Board of Directors

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Elizabeth Kutter, PhD, Director, Phagebiotics Research Foundation

Elizabeth Kutter has worked with bacteriophages since 1963. After getting her BS in theoretical mathematics from the University of Washington in 1962, she got her PhD in Radiation Biology and Biophysics from the University of Rochester, NY in 1968. Her thesis explored "The Transition from Host to Phage metabolism after the Infection of E. coli by Bacteriophage T4". She focused particularly on the role of T4's substitution of 5 HMdC for C in T4 DNA on the complete inhibition of host transcription and the gradual breakdown of host DNA. After 3 years in the lab of Rolf Benzinger at the University of Virginia, she came to teach at the Evergreen State College in 1972, bringing with her an NIH grant. Her Evergreen lab has continued to explore phage-host interactions ever since, and has put on biennial phage meetings since 1975; their 2017 meeting drew 250 scientists young and old from 41 countries. From 1975-79, she was on the NIH director's original Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, selected as coming from a college where "teaching the ethics and values of science are part of the teaching of science". After a sabbatical in 1978-79 with Bruce Alberts at UCSF, she led the international work from 1979-1994 that completed sequencing of the T4 genome. This included spending 4 months in the Soviet Union through an Academy of Sciences exchange in 1990, which also led to her discovery of their therapeutic applications of bacteriophages and to still-ongoing collaborations with the Eliava Institute in Tbilisi. In 1997, she started a Phagebiotics Foundation to help support research there and to stimulate phage therapy knowledge and research internationally. Though formally retired in 2010, she maintains a student-centered basic phage research lab at Evergreen as well as a strong role in phage collaborations and meetings around the world, and has led the Phagebiotics work with diabetic ulcers and with exploring and supporting research on other medical applications.

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Gordon Wheat, MD

Dr. Wheat has more than 30 years of experience in clinical practice and teaching at a University of Washington affiliated residency training program (ABFM board certified). He graduated from Stanford University, received his MD from University of California, San Diego and did post graduate residency training at the University of Utah. Dr. Wheat's current public health focus is antibiotic resistance and serves on the One Health Committee and the One Health Workgroup for the Washington State Department of Public Health, addressing the problem of antibiotic resistance from the combined perspective of human health, animal health and environmental health. He worked for the Department of Preventive Care for Group Health Cooperative for 12 years and has served on the Public Health Committee for the Washington Academy of Family Physicians since 2005. He published his research on fitness testing for cardiovascular disease prevention and is a coauthor of Bacteriophage treatment of intransigent diabetic toe ulcers: a case series. Journal of Wound Care, 7/16.

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Gregg Bennett, DVM

Greg is a private practice veterinarian who became interested in phage therapy through an intern in his practice who was also a student in Dr. Kutter's lab, investigating phage active against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. This led to his role as clinical investigator in a CRDF-sponsored project between the Evergreen phage lab and the Eliava Institute in Georgia studying the efficacy of phage preparations against Pseudomonas infections in canine ears. Greg received his B.A. from the Evergreen State College in 1980 and his D.V.M. from Washington State University in 1984. He is the owner of Tumwater Veterinary Hospital and is also a founding member and consulting veterinarian to Evergreen's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

George Sarajishvili, Accountant

Gia earned his BA in English in 1984 from Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. He worked as a translator and tour leader for the Intourist national travel company in the former Soviet Union, where he facilitated business and government exchanges between Georgia, the US and Europe. He immigrated to the US in 1992, earned an MS degree in Accountancy from Weber State University in Utah in 1997, and has been working in business accounting since then. George had his first exposures to phage treatment in Tbilisi as a child, receiving phage preparations from the Eliava Institute for sore throats. After moving to Olympia and meeting Dr. Kutter, he became enthusiastic about bringing the therapeutic use of phage to other parts of the world and joined the board of the original Phagebiotics Foundation in 2005, becoming its Treasurer and occasional translator of Georgian and Russian correspondence and resources.

Jan Gleckler, Microbiologist

Jan worked for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for 23 years as the Microbiologist in the Fish Health Lab. The NWIFC Lab is a fully diagnostic lab providing services to the many steelhead and salmon hatcheries of the 20 Native American tribes around Puget Sound and Washington Coast. She graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BS in Microbiology. While at Evergreen she was introduced to T4 bacteriophage, also working in the T4 lab as a student of Betty Kutter. A few years after Jan had been at the NWIFC Lab, a collaboration developed between NWIFC lab and students from the Evergreen T4 lab, working jointly on projects using phage to control fish pathogen growth. Jan retired in July 2013, and the T4 link has continued on. She has been on the Phagebiotics Foundation Board since its inception in 1997.

Barbara Anderson, Microbiologist

Barbara received her BS in Microbiology in 1970 from Montana State University and then worked in the MSU viral lab of Al Fiscus PhD. Moving with her family to Idaho, she worked at the Weyerhauser Tree Nursery for Wayne Sinclair PhD on Douglas Fir mycorrhizsae and taught a microbiology course for the one-year Environmental Technology option at Lewis Clark State College. She went to school to Tacoma Community College and The Evergreen State College. While working in the Evergreen Phage Lab, she learned Molecular Biology from visiting Russian and Georgian scientists and went on to manage the Phage Lab during a 1995-99 $950,000 NSF Collaborative Research at Undergraduate Institutions grant. Since then, she has worked for Dr. LeBris Quinn doing muscle cell tissue culture, molecular biology and biochemistry, originally at the American Lake VA, now moved to the Seattle Veterans Administration. She presently works for Jose Garcia MD PhD, an endocrinologist recently moved from Baylor and the Houston VA. She maintains an active interest in phage, attends as much of the biennial Evergreen International Phage Meetings as possible, and helped establish the original Evergreen Phagebiotics Foundation in 1997.

Randolph Fish, DPM

Randolph Fish is a board-certified podiatrist (ABPM) with more than 30 years of experience in clinical wound management. He graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1976 and received his DPM from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia. Post graduate training was at James C. Giffre` Medical Center in North Philadelphia. He has both a certificate of added qualification in wound management from the American Board of Wound Management and from CMET (Certification in Medical Education and Testing), and is a fellow of the Academy of Physicians in Wound Healing and of the Academy of Certified Wound Specialists. He is currently working in wound clinics at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Tacoma, WA, and Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen, WA. His interests include resistant infections and vascular disease. He was introduced to phage while working in Dr. Kutters' lab while at Evergreen as an undergraduate, recently became interested in the therapeutic potential of phage for diabetic ulcers, and joined the Phagebiotics Board in 2013. He has co-authored a paper on Bacteriophage Treatment of Intransient Diabetic Toe Ulcers in 2016 and a chapter on Compassionate Use of Bacteriophage Therapy for Foot Ulcer Treatment in a textbook on Methods in Molecular Biology in 2017. He currently acts as a reviewer for Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews.

Dr. Stanley Langevin

Senior research scientist, Department of Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Research scientist, Center for Urban Waters, University of Washington, Tacoma. