Montana State University

Free lecture on health impact of viruses on human gut bacteria set for Dec. 1 at MSU

November 18, 2015 -- MSU News Service

Doctoral student Pilar Manrique will lecture on how viruses of the bacteria in the human gut can affect health. Marinque was a 2014 recipient of a Kopriva Graduate Fellowship. (MSU photo by Kelly Gorham)   High-Res available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

A free public lecture about the health impact of viruses that infect the bacteria in the human gut will be given Tuesday, Dec. 1, at Montana State University.

Pilar Manrique, doctoral candidate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a 2014 recipient of a Kopriva Graduate Fellowship, will present “The Human Gut Virome in Health and Disease” at 4:10 p.m. in the Byker Auditorium in the Chemistry and Biochemistry building. A reception will follow.

The human gut is colonized by millions of bacteria (gut microbiome) essential for human health. Changes in the gut microbiome composition and structure negatively impact human health, and correlate with important diseases such as diabetes and cancer. For this purpose, Manrique has isolated viruses from human samples, directly sequenced the isolated viral genomes, and applied advance bioinformatics analysis to understand the viral community composition and temporal dynamics in the human gut.

Manrique studies the role of bacteriophages -- viruses that infect bacteria -- in shaping the structure and function of the human gut microbiome. MSU researchers have identified different bacteriophages communities present in healthy versus diseased gut microbial communities that could potentially be used as disease markers.

Manrique’s lecture is presented by the Kopriva Science Seminar Series, which is funded through an endowment created by Phil Kopriva, a 1957 microbiology graduate from MSU. Kopriva, who died in 2002, also created an endowment to fund the Kopriva Graduate Fellowship Program, which provides support and opportunities for graduate students in the College of Letters and Science, particularly in the biomedical sciences. The series features seminars by MSU graduate students, faculty members and guest speakers.

For more information about this and other Kopriva lectures, visit

Jody Sanford, (406) 994-7791 or

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