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Welcome to the home of the UMBC Phage Hunters!

Bacillus phage Chupacabra

Bacillus phage Chupacabra

Over 1,000 UMBC undergraduates have participated in the SEA-PHAGES program since it became one of the first twelve initial institutions to pioneer the program in 2008. The SEA-PHAGES program has since grown to include over 140 institutions and 6,000 undergraduate researchers participating annually. In total, over 30,000 students have generated a collection of more than 17,000 phages participating in SEA-PHAGES and it’s predecessor, the PHIRE program.

So far, UMBC Phage Hunters have isolated, characterized, and archived 200 Actinobacteriophages and 314 Bacillus phages. Transmission electron micrographs taken by the Phage Hunters can be seen by clicking on the links prior.

Our undergraduate researchers have sequenced 63 phages, 42 of which have been annotated and submitted to GenBank with UMBC Phage Hunters listed as authors. Links to these as well as publications featuring them can be found in the Publications section.

Communicating science is a large part of the SEA-PHAGES program; fifteen of our Phage Hunters have attended the annual SEA-PHAGES Symposium, long held at the HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus, where many have had the chance to listen to and meet remarkable key note speakers, including several Nobel Laureates. All of our Phage Hunters who attended have presented posters at the SEA-PHAGES Symposia and seven have given presentations. Our undergraduate researchers have also presented their work at the UMBC Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD), the Summer Undergraduate Research Fest (SURF), and elsewhere.

  • Phirst Phage Photos

    The first microphs are in, and they look great!
    Our first phage images feature viruses that infect Bacillus thuringiensis and viruses that infect Streptomyces scabiei. Here are some of their portraits: Bacillus phages...
    Posted: October 5, 2017 10:55 AM
  • New Phage Hunter Publication!

    Phage Pub by your Peers!
    Congratulations to the 2016 UMBC Phage Hunters on their first two publication: Erill I, Caruso SM, 2016 UMBC Phage Hunters. 2017. Complete genome sequences of three phi29-like Bacillus cereus...
    Posted: July 21, 2017 8:48 AM
  • 2017-2018 Phage Hunter T-Shirt

    What will the new shirt look like? Only one of you know!
    Who knows what next year's UMBC Phage Hunter's shirt will look like? Only one imaginative and inspired hunter knows right now. But we'll all see, soon enough. The 2014 - 2016 designs. What's...
    Posted: July 10, 2017 10:15 AM
  • The 2016 Phage Hunt Begins: The Great Phage Wars

    Which side will you choose?
    Like the nation, Phage Hunters is a class divided. #TeamBacillus or #TeamStreptomyces? Which side will you support in the #PhageWars? Labs start Tuesday! You can connect with the UMBC Phage...
    Posted: September 3, 2016 12:07 PM