The use of phages in biotechnology and pathogen control has expanded exponentially in the recent past and many biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are developing phage or phage-based therapeutics. The 23rd Biennial Evergreen International Phage Meeting works to bring together a diverse group of both fundamental phage researchers and biotechnologists who are engaged in the science of applying phage biology to current needs in animal and human health, food safety, biotechnology, and other applications. The meeting, scheduled for August 4-10, 2019, will be held at its traditional location of Olympia, WA, in the forested setting of The Evergreen State College. Presentations will include 5 full days of keynote talks by invited speakers as well as talks chosen from submitted abstracts and extensive display and discussion of posters from most participants. The funding will facilitate the participation of U.S. young investigators, under-represented minorities, phage scientists from underdeveloped countries, and leading international invited speakers. The projects specific aims are to (1) provide a forum for 250-350 participants from academic, governmental, and industrial laboratories globally to share recent advances in bacteriophage ecology, biology, and biotechnology, (2) present a program that captures the most significant recent advances in phage ecology, phage-host interactions, phage biotechnology (detection and diagnostics), phage therapy, and phage molecular mechanisms, (3) provide an opportunity for young investigators (graduate students, postdocs, junior faculty) to present their research and to interact closely with well-established and influential scientists in their fields, (4) provide an opportunity for academic and government scientists, as well as scientists-in-training, to interact with their counterparts in commercial industries, and for scientists from these developing industries to interact productively with each other, (5) provide an opportunity for international scientists, many from countries that are financially resource poor but rich with expertise in phage biology, an opportunity to interact and collaborate with scientists from other nations with access to state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation, and (6) provide an opportunity for talented women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities to be recognized and participate actively in a meeting that showcases their results, facilitates interactions with other scientists in their fields, and often leads them to key collaborations.
The Evergreen international phage meetings have long served as a conference where fundamental phage research on phage-host interactions, ecology, and evolution has been balanced by translational work in phage diagnostics, phage therapy, and phage engineering. The program is designed to encourage interactions among scientists working in molecular biology, structural biology, evolution, bioinformatics, microbiology, engineering, and synthetic biology. This cross-disciplinary forum for the communication of research and exchange of ideas will support the development of new research projects, the training of the next generation of scientists, and the development of relationships necessary to increase the impact of phage biology on human health outcomes.