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Phage-inducible chromosomal islands (PICIs), piracy in the phage world and insights on their application in biotechnology

Date:

October 20, 11 AM Eastern/5 PM CEST

Phage-inducible chromosomal islands (PICIs) represent a widespread family of highly mobile genetic elements that disseminate virulence and toxin genes among bacterial populations. They parasitise prophages for their propagation and exploit phage-encoded capsids to spread horizontally.

Rodrigo Ibarra Chavez Profile Image

Postdoc at University of Copenhagen

Rodrigo did his PhD at the University of Glasgow in Biomedical Engineering and then went to Prof. José Penadés' Lab to continue working on PICIs.

His research has mainly focused on studying and engineering phage satellites. Phage-inducible chromosomal islands (PICIs) represent a widespread family of highly mobile genetic elements that disseminate virulence and toxin genes among bacterial populations. They parasitise prophages for their propagation and exploit phage-encoded capsids to spread horizontally. His goal is to apply this family of newcomers to develop new synthetic biology methods and alternatives to current antimicrobials.

Rodrigo is now working as a postdoc at University of Copenhagen with Prof. Søren Sørensen, developing new approaches to study bacterial interactions, new therapies against major pathogens and evaluating the ecological relevance of PICIs in certain diseases.