses during adjunctive phage therapy in a child. This describes the successful treatment of a 7-year-old girl who avoided amputation thanks in part to phage treatment in 2019 (Phage Directory is proud to have helped source phages for this case!) See also Dr. Khatami’s talk in PHAVES about this case.

OsteoarticularPhage TherapyResearch paper

Christopher Turkington (University of California, Merced) and colleagues published a preprint on hafeZ, a tool able to identify ‘active’ prophages within bacterial genomes through genomic read mapping. They’ve applied hafeZ to publicly available sequencing data from bacterial genomes known to contain active prophages and shown hafeZ can accurately identify active prophage presence and location in host chromosomes.

Bioinformatics ToolComputational biologyPreprintProphage identification

Quentin Leclerc (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and colleagues published a preprint on the dual nature of phage: growth-dependent predation and generalized transduction of antimicrobial resistance. They developed mathematical models of the bacteria-phage relationship and found that dynamics were best captured by a model in which the phage burst size decreases as the bacteria population reaches the stationary phase.

Mathematical biologyPhage-bacteria dynamicsPreprint

Kristen LeGault (University of California, Berkeley) and colleagues published a paper in Science on how temporal shifts in antibiotic resistance elements govern phage-pathogen conflicts. They used time-shift experiments to look at co-evolution of epidemic Vibrio cholerae and lytic phages from cholera patient stool samples, and found that phage infection leads to dissemination of both phage and antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistanceCo-evolutionLytic phages

Latest Jobs

Sponsored Ad MicrobiomePhage Therapy

Postdoctoral Scholar

University of California San Diego

San Diego, California

The Pride Lab at the University of California, San Diego is seeking a postdoctoral fellow to investigate the role of bacteriophages as members of the human microbiome and to assist in the efforts to identify bacteriophages that kill human pathogens. The work will be carried out in conjunction with the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH). Salary is commensurate with the NIH salary payscale.

Please send CV and the names of 3 referees to Dr. David Pride at [email protected].

Post Doc
The Leibniz Institute DSMZ (Braunschweig, Germany) is hiring a Postdoctoral research associate to study new concepts in prokaryotic virus-host interactions – from single cells to microbial communities. For further information and more detailed project descriptions please contact Prof. Dr. Jörg Overmann ([email protected]) or Dr. Johannes Wittmann ([email protected]).
BioinformaticsIBDMicrobiomeResearch Associate
The Edwards lab at Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia) is hiring a research associate in bioinformatics. As part of the new Flinders Accelerator for Microbiome Exploration, the research associate will advance understanding of IBD by analyzing viral genomics and metagenomics data from IBD patients and controls, leveraging experimental data, and developing new software to analyze these complex datasets.
Assistant Professor
Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) is hiring an assistant professor. Candidates with expertise in any area of microbiology are encouraged to apply. Research interests of faculty include physiology, ecology, molecular biology, cell biology, pathogenesis, and microbiome science.

Community Board

Anyone can post a message to the phage community — and it could be anything from collaboration requests, post-doc searches, sequencing help — just ask!

Interested in contributing a blog post about your phage work (or your phage initiative) to C&T? Check out our Guest Writer Guide!

In keeping with our 4x per year draft submission deadline system, our next deadline is approaching!

  • For Jan-Mar, submit by Dec 1.
  • For Apr-June, submit by Mar 1.
  • For July-Sept, submit by June 1.
  • For Oct-Dec, submit by Sept 1.
Guest writingPhage Directory

Ricardo Pascal, a bioinformatics engineer in Denmark, is tracking the phage software ecosystem. Feel free to add a link or two to his list!

Bioinformatics ToolPhage software

Dr. Chip Schooley is leading an International Antiviral Society-USA webinar on phage therapy Aug 17 at 10AM. This is designed for clinical decision makers actively involved in HIV care and research, including physicians, physician assistants, nursing professionals, pharmacists. Participants will learn to describe important advancements in phage therapeutics and describe the potential applications of phage therapeutics in clinical practice.

