A Phage Named Hopey

A small group of students have discovered newfound bacteriophages on campus

  • Hopey Phage
    Hopey Phage

A small group of students including; Anthony Preston, Allison Langone (Honors Student), Gwendolyn Vasquez, Miranda Gagnon (Honors Student), Michael DiVito, Joshua Gallant, Daniel Gomez, Julie Joyce, Emilee MacLean, and  Nicholas Flaherty (TA), Lead by Dr. Leblanc-Straceski in the HHMI SEA PHAGES course have successfully discovered a newfound bacteriophage (virus).  The phage has been named after President Hopey. These newfound phages along with three others were harvested from a muddy tire track sample found on campus. This new bacteriophage’s DNA was isolated, purified, and sent off to the University of Pittsburg for full genome sequencing. This project is being continued throughout this semester , and will be presented by student delegates in June at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia.

The HHMI SEA PHAGES course was designed to give undergraduate students in-class research experience. The course was sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and held in the Center for Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences. Students in the course have learned many Biotechnical research techniques that are will be applicable in their future careers as scientists.  

View the following link for more information on the Hopey Virus.


Additionally three other bacteriophages have been attributed to this group of Merrimack students:




By Office of Communications
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