Vivek writes:

Dear Prof Racaniello,

Hope you are doing good. 

I am sure you don’t remember me, but we met during one of the coffee breaks at ASM San Francisco in 2019, and talked science! I also talked about how much I love TWIM and TWIV team and program!  Here is the pic for us at the ASM 2019, when the world was (sort of) normal!

I am writing to share my group’s (and Arkin’s group at Berkeley) work on phage resistance landscape at a scale that was not done previously. Thought this might be a good paper to highlight if you have a spot to talk about phages.

Essentially, we used classical textbook phages (from the bacteriophage book edited by Late prof Rich Calendar), against loss of function and gain of function libraries of 2 strains of E. coli and uncovered diverse overlapping and distinct modes of resistance. We found many dozens of host factors even for the well studied phages, specifically for N4 phage.  Since this work, we have extended these studies to gain mechanistic detail on bacterial interaction with diverse predators, antibiotics, metals and antimicrobial peptides, and have been using the technologies for other Applications. Maybe the general audience will appreciate that we are working on improving our understanding around how we are characterizing viruses that are friendly to us!! 

Finally, this paper is very special for me: I got the opportunity to collaborate with Prof. Calendar (he passed away on the same the day this paper was released/published in PlosBio in 2020). Really appreciated his excitement about my work, his guidance and friendship. Phage research community has lost a giant.

Thanks to you and the TWIM and TWIV team for making science communication authentic and exciting. 

Best regards


Vivek K Mutalik, PhD
Career Scientist,
Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division
and Biological Systems and Engineering Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.,
Berkeley, CA.