By Emily Hendrickson

As I walked into my 9:00 AM Phage Hunting class on the first day of college, I was not exactly sure what to expect. My reasons for signing up for Phage Hunting Lab are similar to the reasons I chose to come to Hopkins; I want to be exposed to the lab early on in my college career in order to pursue research later on. I have always enjoyed studying biology, especially in high school. Even better, I enjoy actually experiencing the buzzing of the biological world through hikes, kayaking, walks outside, as well as my past participation in high school science fair projects. Biological applications are everywhere, and I am happy to be starting my college career with this class.

Regardless of my reasons for taking this class, my expectations are nonetheless being met. I was one of the four lucky students in my section that found phage on my plates from the first sample (I collected mine from under a tree right outside of my dorm). Since then I have performed numerous rounds of streaking, serial dilutions, and titer assays. My lab partner and I have noted that coming into the lab every Tuesday and Thursday has become a lot like Christmas morning; unpacking our tightly wrapped plates with the uncertainty of what lies within has the air of opening that ugly yet secretly appealing Christmas sweater that you have no choice but to go along with. After I finish my high titer lysate, I will be able to move on and actually get to see my phage.

As much as I enjoy working in the lab, I am also looking forward to getting to study my phage more in-depth. I am sure I will grow even closer to my phage, even though I have yet to come up with a name for it. Some possibilities include naming it after my awesome house in AMR II (shout out to Gildersleeve!), or some sort of phonetic alphabet letter (Echo2, Foxtrot, Zulu or Lima). My phage will soon have a name and its “biological personality” will hopefully be uncovered.

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