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Phage Genomics Research

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance

Have you ever wanted to see what science is really all about? Have you ever wanted to be a part of something that is larger than yourself... significant at a national level? Do you want to do that right as you start your college career?

Hope College is participating in an exciting exploration of viruses that infect bacteria as part of a national effort to give first year college students a true understanding of what it means to do science. The course is called "Phage Genomics Research" and is part of the National Genomics Research Initiative led by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Hope has been selected as one of only 12 colleges and universities in the nation to participate in this program, providing you an opportunity that is unique and contributes to significant scientific inquiry into the biology of viruses. If you are interested in joining us on this unprecedented journey, contact Dr. Aaron Best (best@hope.edu) for more information.

Read the Press Release

First Year Honor's Course in Viral Genomics

  • One of only 12 biology department's nationally to participate in Phage Genomics Research Initiative (PGRI) supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
  • See HHMI article for more information about the initiative.
  • A two-semester honor's course on leading edge research in viral genomics.
  • We intend to enroll 20 students in this selective opportunity
  • The course will focus on (phage) viruses that infect bacteria. Students will spend the fall semester conducting molecular research with two of our Ph.D. faculty members. They will collect a virus from the environment and then isolate, purify and amplify its DNA. The DNA will be sent to the national genome sequencing center to prepare phage DNA libraries and sequence the DNA over the semester break. In the spring semester students will receive the DNA sequence data and reconstruct and annotate the sequence using techniques of bioinformatics.
  • The two-semester honors sequence will take the place of our standard introductory laboratory for Cells and Genetics (BIOL 240) in the fall and will count four credit hours (two each semester) toward the biology major. Students with AP scores of 4 or 5 would additionally get 4 hours of general biology credit they can use toward general credit hour requirements for graduation. Students will be expected to enroll in both semesters of the honors course.
  • HHMI, a non-profit medical research organization that ranks as one of the nation's largest philanthropies, plays a powerful role in advancing biomedical research and science education in the U.S. In the past two decades HHMI has made investments of more than $8.3 billion for the support, training, and education of the nation's most creative and promising scientists.

What can I do with a Biology Degree?

Unique programs

We believe that students learn best by doing biology so it is equally important that we provide new and interesting ways for you to do exactly that. The programs below are only available at Hope College, so you won't find these anywhere else.

Unique Biology Programs