H-SC students present research at annual HHMI national symposium

Every June, representative from institutions participating in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program gather for a student symposium at HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, VA.  Hampden-Sydney has participated in SEA-PHAGES since 2011, with students isolating bacteriophages from the environment and performing molecular and bioinformatic characterization as part of a national project on bacteriophage evolution based out of the University of Pittsburgh.  This year’s H-SC student representatives were Joshua Dimmick ’15 and Taylor Meinhardt ’16.

Taylor Meinhardt '16, Joshua Dimmick '15, and. Professor Mike Wolyniak with the H-SC research poster

Taylor Meinhardt ’16, Joshua Dimmick ’15, and Professor Mike Wolyniak with the H-SC research poster

Dimmick and Reinhardt were both in Professor Mike Wolyniak’s Molecular and Cellular Biology class in the Fall 2014 semester in which the class discovered several Bacillus-based bacteriophages, including one isolated by Stephen Woodall ’15 called Archie14 that was the subject of further investigation for the symposium.

Dimmick and Meinhardt present their poster

Dimmick and Meinhardt present their poster

The symposium attracted students and faculty from ~80 institutions nationwide that participate in the SEA-PHAGES initiative and was keynoted by Eric Betzig, co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014 for his work in microscopy.

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