SEA-PHAGES (Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) is a national alliance between HHMI and colleges and universities around the country created to increase the number of undergraduates participating in scientific discovery through undergraduate research.

What activities are involved in the SEA-PHAGES program?

The SEA-PHAGES program is a year-long course that allows students to isolate never before identified bacteriophages (phages) from the environment and characterize their phages through molecular and bioinformatic techniques. Students will sequence and annotate their entire phage’s genome and deposit annotated phage DNA in a national data base (where you would have ownership of the data). Two students from the course will be selected to participate in the national annual SEA-PHAGES symposium hosted by HHMI in June (student travel is sponsored by HHMI).

How is the program set up?

The SEA-PHAGES program is incorporated into one section of one Biology 111 and one Biology 112. Students participating in the course would be expected to meet twice a week for lab for two hours per meeting. During the Fall semester, students will isolate phages from the environment and prepare them for electron microscopy and sequencing. Students in the Fall will learn aspectic, microbiology and molecular biology techniques. During the Spring semester, students will annotate their phage genome using bioinformatics. Students in the Spring would learn comparative and functional genomic analysis.

Interested in participating?


  • Parks Collins,
  • Justin Leonard

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