This discovery-based undergraduate research course is a unique and challenging experience for motivated Durham Tech students. The course is a national experiment sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute and space is limited to 18 students each year.

Students interested in the Phage Hunters Lab are encouraged to contact Dr. Marie Fogarty prior to registration.

The Phage Hunters Lab replaces the regular lab component of BIO 111 General Biology I, section 106P (fall semester). The second part of the Phage Hunters lab is offered in spring as BIO-280, section 101-P.


  • Full-year commitment preferred (fall and spring semesters)
  • Lab: Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30 – 11:10 a.m.
  • Strong interest in scientific research


  • Opportunity to engage in résumé-enhancing authentic research
  • Gain experience with specialized techniques including DNA analysis, electron microscopy, and bioinformatics techniques
  • Chance to discover and name your own virus
  • Learn skills that will prepare you to work in a research lab


The Phage Hunters Lab starts each fall semester by digging into soil to isolate new bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria). Viruses will be characterized in the lab using microbiology and molecular biology techniques and sent for sequencing over winter break.

In the spring semester, students analyze the newly sequenced viral genomes using bioinformatics approaches.

For more information, email Marie Fogarty.

students Betiel Amanuel and Timothy Hall and scientist Graham Hatfull pose in front of poster
Representing Durham Tech, Betiel Amanuel and Timothy Hall are pictured with HHMI Professor and SEA-PHAGES lead scientist Graham Hatfull at the 10th annual National SEA Symposium, held at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, VA.

students pose in group photo in a classroom
Fall 2018 SEA-PHAGE students prepared and presented posters summarizing their research