Phage TherapyVirtual Event

We had so much fun with you all at the ‘Phage Phun’ sessions at Evergreen, that we’ve decided to incorporate these at the end of each month for the phage community at large! We will announce the first one soon!

Phage Phun: informal, self-serve breakout rooms, where you can hop between topic-based rooms and meet new phage phriends! At Evergreen we had rooms like ‘Catching up with phriends’, ‘Phage Therapy’, ‘Troubleshooting: bring a problem, get a solution’, ‘Phage in the Phield’ and more… (clearly there are bonus points if you can make the ‘Ph’ work for yours…). We can also accommodate specific subject matter rooms, like ‘RNA seq analysis’ (because talking science is super phun too!).

If you’ve got a suggested room title/subject (whether serious or silly!), send them to [email protected] anytime!

Virtual EventPhage PhunPhage Directory

Evergreen 2021: Many thanks to all 504 phage phans!

Profile Image
Phage microbiologist and co-founder of Phage Directory
Co-founderPostdoctoral Researcher
Iredell Lab, Phage Directory, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Sydney, Australia, Phage Australia

Phage characterization, Phage-host interactions, Phage Therapy, Molecular Biology

I’m a co-founder of Phage Directory and have a Ph.D in Microbiology and Biotechnology from the University of Alberta (I studied Campylobacter phage biology). For Phage Directory, I oversee community building, phage sourcing, communications, science, and our awesome team of volunteers.

As of Feb 2022, I’ve recently joined Jon Iredell’s group in Sydney, Australia as a postdoctoral research scientist for the Phage Australia project. I’m diving back into the lab to help get Phage Australia’s country-wide phage therapy system up and running here, working to streamline workflows for phage sourcing, biobanking and collection of phage/bacteria/patient matching and monitoring data, and integrating it all with Phage Directory’s phage exchange, phage alerts and phage atlas systems. I’m also delving into phage manufacturing and quality control.

Profile Image
Product designer and co-founder of Phage Directory
Co-founderProduct Designer
Iredell Lab, Phage Directory, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Sydney, Australia, Phage Australia
Twitter @yawnxyz

Bioinformatics, Data Science, UX Design, Full-stack Engineering

I am a co-founder of Phage Directory, and have a Master of Human-Computer Interaction degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a computer science and psychology background from UMBC.

For Phage Directory, I take care of the product design, full-stack engineering, and business / operations aspects.

As of Feb 2022, I’ve recently joined Jon Iredell’s group in Sydney, Australia to build informatics systems for Phage Australia. I’m helping get Phage Australia’s phage therapy system up and running here, working to streamline workflows for phage sourcing, biobanking and collection of phage/bacteria/patient matching and monitoring data, and integrating it all with Phage Directory’s phage exchange, phage alerts and phage atlas systems.

Last week, in collaboration with Dr. Betty Kutter and her unstoppable team of phage enthusiasts, we helped run the iconic 24th Biennial Evergreen International Phage Meeting — but with a twist! This time it was a hybrid virtual/in-person event! We are overjoyed with how it went, and so grateful for the incredible engagement of the phage community. Over 500 people registered, 64 of whom (who were lucky enough to be vaccinated and able/ready to travel) attended in person!

We’ve now got >100 videos for you to watch, as nearly everything was recorded, and a giant poster & abstract library for you to peruse!

If you missed the event — don’t worry! — all recordings are staying up until December 2021, so you can still register at https://evergreen.phage.directory to view our treasure trove of posters and talks, and workshops.

Plus, read on for a thank-you letter from Betty!

evergreen in person
A subset of the Evergreen in-person participants!

A letter from Betty Kutter

Dear Evergreen Phage Conference attendees,

I would like to take this time to thank you for attending the meeting, participating in the workshops and events that occurred during last week. Without your contributions and participation, this event would not have been possible. It was lovely to get to spend this past week with you, listening to the exciting work being done in the field around the world and connecting with you through the multiple events that were planned both for the community online and here in Olympia.

