Symposium on the Immune System of Bacteria

We’re excited to share that Erin Huiting and Alex Hong recently attended the 2023 Symposium on the Immune System of Bacteria (SISB) at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, where they presented recent research on anti-phage systems in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Erin’s talk, titled “Bacteriophages inhibit cGAS-like immune function in bacteria,” highlighted work on CBASS and is currently published in Cell, and Alex’s poster presentation, “Gabija defense system is triggered by a putative phage recombination system,” showcased new insights into the molecular mechanism of the nuclease-helicase-based system Gabija.

Outside of the conference, Erin and Alex had a wonderful time exploring Israel, including Tel Aviv’s ancient port city Jaffa (Yafo), the historical landmarks in Jerusalem, and the breathtaking Mediterranean beaches. And of course, they indulged in the delicious local cuisine.

The new findings presented at this conference proved just how exciting and ever-expanding the field of bacterial immunology really is. However, big questions remain about how these bacterial immune systems detect and become activated by phage (or other invading MGEs). We can’t wait to see what cool science is uncovered in the next 5-10 years, but in the meantime, we’ll see everyone at the 2024 SISB in Boston!