Education and Phage Hunting Programs

Phage Hunting Opportunities

Opportunities for Pittsburgh-area high school students or University of Pittsburgh undergraduates to become researchers in the lab of Dr. Graham Hatfull.

Undergraduates

Undergraduate students can discover and characterize novel bacteriophages in the research lab of Dr. Graham F. Hatfull as members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professorship Phagehunting Program. As students characterize their bacteriophages, they can develop critical skills that allow them to investigate questions of interest about the phages and their hosts. To be considered, students are asked to complete the application linked here and return it, along with school transcripts to Debbie Jacobs-Sera (djs@pitt.edu), Program Coordinator.

Key research and educational goals are described in the paper, Exploring the Mycobacteriophage Metaproteome: Phage Genomics as an Educational Platform.

Key Program Features:

  • Ability to learn microbiology, molecular biology, and bioinformatic skills
  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Independent research of your own phage
  • Notebook meetings
  • Mentor training
  • Scientific presentation opportunities
  • Flexible scheduling

Undergraduate Student Application

High School

Due to funding changes, we will not conduct our high school outreach program for school year 2014-15. Since 2001 high school students and teachers have discovered and characterized hundreds of novel bacteriophages in the research lab of Dr. Graham F. Hatfull as members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professorship Phagehunting Integrating Research and Education Program (PHIRE) at the University of Pittsburgh. Sixty mycobacteriophages genomes have been successfully annotated and entered into GenBank. These discoveries have directly contributed to seven mycobacteriophage peer-reviewed articles that include some of these high school students and teachers as authors. Thanks to the many high school students and teachers who have participated in the program!

Teacher Workshops

2014 Teacher Workshop

There will be no 2014 Summer Teacher Phagehunting Workshop. If you are interested in phagehunting in your classroom, protocols are available at the Resource tab of this website. Consider bioinformatic explorations that can be done in your classroom. There are plenty of phages for comparative analyses to be done with your students.