C&T Round Up for September 2020

Issue 95 | October 2, 2020
4 min read
Capsid and Tail

Recapping the feature articles we published in September!

This week, we’re highlighting the four feature articles we published in September: two guest blog posts, an interview, and a recap of the two PHAVES events we hosted this month. Enjoy!

What’s New

Emily’s Entourage, a nonprofit organization that funds cystic fibrosis research and drug development, has funded four new grants (totaling $790,000 over two years), two of which are phage-related. One was awarded to IPATH researchers to develop a MRSA phage library, and another to Vincent Fischetti for phage lysin development.

Grant funding newsLysinsPhage Therapy

Locus Biosciences signed a $144 million contract with BARDA to support phase II and III clinical trials of LBP-EC01, Locus’ CRISPR phage (crPhage™) product.

Biotech newsFunding news

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics was recognized as a 2020 Champion of Maryland Manufacturing for its efforts to provide emergency phage access to COVID-19 patients with secondary bacterial infections.

Biotech news

Laith Harb (Texas A&M University) and colleagues published a new paper in PNAS showing that host cell penetration by the F-pilus-specific ssRNA phage MS2 triggers detachment of the F-pilus.

Phage-host interactionsResearch paper

Luís Melo (University of Minho, Portugal) and colleagues published a detailed analysis of how the Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm matrix protects against phage predation.

BiofilmsResearch paper

Xing Wan (KU Leuven and University of Helsinki) and colleagues published a new review in Current Opinion in Biotechnology on phage-based target discovery and its exploitation towards novel antibacterial molecules.

Antimicrobial developmentResearch paper

Latest Jobs

15 PhD positions are open as part of the virology and bioinformatics “ETN VIROINF” program, a Horizon 2020-funded program involving institutes in 8 countries. Several project openings are phage-related!
The Turner lab at Yale University is looking to hire a postdoc to study phage evolution or virus biodiversity.
The Bullough lab at the University of Sheffield, UK will soon hire a PhD student to study phage infection of C. difficile with cryoEM.
The Niu lab at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has an opening for a postdoc to study phage-host interactions, phage functional genomics, and viral metagenomics.

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!

The next rendition of PHAVES will be a seminar/Q&A with Dr. Emma Bell, Principal Bacteriophage Scientist at FixedPhage, and will take place October 6th at 4PM GMT+1. She’ll discuss their phage immobilization technology and how they’ve improved their phage production with the Cellexus CellMaker. Small group networking to follow.

Thanks to Cellexus for sponsoring this event!

Register for the series & stay up to date here!

PHAVESVirtual Event

Thanks so much to the nearly 300 people who attended the first iVoM webinar! The second iVoM event will be Thursday, October 15, 4pm GMT, and the theme will be “Virus structures and function”.

It will feature talks by:
Petr Leiman, University of Texas
Kristin Parent, Michigan State University
Pascale Boulanger, Université Paris-Saclay

Chairs:
Deborah Hinton, NIH
Paulo Tavares, Université Paris-Saclay

Register for the whole series or for individual events at https://ivom.phage.directory!

Virtual EventViruses of microbesiVoM

C&T Round Up for September 2020

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Phage microbiologist and co-founder of Phage Directory
Co-founder
Phage Directory, Atlanta, GA, United States

Jessica Sacher is a co-founder of Phage Directory and has a Ph.D in Microbiology and Biotechnology from the University of Alberta.

For Phage Directory, she takes care of the science, writing, communications, and business aspects.

In place of a feature article this week, we’re highlighting the four Capsid & Tail feature articles we published this month. Be sure to check them out if you missed them, and let us know if you have thoughts, comments or questions! Reach us anytime by email or Slack!

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Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

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