PhagePhest 2013

Three Hampden-Sydney biology students, Kris Miller ’13, James Hughes ’14, and Francis Polakiewicz ’14, recently attended the annual PhagePhest, a gathering of bacteriophage research groups from across Virginia that participate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program. ┬áDelegations from Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Thomas Nelson Community College, James Madison University, and the University of Mary Washington gathered in Williamsburg at the College of William and Mary for the event.

Miller, Polakiewicz, and Hughes on the William and Mary campus

Kris Miller gave the Hampden-Sydney PhagePhest presentation on his research into devising a quick and efficient method to classify newly-identified bacteriophage using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a selective DNA amplification technique. ┬áThis project, along with work by Polakiewicz and Hughes to analyze the gene content of a bacteriophage isolated on the H-SC campus by Drew Whitt ’12 named Cheetobro, contributes to the overall SEA-PHAGES mission of bringing collaborative research experiences to undergraduates at all varieties of American colleges and universities. Hampden-Sydney is one of ~80 colleges and universities across the nation that are members of the SEA-PHAGES network.

Kris Miller presents his research

As fate would have it, PhagePhest ’13 coincided with Spring Blowout ’13 at William and Mary, providing meeting participants the opportunity between presentations to join the William and Mary community on their iconic Sunken Garden to help celebrate the end of the semester.

Scientists at play

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