A bacteriophage, or phage, is a virus that infects only bacteria. Phages are everywhere in the biosphere, including the human body. These natural antimicrobials can act as tiny soldiers that kill only bad bacteria and leave our good bacteria (the ones we need for our health) untouched. Phages also exhibit several unique characteristics-such as antimicrobial activity, specificity, self-assembly, self-propagation, diversity and rapid evolution-that make them powerful building blocks for bioengineering.
Dr. Zeinab Hosseinidoust, Canada Research Chair in Bacteriophage Bioengineering, is studying ways to make use of phages. She and her research team are applying the engineering principles of design and analysis along with the science of phage microbiology and ecology to design solutions to help tackle global health and environmental challenges. Ultimately, the aim of their research is to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.