Phage Genomics Research Initiative


The Phage Genomics Research Initiative is an exciting and innovative opportunity for freshmen biology majors entering UC San Diego to acquire hands-on research experience.

Participation in the program is by invitation only. Freshmen who are invited to apply will be contacted individually and given the website information for application.

Students accepted into the Phage Genomics Research program will learn how to approach research problems creatively. Research will focus on bacteriophage, rapidly evolving viruses that infect bacteria. Students will isolate new bacteriophage from the environment and sequence and characterize their genomes. A goal is for the results to be published in scientific journals with the students listed as co-authors.

Selected students who participate in the program for fall quarter will earn the equivalent of 1 biology laboratory course toward their degree.

UC San Diego is one of only 12 universities nationwide previously selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to offer this program to our students through HHMI's Science Education Alliance (SEA).

Faculty Instructors

Rachel Dutton

Rachel Dutton

Faculty Profile

Course Descriptions

There are several courses associated with the Phage Genomics Research Initiative. During fall and spring, the courses that will be offered are:

BIMM 171
(Genomics Research Initiative) This 1-unit class will examine the theoretical and practical basis of modern genomics research. Students will learn the theoretical basis of genomics and tools used for the sequencing and annotation of genomic DNA, and computational and molecular methods for the study of evolution.

BIMM 171A (Genomics Research Initiative Laboratory I) Students will isolate bacterial viruses or other organisms from the environment and characterize them by methods including electron microscopy and nucleic acid analysis. The genomic DNA will be purified and sent for sequencing. 4-unit class.

(Genomics Research Initiative Laboratory II) Students will characterize the genomic sequence of the organisms isolated in BIMM 171A and use molecular and computational tools to resolve ambiguities and close gaps.  They will then annotate the DNA sequence to identify protein and RNA coding regions.  Prerequisites: BIMM 171 and BIMM 171A.  4-unit class.

Related Links

UC San Diego Selected for Nationwide Science Education Program