The goal of this meeting has been to provide the ever-broadening phage community an opportunity to connect and build strong relationships, share skills and ideas, leading to new insights and collaborations. Despite the challenges the world is facing, I was excited to know that over 500 participants were able to attend 24th edition of the Biennial Evergreen International Phage Meeting, our first-ever attempt at organizing a hybrid event, which I hope you enjoyed as much as me.

The Evergreen International Phage Meeting, the PhageBiotics Research Foundation and I would like to thank and acknowledge Jessica Sacher and Jan Zheng from Phage Directory, whose expertise and support were essential for the success of this event. To keep up with global phage research, news, phage requests & community updates of all kinds, we invite you to subscribe to Capsid & Tail, Phage Directory’s weekly email newsletter (https://phage.directory/capsid).

We would like to particularly thank TAILOR labs at Baylor College of Medicine, Jafral and PhagePro for their participation and financial support, which allowed young scholars from various places in the world to attend the meeting.

Recordings for the 24th Biennial Evergreen International phage meeting and the workshops can be found on the conference website (Speakers Page). You may access them using your registration code, or you may still register on our conference site to view the recordings and posters.

We will keep these recordings available for those who register at least until December 1, 2021, unless specifically asked by the presenters to remove them from the website.

I wish you all could have been here but I am aware that this hybrid format allowed people from around the world to attend and participate, many of whom I have had the opportunity to interact with, in previous events. We want to continue to do this in the future for the ever-growing phage community.

Thank you again for joining us! Hope to see you soon!

— Betty Kutter

evergreen virtual
Evergreen virtual participants from around the world!

A few stats on the meeting


64 attended in person

504 total signups (virtual + in-person)

What’s available on the Evergreen 2021 site

(Available now until December 1, 2021; registration still possible post-conference for a limited time!)

  • 90 recorded oral presentations (including all full speaker sessions and Q&A periods, for both in-person and virtual talks, as well as individually-tagged videos by speaker and topic)
  • 116 abstracts
  • 40 posters
  • 44 video poster walkthroughs
  • 3 recorded workshops
    • Tobi Nagel’s ‘Drug Development Considerations for Phage Products’ workshop
    • Adriana Hernandez and Justin Clark’s genome annotation workshop
    • Ramy Aziz and Rebecca Wattam’s PATRIC genome annotation workshop

Want to easily navigate what happened when? The conference schedule is still up on the site!

Watch history to date

  • Our Evergreen 2021 videos have gotten 2,093 views to date!
  • Collective watch time: 388.4 hours
  • We’ve had 423 unique viewers! (the majority of our 504 signups!)
  • Most popular recording watched to date: Monday PM Full Session (282 views, 75 h watch time)

phage phriends phorever
Phage phriends phorever!

Abstract book

The Evergreen Abstract book is now available for download!

It’s not over!

  • The community is still averaging around 21 h of Evergreen video watch time a day, even the week after the conference!
  • We are still keeping registration open for a limited time, for those who want to take part in the asynchronous virtual experience of Evergreen.
  • Want to chat with participants & presenters? Join the Phage Directory Slack community’s #Evergreen channel (and/or feel free to chat in other channels too!)

One last special shout-out to our amazing organizing team

Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this event possible, especially to:

  • Coordinating Committee Chair: Elizabeth Kutter

  • Operations, Registration & Payments, Scholarships, Attendance Certificates: Ria Kaelin

  • Session, Poster, Workshop Scheduling, Scientific Advisor: Adriana Hernandez-Morales

  • Technical & Design Lead: Jan Zheng

  • Video, Abstract, Poster Data Team: Chelsey Anderson, Susan Lehman

  • Zoom Sessions: Jessica Sacher, Adriana Hernandez-Morales

  • Phage Phun sessions: Jessica Sacher, Stephanie Lynch

  • Venue: the staff at the Olympia Hotel at Capital Lake — especially Dominic, who was our audio-visual master throughout the week!!

More pictures on the Evergreen conference homepage!

Many thanks to Atif Khan for finding and summarizing this week’s phage news, jobs and community posts!

Capsid & Tail

Follow Capsid & Tail, the periodical that reports the latest news from the phage therapy and research community.

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