2015 Year of the phage conference | San Diego State University

The Year of the Phage

The year 2015 marks the centennial of the discovery of phage. Phage research has revolutionized our understanding of biology. From Twort and d'Herelle to Eliava and Cold Spring Harbor to today, phage research has revolutionized our understanding of biology. As Harald Brüssow notes, "[the] molecular biology of higher organisms does not stand on the shoulder of giants, but on the shoulder of dwarfs like phage T4 and lambda."

Phage and other viruses outnumber all other organic entities on our planet, with an estimated numbers at a mind-boggling 1031. With vast numbers and diversity, viruses defy being nicely delineated into a tidy research corner: their dynamics, their structures, their ecological control has led to a myriad of research foci which are as diverse as the viruses themselves. We think that is pretty cool.

We invite you to explore the content on this website and have your imagination sparked and mind blown by the richness of our field and how phage research has changed our world in the last 100 years.

In the News

The New Yorker

Inside the World of Viral Dark Matter
BY Nicola Twilley

SDSU NewsCenter

SDSU Hosts the "Year of the Phage"
By Jeneene Chatowsky and Michael Price

Small Things Considered

Lively Reading for Our Phage World
By Elio Schaechter

Microbe Magazine

Book Review: Life in Our Phage World
By Abraham Eisenstark

Science Magazine

Book Review: Exploring the Unseen
By Michael Koeris

Disorganizing Committee

Forest Rohwer, Ph.D.

Dr. Rohwer is a Professor of Biology at San Diego State University. His pioneering research in phage diversity was fueled by his development of cutting-edge metagenomic tools, now widely adopted by other labs around the globe. When not in the company of his phage friends, he charms corals and humans.


Anca Segall, Ph.D.

Dr. Segall is a Professor of Biology at San Diego State University. She is an expert at flushing marine phages into the spotlight, and is also busy resolving Holliday junction recombination intermediates.


Ry Young, Ph.D.

Dr. Young is a Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics at Texas A&M University. He is an expert at studying the molecules and mechanisms that mediate bacteriophage lysis.


Organizing Committee

Breeann Kirby, MA & MS

Breeann Kirby, MA & MS, is a scientist turned writer who facilitates collaborations between science and the arts. She believes that when diverse thinkers work and play together, world-changing things happen. To that end, she partners with the Rohwer Laboratory in various creative and scientific projects which recently included the Year of the Phage Meeting in 2015 and, also in partnership with other schools at San Diego State University, the Phage Infused Evening Art Exhibit. Breeann has co-authored popular science articles with various scientists as well as a full-length book with Forest Rohwer on the role of phages in the human microbiome (forthcoming in 2016). She also writes creative, often science-based, fictions and nonfictions.



Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
San Diego State University

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Forest Rohwer Laboratory
San Diego State University