C&T Round Up for July 2023!

Issue 234 | July 28, 2023
7 min read
Capsid and Tail

This month, we heard about PHIOGEN, a new phage startup, about how the phage therapy system works at Phage Australia, and about a biobank data platform we’re building at Phage Australia.


Evergreen event

The Evergreen International Phage Meeting is happening Aug 6-11, 2023, live in Olympia, Washington, USA! This is an in-person meeting, better known as Phage Camp! Come present your phage work, climb mountains with other phage scientists, play phage-related board games, see a special showing of the Salt in My Soul documentary, and much more! This is the 50th anniversary meeting, hosted by Betty Kutter, Queen of Phage.

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What’s New

US Representative Morgan Griffith recently discussed the potential of phage therapy to combat antimicrobial resistance at the April 28, 2023 U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations meeting.

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Phage TherapyAntimicrobial ResistanceCongressional Briefing

In a new article in Nature Reviews Microbiology, Héloïse Georjon & Aude Bernheim explore the diverse antiphage defense systems of bacteria, including nucleases, helicases, and proteases.

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Antiphage Defense SystemsReview

Jiemin Du, Susanne Meile (ETH Zurich) and colleagues have engineered phages to produce and release antimicrobial effectors, creating a promising alternative to conventional antibiotics for UTIs.

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Engineered phageAntimicrobial effectorsResearch paper

In a new preprint, Rubén Barcia-Cruz (Sorbonne Université) and colleagues describe a new family of satellites called PICMI associated with marine virulent phages.

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Phage satellitesPreprint
Bioinformatic toolPhage-host interactions

Latest Jobs

PostdocPhage banks
The Ohio State University is hiring a postdoc to assist in coordinating datasets and associated laboratory activities for both microbial and phage banks, and to support research and development component of phage processing experiments.
Phage-host interactionsCoral reefsPhage ecology
University of Miami, USA is hiring a postdoc to investigate phage-bacteria interactions in South Florida ecosystems, with a focus on coral reefs, Sargassum blooms, and the Everglades.
Research ScientistPhage therapy
University of Idaho is hiring a Research Scientist I or II in phage therapy to advance the principles of phage therapy and evolution for the treatment and prevention of infections.
Design consultantVolunteer
Phages for Global Health is seeking a Volunteer Design Consultant to help develop a relatively simple image/drawing that describes the organization’s four pillars and how they fit together toward accomplishing its overall mission. PGH would use this graphic to help publicize their projects and to fundraise.

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!

Developing Scientific Guidelines for Phage Banks

The next meeting for this project will be held on August 6th at Evergreen State College and will be accessible online. We will continue to brainstorm about the topics that should be covered in the phage bank guidelines.

The meeting will run from 1:15 - 5:00 PM (PDT). For those attending in-person, lunch will be provided and will be available from 12:15 - 1:15 PM (PDT).

If you would like to attend (either in-person or virtually), please confirm this by emailing Fran Hodges ([email protected]) by August 2nd.

Tobi & Fran

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Phage banksGuidelinesMeeting

I am a Ph.D. graduate in Phage Biology and Therapy seeking a postdoctoral position in phage research. My research expertise lies in the pre-clinical assessment of phages with a focus on phage therapy. I have valuable experience from working as a graduate research fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, NIH, and have authored scientific articles. I am passionate about exploring novel phage-based therapeutic approaches, including phage-host interaction. I am eager to collaborate and contribute to phage research.

Sincerely, Gunaraj Dhungana, Ph.D. in Phage Biology and Therapy

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Phage TherapyPostdoctoral PositionPreclinical Assessment

C&T Round Up for July 2023!

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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.

Alright everyone, just about a week away from Evergreen! We’ve spent a lot of our time volunteering to get things ready, from helping the science committee organize the schedule, to setting up the abstract platform and abstract book for printing. We’re almost there!

For August, we’re slowing down our pace of Capsid & Tail so we can focus on helping out with Evergreen and making sure everything goes right.

We’re also calling out to all PhD students, postdocs, and professors to write about your phage-related research in Capsid! It’s a great way to share with the phage community what you’re doing, and get you collaborators, postdoc positions (or even postdocs!): here’s how to do it!

Here’s what we wrote this month:

How our phage therapy system works at Phage Australia

by Jessica Sacher

In this issue, Jessica described the process of setting up Phage Australia as a personalized phage therapy service. Here, she detailed the steps involved in the end-to-end process of treating a patient, from diagnostics to formulation to quality control. Jessica emphasized the challenges of running a phage therapy service and the importance of understanding patient needs, and hopes that sharing her experience will help others building a phage therapy center or any service that relies on biological manufacturing and/or multidisciplinary teams that span the lab and the clinic.

Proof & Provenance: A biobank data platform for coordinating and sharing phages and results

by Jan Zheng

In this issue, I discussed the need for an easy way to look up information about phages, including what we know about a specific phage, where it came from, and what’s been done with it. I also discussed the need for a biobank data platform for coordinating and sharing phages, and presenting phage data much like a Material Safety Data Sheet. This platform would help us establish provenance for phages, track their history, and assist in making phages auditable, shareable, and collaborative. This is also my topic for Evergreen — if you’re interested in this topic, come to my poster and demo session!

The Missing Middle Ground of Phage Therapy: Effective Phage Therapeutics that Bridge Economy, Regulation, and Unprecedented Functionality

by Amanda Burkardt

In this article, Amanda Burkardt, CEO of PHIOGEN, discusses the urgent need to find next-generation antibacterial solutions to overcome the colossal hurdle of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which is projected to cause more than 10 million deaths by 2050. She introduces PHIOGEN, a biotech startup that has developed a business model that is economically scalable, investable, and bridges regulatory pathways. She explains the company’s technology platform that produces therapeutics which address the scientific and biologic challenges bacterial pathogens use to undermine traditional medicines. By leveraging the learnings of the Emergency Investigational New Drug (EIND) cases treated by TAILOR Labs, PHIOGEN has built a world-first technology platform that mobilizes the natural power of bacteriophages to tackle the myriad of problems bacteria use to undermine medicine, including resistance. Amanda explains the PHIOGEN technology platform, which allows products to be de-risked, reducing the need for unnecessary trials and improving clinical outcomes.

C&T Throwback!

This year at Evergreen we’ll have a whole bunch of bioinformatics workshops. We’ll have the Galaxy workshop back by popular demand, so here’s a recap written by Jessica about what it is, and what it can do: Using Galaxy for phage genome annotation.

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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