Bacteriophage Forum

Coordinators: Terry Hwa and Boris Shraiman

August 11,18, and 25 and September 1 and 8, 2020, at 12:00-1:15, 1:30-2:45 pm PDT

With the total population estimated at 1031 turning over on the timescale of days, bacteriophages are by far the most ubiquitous, diverse and dynamic of all biological entities on Earth. As their lifecycles are intertwined with that of bacteria in the planetary microbiome, bacteriophages play an outsize role in planetary ecology and evolution. Yet, despite their importance and ubiquity, our understanding of the many roles that bacteriophages play in microbial communities on all scales, is still very limited. The field is rife with big questions. As it has done many times in the history of Biology, study of bacteriophages will surely reveal more fundamental insights, from molecular biology through microbial ecology and evolution, with new promises for biotechnology and medicine.

The KITP Bacteriophage Forum is intended to facilitate the interaction between experts in bacteriophage biology and the broader group of scientists studying microbial communities, in particular from the eco-evolutionary perspective. The goal of the Forum is to review the state-of-the-art knowledge, and help participants formulate specific questions that they could then pursue in their own research, seeding new collaborations.

This Forum will take place on Zoom in sessions hosted and recorded by KITP. Each session consists of two speakers, with a 45min lecture followed by a 30min discussion period for each speaker. There will be a 15 minute break between the sessions. In keeping with the tradition of KITP talks, we anticipate numerous questions and substantial discussion Discussion will be open to registered session participants only.

Suggested reading for participants.

Tentative line-up of the talks:

Aug 11: Matthew Sullivan (OSU) and Forest Rohwer (SDSU)

Aug 18: Graham Hatfull (Pittsburgh/HHMI) and Joshua Weitz (Georgia Tech)

Aug 25: Luciano Marrafini (Rockefeller/HHMI) and Paul Turner (Yale)

Sept 1: Alison Buchan (UTK) and Britt Koskella (UCB)