The official website of the HHMI Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science program.

The SEA-PHAGES Program

SEA-PHAGES (Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) is a two-semester, discovery-based undergraduate research course that begins with simple digging in the soil to find new viruses, but progresses through a variety of microbiology techniques and eventually to complex genome annotation and bioinformatic analyses.

The program aims to increase undergraduate interest and retention in the biological sciences through immediate immersion in authentic, valuable, yet accessible research. By finding and naming their own bacteriophages, students develop a sense of project ownership and have a ready-made personal research project at a fraction of the cost of traditional apprentice-based research programs. Some of the positive effects of the SEA-PHAGES program have been reported here.

SEA-PHAGES is jointly administered by Graham Hatfull's group at the University of Pittsburgh and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Science Education division.

2015 Symposium Videos

2015 Symposium Videos

The 8th Annual SEA-PHAGES Symposium is just a few weeks away, and the abstracts have been collected. As you prepare for the meeting, it might be a good opportunity to look back at the talks from last year's Symposium. We've collected and edited the 18 student talks as well as the two keynote talks by Graham Hatfull and Eric Betzig. Links are below!

Keynote Talks by Graham Hatfull and Eric Betzig

Student Talks

Enjoy, good luck with preparations, and see you in June!


2016 Symposium and T-shirt contest

It's less than two months to the Symposium and Faculty Retreat/Workshop. We hope you're as excited as we are! Below, find some basic information about the upcoming gatherings.

Symposium – June 10-12, 2016, Janelia Research Campus

The 2016 8th Annual SEA-PHAGES Symposium will follow a similar format as previous years with the primary focus being on the scientific developments during the past year. Our keynote speaker on Friday evening is Bonnie Bassler (HHMI Investigator, Princeton University).

Each school participating in the 2016 Symposium is expected to submit one scientific abstract about bacteriophage work accomplished by students this year. Each of the abstracts will be reviewed and considered for a student-delivered scientific talk; all students will present a poster on this work at the Symposium. The poster dimensions must fit into an area no larger than 4’x4’.

Abstracts are due on Monday, May 9, 2016.

To submit an abstract for the meeting, you must be a verified SEA-PHAGES faculty member, and you must log in to After doing so, you can use the link below to submit an abstract, or go to your institution's page and follow the link found there. Abstract titles can be up to 200 characters long, and abstract body text can be up to 3,000 characters long.

Submit an abstract

T-Shirt Design Competition

Like phages, but also art and graphic design? This document contains instructions for a t-shirt design competition that can be sent out to all students that have participated in the SEA-PHAGES project over the last academic year regardless of whether or not they are attending the Symposium. We’d appreciate it if you would distribute the flyer to all of your students. The winning design will be announced prior to the Symposium and be used to create t-shirts for Symposium attendees. The deadline to submit a design is April 30, 2016. Design submissions should be sent to

Keep in touch with the most up-to-date information on the upcoming Symposium on the meeting page.

As always, contact us with any questions!


Annotation Guide for School Year 2015-16

We are not making any changes to the Annotation Guide for school year 2015-16. So the current edition is available and ready for printing at PhagesDB. The What’s New document is now ready too! Happy Annotating!

Upcoming Events

8th Annual SEA-PHAGES Symposium

June 10, 2016 to June 12, 2016

2016 SEA-PHAGES Faculty Workshop

June 12, 2016 to June 14, 2016

Phage Discovery Workshop 9A

June 26, 2016 to July 1, 2016

Recent Events

Forum Activity

Vassie Ware posted in Messages for Cabrini College

Christy Fillman posted in Messages for Cabrini College

Graham Hatfull posted in Messages for Cabrini College