I’m Julian, based in Munich and also part of Hackteria - working with Marc since a few years. One of my projects is around Phage Education and I would be very interested to hear what is going on in Switzerland. I would also very much appreciate information about the phageback-project in english or german.
Hi Julian and Marc,
Sure, here is some more information about our workshop on phages and phagotherapy. It started with a science communication and outreach program attached to the first European clinical research project on phagotherapy : Phagoburn. This clinical project aimed at evaluating phage therapy for the treatment of burn wounds infected with _Escherichia coli_and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (http://www.phagoburn.eu, launched on June 1st 2013 for 27 months. Now finished.).
We were included with Agora funds and developped an exhibition presented in the metro of Lausanne, at the university of Geneva, in Lausanne’s hospital, with the presence of science communicators to talk and debate about it with the public. The exhibition is in French and still available for specific events.
The practical lab “Phageback, le retour des virus guérisseurs” (Phageback the return of curing viruses) about bacteriophages and phagotherapy is now part of our current offer. Here is the description : Following a bad burn wound, a patient is infected with a bacteria which seems to resist to antibiotics. Participants explore different ways to help this patient among which a phage therapy. They isolate phages from an environmental source and test several of them on the problematic bacteria (plates on LB agar) to try to find one that could fight the bacteria. This practical workshop is also the occasion of a discussion on phagotherapy and antibiotherapy issues.
I’d be happy to share more details and protocols if needed.
thanks for the description. Your „Phageback - practical lab“ sounds really interesting. Do you have documentation and/or protocols in english (or german)?
Last summer, I visited the Eliava Institute for the “centennial celebration of bacteriophage research” and also took part in a summer school concerning the isolation of phages from the environment. Since I have a lot of experience in molecular biology, I’m quite comfortable with the experimental procedures and am testing some protocols in a non-laboratory setting at the moment. Of course, sterile work is an issue, especially when conducting a workshop with people who are new to the field.
It would be a huge help to exchange experiences with someone who actually performed public workshops in this context.
Concerning phagoburn: I talked a lot about it with Jean-Paul Pirnay (Queen Astrid Military Hospital, Belgium) and also met quite a few of the other European phage-researchers as well as scientists from the US (especially FDA) and Canada. Everyone seems to be very concerned about regulation and clinical trials and not so much about the education. It would be great to establish a network of people who are interested in scientific outreach and public participation.
Since my trip to Georgia, I’m also very much interested in the history of bacteriophage research and the different approach by ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ scientists and doctors. I’m still in contact with researchers from the Eliava Institute and would like to intensify our cooperation to establish an educational framework for phage therapy. If you have any recommendations for funding opportunities and/or are interested to start something together, I would be very happy to hear from you.
Happy New Year!!!