Education ProgramsThe data contained in this databases come from many sources, largely from the work of students across the globe who are engaging in authentic research courses sponsored by Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science Education Alliance. Phagehunting lends itself well to educational settings that have included middle school, high school, undergraduate and graduate students. The structure of multiple milestones along the process of isolating and characterizing bacteriophages allows for punctuated approaches that fit well in classroom settings. Some of the education programs that supply data to this database are listed here.
The Science Education Alliance (SEA) is a project of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Undergraduate and Graduate Programs group that works with science educators at colleges and universities to advance science education. The premier project is the SEA-PHAGES Project (Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Sciences). Students around the globe are isolating and characterizing phages and entering their data here. The program consists of a 2 semester laboratory course (typically delivered in place of traditional biology I & II labs). More than 100 college and universities have participated in the program since its inception in 2008. You can find more information about the program and how to participate at HHMI’s SEA-PHAGES website and the SEA-PHAGES Program website.
Key research and educational goals are described in the paper, Exploring the Mycobacteriophage Metaproteome: Phage Genomics as an Educational Platform.
Faculty from colleges and universities who participate in the SEA-PHAGES program have obtained funding for distinct phagehunting programs in their localities. One such program is the Small Genome Project of the Kentucky Biomedical Infrastructure Network Small Genomes Discovery Program (KBRIN). Faculty at surrounding institutions are implementing phagehunting programs in conjunction with Western Kentucky University under the direction of Dr. Rodney King.