MSUM students are now participating in a unique Classroom-Based Undergraduate Research (CURE) project, which aims to tackle antibiotic resistance. “SEA-PHAGES (Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) is a two-semester, discovery-based undergraduate research course that begins with simple digging in the soil to find new viruses, but progresses through a variety of microbiology techniques and eventually to complex genome annotation and bioinformatic analyses.”
SEA-PHAGES is jointly administered by Graham Hatfull’s group at the University of Pittsburgh and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science Education division.
As a part of this collaboration HHMI sponsored two workshops for three faculty; Dr. Michelle Tigges (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Dr. Sumali Pandey (Biosciences) and Dr. Sara Anderson (Biosciences). HHMI also sponsored sequencing of two phage genomes isolated by students enrolled in Virus Hunters I. Ten unique phages were found and isolated from around the MSUM campus. Students enrolled in Virus Hunters II annotated the genome of one of the MSUM sequenced phages, Microbacterium phage Etta,) and carried out additional experiments on these novel phage isolates. The two semester course was co-taught by Dr. Sumali Pandey and Dr. Michelle Tigges in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019, and is being currently co-taught by Dr. Sara Anderson and Dr. Michelle Tigges.