Professor Graham Hatfull

Dr. Graham Hatfull is Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, the Eberly Family Professor of Biotechnology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Biological Sciences from Westfield College, University of London in 1978, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Edinburgh University in 1981. He did postdoctoral work at Yale University in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry with Dr. Nigel Grindley, and at the Medical Research Council at Cambridge University, with Drs. Fred Sanger and Bart Barrell. He has been at the University of Pittsburgh since 1988 and served as Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences from 2003 to 2011. As an HHMI Professor beginning in 2002, Dr. Hatfull developed the Phage Hunters Integrating Research and Education (PHIRE) program at the University of Pittsburgh, which served as a model for the nationally implemented HHMI Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program that introduces freshman undergraduate students to authentic scientific research in a two-term course. The SEAPHAGES program involves about 150 institutions across the US and over 5,000 freshman undergraduate students a year.

Dr. Hatfull’s research focuses on the molecular genetics of the mycobacteria and their bacteriophages. These studies take advantage of the intimacy of phage-host interactions to gain insights into the genetics and physiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of human TB. The PHIRE and SEA-PHAGES programs have facilitated collection of over 15,000 phage isolates, of which 3,000 have been completely sequenced, providing key insights into viral diversity and evolution. These phages also provide a rich toolbox of new approaches to understanding M. tuberculosis, including development of vector systems, selectable markers, recombineering strategies, and expression tools, as well potential therapies for mycobacterial infections. Dr. Hatfull is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a teaching fellow of the National Academy of Science. He has mentored 20 Ph.D. students, 19 postdoctoral associates, and hundreds of undergraduate student researchers. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has received the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award at both the junior and senior level, the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the Carski Teaching Award from the American Society for Microbiology, and holds the Eberly Family Professorship in Biotechnology. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Bacteriology, CBE LifeSciences Education, and Annual Reviews of Virology.