Africa Phage Forum

Africa Phage Forum

Africa Phage Forum

The mission of Africa Phage Forum (APF) is to provide a platform that encourages scholarship, collaboration and mentorship among researchers and for the advancement of phage research in Africa. The membership of APF cuts across undergraduates, postgraduates and established researchers at various stages of their career. To stimulate scholarship, education is key. To this end, APF has to hold monthly webinars where established phage researchers from all over the world will share their works and encourage cross-pollination of ideas.

This webinar series is the educational arm of APF through which we hope to achieve one of our goal. We hope that through these webinars, phage research in Africa will receive a boost from ground to top.

For sponsorship and research opportunities please write to [email protected]

Past Seminars

Grant Writing and Effective Science Communication

Dr. Tobi Nagel

Date: 15th March 2023 6pm East Africa Time

Phage Therapy in Belgium

Dr. Jean-Paul Pirnay

Date: Wednesday, 26th October 2022 at 3pm East Africa Time

Phage Display - an old resource for new applications

Dr. Ivone Martins

Ivone M. Martins is a researcher at the Centre of Biological Engineering - University of Minho (Portugal). Her current research is focused in the development of phage-based tools for the diagnostic and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. For that, she uses Phage Display technology as well as genetic and chemical manipulation of the M13 bacteriophage.

Date: 12th April 2022 at 2pm GMT+3

Phage Display - an old resource for new applications

Proximity ligation technology captures physical interactions between DNA molecules in 3D using next-generation sequencing. It can be used to determine which DNA molecules were next to each other in physical space and therefore inside the same cell. This information can be used to deconvolve complex microbial communities, by separating DNA sequences into their respective genomes. Importantly, this method captures connections between host and phage genomes in vivo and therefore the host-range of phages can be determined directly in mixed populations

Our new tool, "ProxiPhage" uses proximity ligation data to de novo reconstruct phage genomes and link them to their hosts directly from microbiome samples. This method routinely recovers large numbers of novel phages from diverse sample types and can also be applied to other mobile elements, such as plasmids. In this talk, we will discuss the technology, how it works, and show both published and unpublished data centered on our microbiome and phage discovery efforts.

Dr. Ivan Liachko

Dr. Liachko is the founder and CEO/CSO of Phase Genomics and one of the inventors of their core technology, applying proximity ligation data to different facets of genomics. He received his B.S. at Brandeis University in 2001, his Ph.D. at Cornell in 2007, and went on to do his postdoctoral work in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has authored more than 40 academic papers and a number of patents in the field of genomics and synthetic biology. He founded Phase Genomics in 2015 and leads the organization in an executive as well as technical roles.

Date: 24th September, 2021 at 7PM East Africa Time // 9AM Pacific Time

Shaping P. aeruginosa phages by genome engineering

Dr. Diana Priscila Pires

PhD, postdoc researcher at CEB - Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal.

Date: Friday, July 30, 2021 4pm GMT+1 / 6pm East Africa Time

Challenges of using phages in the veterinary world: My learning curve

Dr. Arshnee Moodley

Position: Associate Professor, Veterinary Clinical Microbiology, University of Copenhagen.

Currently in Kenya: Team leader, Antimicrobial resistance at the CGIAR AMR hub.

Arshnee lead's the CGIAR AMR Hub that was launched in 2019, with the aim to support efforts to mitigate the risks of agricultural associated antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in low- and middle- income countries working within a One Health framework. She is a microbiologist with a PhD in antimicrobial resistance and zoonosis from the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark. She joined the International Livestock Research Institute from the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at UCPH, Denmark, where she has been an Associate Professor in AMR, AMR research group leader, head of the PhD graduate program Molecular Bacteriology and Infection and was responsible for the NGS services at the section. She was heavily involved in Antibiophage, an EU funded project to develop and test a bacteriophage cocktail to treat colibacillosis in poultry. At UCPH, she was part of a team that developed eight cocktails, which in December 2019 tested two for their in vivo efficacy. She also has vast knowledge on other stubborn bacteria that affect different animals and how phages may play a part in tackling AMR in her experience.

