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Undergraduate Programs

Phage Discovery CUREs

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Student working in the lab in the phage discovery CURE.


TA discusses results with one of the first year students in the phage discovery CURE.

Students that participate in this Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) start by enrolling in BMB205S in the summer before their first fall semester.  The summer course allows students to learn and experience the scientific process before sitting in their first college-level science lecture. There are additional opportunities for students to continue with their first-year research experience through fall and spring course offerings.  In total, there are currently three courses that are a part of the phage discovery experience.

Summer 2020 COVID-19 Special BMB 205S Offering: During the worst viral pandemic in the last 100 years, let’s explore viruses!  We will explore different types of viruses, current viral research and how it relates to events going on now.  Through this journey you will gain fundamental skills in the process, comprehension and communication of science.  You will begin to use bioinformatic tools to explore viral genomes and come up with interesting research questions.  While you are learning about science, you will also be completing Freshman Seminar requirements for PSU 016 and learning key critical thinking and metacognitive strategies that will help you in your college and scientific career.  If you like researching viruses, there will be a chance to take a continuing course concerning viral genomics in the Fall.

BMB205S: a 3credit course offered during the summer for incoming first year students.  This course combines a research experience with a first-year seminar component. In just six weeks during the summer, students isolate a unique virus, extract its genomic DNA (which is sequenced) and take an electron micrograph (picture) of their virus. This course was developed and is taught by Greg Broussard.

BMB 210 (Phage Genomics): This course is a 2 credit course offered during the fall semester. Students in BMB 210 learn bioinformatics by annotating a viral genome. Successfully annotated genomes are submitted to the scientific database GenBank. In addition, students in BMB 210 write a research proposal in order to explore a topic related to phage biology in more depth.

BMB 294: Students that participated in BMB 210 in the fall semester are able to enroll in BMB 294 in the spring.  During this course, students carry-out their research projects under faculty supervision.


The phage discovery CURE opened my eyes to the world of research and gave me an opportunity to explore and develop my ideas in a way that most undergraduate students never get.
Elizabeth McFadden
BMB Undergraduate Student, Class of 2020