C&T Round Up for February 2023!

Issue 212 | February 24, 2023
7 min read
Capsid and Tail

This month, we featured a new UK Phage Therapy initiative and wrote about lessons in scaling bio and how to think about data.


Targeting Phage 2023 Conference banner

The 6th World Congress on Targeting Phage Therapy 2023 will take place in Paris, France June 1-2, 2023.

The conference will highlight the recent innovations and clinical applications of phages, validation and limitations. Targeting Phage Therapy 2023 will also cover how phages will transform the medicine of tomorrow. A discussion will be held on how to overcome barriers between experts, academics, industrials, and regulators. Phages will be the hottest topic not only to combat infection and antibiotic resistance, but also to modulate microbiota.

What’s New

Erytech (a red blood cell-based therapeutics company) and Pherecydes (a phage therapy company) will merge to form a new company, whose name is yet to be disclosed, and redirect Erytech’s financial resources, people and network toward Pherecydes’ phage therapy programs.

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Biotech newsPhage therapy

The Japanese government is moving forward with a pull incentive for developing new antibiotics, called the Antimicrobial Securement Project. According to CARB-X’s director, Kevin Outterson, this is a revenue guarantee pull incentive, akin to what Sweden is doing, but higher in funding amount, and is an exciting step in the right direction.

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AMRBiotech newsJapan

In a new Nature Microbiology paper, Jan Wohlfarth (ETH Zurich) and colleagues show that Listeria and Enterococcus can evade phage predation by transient conversion to a cell wall-deficient L-form state, which is triggered by endolysins disintegrating the cell wall ‘from without’. Results suggest this represents a population-level persistence mechanism to evade eradication by phage. Read also this discussion of the paper by Thomas Denes (University of Tennessee, Knoxville).

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L-formsPhage-host interactionsResearch paper

A subset of jumbo phages have recently been shown to encode a ‘phage nucleus’ for sequestering the phage genome away from host nucleolytic attack. Eliza Nieweglowska (University of California, San Francisco) and colleagues published a new paper in Nature Communications on how the ϕPA3 phage nucleus is enclosed by a self-assembling 2D crystalline lattice.

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Jumbo phageResearch paperStructural Biology

In a new paper in Cell Reports, Beatriz Beamud (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and colleagues report on their study of the genetic determinants of host tropism in Klebsiella phages. They isolated 46 phages to challenge 138 representative clinical Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, and found that <2% of 6,319 phage-host combinations tested yielding detectable interactions. Capsule diversity was found to be the main factor restricting phage host range.

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Host rangeResearch paper

Latest Jobs

Research Scientist at A&P Inphatec in Palo Alto, CA

A&P Inphatec, LLC has commercialized the first product to treat Pierce’s Disease in grapevines. Our unique solution utilizes bacteriophages to target and kill the bacteria at the source of the problem – giving wine growers an organic and sustainable solution to a rising threat in California.
A&P Inphatec, LLC is seeking an experienced microbiologist applicant to join our research and development team as a full-time Research Scientist.

BiotechPhage stabilityScientist
Fixed Phage is building platforms to enable phage immobilisation and stabilisation, to expedite commercialisation of phages to safeguard animal and human health. They are hiring a Laboratory Scientist (microbiologist) to join their team in Glasgow.
Computational biologyPost Doc
The NIH’s National Library of Medicine is hiring a postdoctoral fellow in the area of bioinformatics and data science. Several projects are currently available including 1) identifying and characterizing microbial gene clusters of interest; 2) knowledge-based functional annotations of biosynthesis pathways; 3) building phage and bacterial interaction networks.
PhD projectPhage defense
University of Exeter is recruiting a PhD student for a project that combines classical microbiology, microbial genetics and single cell microscopy to determine how bacterial defences evolve, and how they shape the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The Centre for Integrative Biology of Toulouse (CBI) is seeking talented group leaders in microbiology, with a focus on projects involving integrative approaches, interactions between microbes and their hosts, mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics, or quantitative and computational biology of microbes.
Cell-free expressionPost Doc
The National Research Council of Canada is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to develop a cell-free expression system for rapid and cost-effective host-independent production of therapeutic and engineered phages for multidrug-resistant bacteria. The successful applicant will leverage NRC’s expertise in bacteriophage biology, genomics, proteomics, fermentation and downstream purification.

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!

From the Phagebiotics Research Foundation:

Greetings Phage friends!

The 25th biennial International Evergreen Phage Meeting is set to kick off in person, in full Evergreen fashion, with Dr. Betty Kutter at the Evergreen State College. Mark your calendar for AUG 6-11th 2023! Phagebiotics Research Foundation is looking forward for you to participate and we are counting down these final few days until the launch of the 2023 website!

We ask you to hold tight, while we are hard at work finalizing the details and preparing for a great meeting. Stay tuned for further announcements and please follow us on social media to catch the latest announcements and updates.

P.S. We are going to Mt. Rainier on Betty’s Birthday, Fri. AUG 11th 2023!
Please plan on attending this special day to celebrate and hike with Betty.

Hosted by:
Phagebiotics Research Foundation & Phage Directory
Phage Meeting: Aug 6-11 2023
Multiple Workshops: Aug 6 and TBA
Mt. Rainier: AUG 11 2023

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In a talk entitled “Bacteriophage Therapy: From Soviet Clinical Experience to Current Activities at the Eliava Institute”, Dr. Mzia Kutateladze (Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Georgia) will present her latest research at the Targeting Phage Therapy Congress in Paris (June 1-2, 2023).

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ConferencePhage therapy

C&T Round Up for February 2023!

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.

Another month is behind us! This time, we’re posting this Roundup in the mountains of New Zealand! We’re really proud of the pieces we’ve put out this month, as we’ve spent a long time thinking about these topics. We also think the UK Phage Therapy is a really cool effort.

Are you working on a phage project? Write about it on Capsid, or post about it on instill.xyz!

UK Establishing Phage Therapy Infrastructure

by Dr. Josh Jones

The UK is establishing a national clinical phage center, UK Phage Therapy, to provide sustainable phage therapy for NHS patients in collaboration with academic and commercial partners, including CPI, Fixed Phage, and the University of Leicester. The consortium aims to establish a sustainable source of phages for the UK, which will be critical to maintain and expand phage therapy provision for patients in need of an antimicrobial therapy that could save their lives.

Lessons in scaling bio, team science & priorities

by Jessica Sacher

In this post, Jessica describes lessons learned from setting up a phage therapy center to treat patients with antibiotic-resistant infections. Jessica highlights the importance of sample tracking and communication systems, designing protocols to keep in mind that lab members can get distracted, tired, or sick. She reminds us that scaling phage therapy is more about communication, documentation, and process design than the science itself.

How to think about data

by Jan Zheng

In this post, I write about different types of data (measurements, artifacts, presentational data, records and relational data, and metadata) and their uses. I also outline and share a few tips for data management, including using a single source of truth, providing easy access, building processes, using templates/forms, scheduling/reminders, assigning ownership, and balancing high expectations with burden.

C&T Throwback: OSU Viromics Workshop

Now that we’re exploring more data engineering, we’re crawling through our archives for past bioinformatics posts. This post on the OSU Viromics Workshop by Anushila Chatterjee is worth a read!

Capsid & Tail

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In collaboration with

Mary Ann Liebert PHAGE

Supported by

Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

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