Just out in Science magazine, we report that phage PROMOTE bacterial infections by triggering maladaptive anti-viral responses in human cells and suppressing anti-bacterial ones. Pf, a phage produced by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa is taken up by human cells at sites of infection and triggers TLR3 and TRIF mediated suppression of phagocytosis and TNF production. Conversely, a vaccine directed against these phage was protective against these same bacterial infections. Congratulations especially to the lead author Jolien Sweere but also Jonas Van Belleghem, Medea Popescu, Christiaan De Vries, Pat Secor, Gina Suh, Sundeep Keswani, and the rest of our lab members and collaborators who contributed to this work! Check it out here: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6434/eaat9691.
Video of Pf bacteriophage (green) within a human cell (actin = purple, nucleus = purple).
Dung, a technician in the Lab from 2018-2019, is leaving us to begin graduate school in the doctoral program in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (PBSE) at the University of California Santa Cruz. She will be pursuing research in the Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology (MCD) track there. Good luck Dung! We’ll miss you!
Michelle, an undergraduate member of the lab, recently received the J.E. Wallace Sterling Award for Scholastic Achievement. This award is given annually by Stanford University to the top graduating seniors. Along with Dr. Bollyky, Michelle’s high school mentor Dr. Roma Jain also came for the award ceremony. Go Michelle!! You Rock!
Dr. Gina Suh is leaving Stanford to establish a clinical research program at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Her work there will focus on skin, joint, and orthopedic infections with a special emphasis on bacteriophage therapy. At Stanford, Gina has been an outstanding colleague and collaborator, a wonderful mentor to innumerable fellows and students, and a good friend. On behalf of everyone in Team Phage, The Bollyky Lab, and the Stanford University Division of Infectious Diseases, we wish Gina and Colin good luck at Mayo and hope they come back and visit us sometimes (Lab Holiday party 2019?). May the Phage be with you Gina!
Congratulations to Liz for winning the award for best clinical research at the 2018 Respiratory Disease Young Investigators Forum. Liz presented her research on bacteriophage and the pathogenesis of lung infections in Cystic Fibrosis. Go Liz!
Check it out! Tom Bollyky, an honorary Bollyky lab member, has published his first book!
From the review on amazon.com (Plagues and the Paradox of Progress):
“Plagues and parasites have played a central role in world affairs, shaping the evolution of the modern state, the growth of cities, and the disparate fortunes of national economies. This book tells that story, but it is not about the resurgence of pestilence. It is the story of its decline. For the first time in recorded history, virus, bacteria, and other infectious diseases are not the leading cause of death or disability in any region of the world. People are living longer, and fewer mothers are giving birth to many children in the hopes that some might survive. And yet, the news is not all good. Recent reductions in infectious disease have not been accompanied by the same improvements in income, job opportunities, and governance that occurred with these changes in wealthier countries decades ago. There have also been unintended consequences. In this book, Thomas Bollyky explores the paradox in our fight against infectious disease: the world is getting healthier in ways that should make us worry.
Bollyky interweaves a grand historical narrative about the rise and fall of plagues in human societies with contemporary case studies of the consequences. Bollyky visits Dhaka―one of the most densely populated places on the planet―to show how low-cost health tools helped enable the phenomenon of poor world megacities. He visits China and Kenya to illustrate how dramatic declines in plagues have affected national economies. Bollyky traces the role of infectious disease in the migrations from Ireland before the potato famine and to Europe from Africa and elsewhere today.
Historic health achievements are remaking a world that is both worrisome and full of opportunities. Whether the peril or promise of that progress prevails, Bollyky explains, depends on what we do next.”
The Bollyky lab congratulates Carlos Medina on winning the 2018 Stanford Community Impact Award. Carlos is recognized for his outstanding leadership and community building efforts within the Stanford community. His involvement in promoting gender and racial equality and engagement on campus and in the biosciences community is applauded.