Date: 26th of May 2021, 18:00-20:00 hrs Kenyan time

Practical challenges and possible solutions in phage research. A question and answer session

Dr. Jesca Nakavuma

Veterinarian, Senior Lecturer, Microbiologist, and Former Deputy Principal of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity at Makerere University, Uganda, East Africa

Date: Friday, April 23, 2021 4pm GMT / 7pm EAT

Basics of phage genome annotation and classification - how to get started

Isolating a new bacteriophage is the first step in an exciting journey, not just in the laboratory, but also computationally. In this seminar, I will provide a basic guide into the steps involved in phage genome sequencing, annotation and classification.

Evelien Adriaenssens

I am a Group Leader at the Quadram Institute Bioscience in Norwich (UK). I’m interested in phage discovery, genomics, taxonomy and viromics, and lead a group that investigates the role of phages in the human gut. Before starting my own group, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pretoria in South Africa on the diversity of viruses in desert soils, and later at the University of Liverpool on the use of viromics methods to trace pathogenic viruses across the aquatic environment. I am currently the Chair of the Bacterial Viruses Subcommittee of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).

Date: Monday, February 15, 4pm GMT / 11am Eastern

From the environment to bedside: Understanding the basics of phage therapy research

The endpoint for phage research is to get it to the bedside for clinical phages or to formulate a product that will meet the needs of the end user. What are the basics involved from isolation of phages from the environment to getting it to a final product? The Africa Phage Forum (APF) therefore invites you to a webinar on the topic " From the environment to the bedside: Understanding the basics of phage therapy research”

Prof. Paul Turner

Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Microbiology Faculty, Yale School of Medicine

Date: Thursday, January 14, 4pm GMT / 11am EST

Opportunities in One Health for phage research in Africa


Stay up to date on our twitter @phageforum

Email us for questions: [email protected]

Full Schedule

Monday Dec. 13

[2pm GMT+3 EAT] Dr. Emmanuel Nnadi, Plateau State University, Bokkos, Nigeria: Africa Phage Forum: A collaborative network for phage resaerch in Africa

[2.20pm GMT+3 EAT] Dr. Evelien Adriaenssens, Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich, UK: Africa Phage Forum: A collaborative network for phage resaerch in Africa

[3pm GMT+3 EAT] Dr. Janet Nale, University of Leicester, UK: Africa Phage Forum: How the killer of a killer pathogen works?

Thursday, Dec. 16

[2pm GMT+3 EAT] Prof. Martha Clokie, University of Leicester, UK: Phages in feed to control disease in livestock

[3.30pm GMT+3 EAT] Dr. Jeroen Wagemans, Laboratory of Gene Technology, Leuven, Belgium: Phage biocontrol against Xanthomonas infections in cabbage

[3pm GMT+3 EAT] Prof. Paul Turner, Yale University, USA: Leveraging evolutionary trade-offs and phage selection pressure to reduce bacterial pathogenicity

Special Guest: Prof. Elizabeth Kutter, Professor Emerita Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

Special Guest: Prof. Atunga Nyachieo, Chief of Research Institute of Primate Research Karen-Nairobi, Kenya

Friday, Dec. 17

[10.00am GMT+3 EAT] Dr. Tobi Nagel, Founder & President of Phages for Global Health: Phage Banks as Potential Tools to Rapidly and Cost-effectively Address Antimicrobial Resistance in Africa

[10.30am GMT+3 EAT] Dr. Jonas D Van Belleghem, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland: Phages and the immune system-implications for therapy

[11.00am GMT+3 EAT] Dr. Jesca Nakavuma, college of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity, Makarere University, Uganda: Biosafety and Biosecurity aspects in phage research, and regulatory requirements on phage research in Africa: The case of Uganda