Uncovering Hidden Viral Predators and Partners in Bacterial Genomes

Graphic of open mouth and bacteria and viruses.

Do you love thinking about the millions of viruses in your mouth – and wonder what they are doing?

Project is Not Currently Available

This project has reached full capacity for the current term. Please check back next semester for updates.

Project description

A big question for human health is: How do our microbiomes influence our well being? Though the research and medical communities have learned a lot about the bacteria in our microbiomes in recent years, we are still early on in understanding what roles the even more abundant viruses play. Most viruses in the human body infect bacteria (and are called “phages”) – and these phages are the focus of this research project. You will learn and use bioinformatic approaches to investigate genomes of bacteria that live in our mouths to uncover the phage predators and partners that are hiding there. 

Project outcome

The product of this project will include a scientific poster describing the viruses you uncovered and characterized.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Spring 
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Individual student project
Benefits Research experience; academic credit
Who is eligible Undergraduate students enrolled in ORB 498

Project mentor

Kathryn Kauffman

Assistant Professor

Oral Biology

Phone: (716) 829-5830

Email: kmkauffm@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

The specific preparation activities for this project will be customized through discussions between you and your project mentor. Please be sure to ask them for the instructions to complete the required preparation activities.


Oral Biology