Episode 7

The Golden Phage

Alcoholic hepatitis is a severe, life-threatening type of liver disease, but not for all patients. Some patients seem to have worse outcomes than others, but what differentiates these patients and how do we treat them? In this episode, Derek and Ellen invite Sam McCright, an MD/PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania studying the microbiome, to talk about a new paper that discovers the potential bacterial culprit behind the most severe cases of alcoholic hepatitis. Even more, these scientists have found new ways to combat these bacteria. Instead of using antibiotics, they use phages, which are like little homing missiles that can target and destroy specific bacteria and are found in sewage. The secret to treating this disease just might literally be a load of crap.

Duan et al. Bacteriophage targeting of gut bacterium attenuates alcoholic liver disease. Nature, 2019. 575(7783):505-511. PMID: 31723265.

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Beyond the Abstract
Beyond the Abstract
Science and research for everyone

About your hosts

Profile picture for Derek Sung

Derek Sung

Derek is a 4th year MD/PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania interested in developmental and vascular biology with plans to apply into Obstetrics & Gynecology. He is the founder, co-developer, and co-host of Beyond the Abstract.

In his spare time, he likes to listen to All Star by Smash Mouth on repeat, smile too big for photos, pretend to be a sommelier, and throw epic Halloween parties with his roommate.
Profile picture for Ellen White

Ellen White

Ellen is a 3rd year MD/PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania interested in microbiome research with the hopes of specializing in GI medicine. She is a co-developer and co-host of Beyond the Abstract. You can find her listening to Work by Rihanna (feat. Drake) on repeat, getting too invested in college basketball games, or shamelessly watching Real Housewives.