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"A strong feeling of adventure is animating those who are working on bacterial viruses, a feeling that they have a small part in the great drive towards a fundamental problem in biology".

—Max Delbrück, 1946

Welcome to the VCU Phage Lab Wiki! 

We are part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute SEA PHAGES program, a nation-wide initiative sponsored by HHMI and the Hatfull Lab at University of Pittsburgh to change the way we teach introductory science courses. Similar courses are taught at 100+ universities and high schools across the country and around the world. Students discover novel viruses (bacteriophages) infecting bacteria as a way to learn science. We sequence the genomes of some of those bacteriophages, and then learn bioinformatics by analyzing those genome sequences. In 2021, the VCU Phage Lab enters it's 13th year in the program. This wiki is the repository for student notebooks as well as their research outcomes- poster presentations, genome annotation submissions to genbank, and publications.



For students: In the Phage Lab course (BNFO 251/252 Phage Discovery I/II) students learn how to undertake scientific research through the discovery and characterization of bacteriophages (viruses infecting bacteria). The students in the fall course (BNFO 251) are 'phage hunters'. They discover and characterize their own virus using wet lab techniques. The students in the spring course (BNFO 252) learn bioinformatics by exploring bacteriophage genome sequences through genome annotation and comparative genomics projects.

This site will serve as the repository of your work. Be sure to revisit this when you need to make a resume for a job, internship, or applications!

Genbank submissions and genome announcements are listed here.

Here are the posters presented by phage students over the last several years:

You can cite these in your resume with an asterisk by your name indicating your role in the work underneath the citation (ex. *My role in this project was to annotate 32 phage genes in two phage genomes that were submitted to genbank.).

Spring 2021 Three posters were created for a virtual SEA PHAGES symposium and the VCU Virtual Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity

PDF of poster slides: Hunting for Phage Darren, Genome Annotation of Phage Darren, Comparative Genomics of Darren, BillyBob and MrBubbles

Video links for posters: Hunting for Phage Darren, Genome Annotation of Phage Darren, Comparative Genomics of Darren, BillyBob and MrBubbles

Summer 2019 11th Annual SEA PHAGES symposium student poster

Spring 2019  VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Bacillus phage poster, Rock pool phage poster

Fall 2018 Phall Phage Phaire, hosted by James Madison University

Bacillus phage poster, Rock pool phage poster

Summer 2018 10th Annual SEA PHAGES symposium student poster

Spring 2018 VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Bacillus phage poster

Fall 2017 Phall Phage Phair, hosted by Virginia Union University

 Student poster, student presentation

Summer 2017 9th Annual SEA PHAGES symposium student poster

Spring 2017 VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Host range poster, Yeast-2-Hybrid poster, Bioinformatics poster

Spring 2017 Phage Phest at William & Mary, student presentation

Fall 2016 Phall Phage Phaire, hosted by Hamden Sydney College, student presentation

Summer 2016 8th Annual SEA PHAGES symposium student poster

Spring 2016 VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Student poster as infographic

Fall 2015 Phall Phage Phaire, hosted by VCU!

Summer 2015 7th Annual SEA PHAGES symposium student poster

Summer 2015 7th Annual SEA PHAGES symposium faculty poster

April 2015 VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Summer 2014 6th Annual SEA PHAGES symposium student poster


We will use this wiki as our electronic lab notebook each semester.  

Students: Please create a child page under your section's parent page and use your name as the title.  Pages are added using the + symbol to the upper right.   Each day you are working, you should update your wiki page with your progress, observations, and next steps.

You will be required to keep a detailed record of all that you do in the phage lab.  This is REAL research that will one day be published, and you have a responsibility to properly document your experiments.   We will use this wiki as an electronic notebook for this semester of the course.  You will be able to share your results with your classmates, as well as view their results, making collaboration easier.  You should never copy between pages!  If you copy your classmates’ notebook(s), you will immediately be reported to the honor’s council.

Each class or time you work on annotation and research questions, you should document:

·       the date,

·       objective,

·       problem addressed,

·       incorporate pertinent data screenshots,

·       record name of associated data files, etc.

·       Be sure to add a “next session...”!


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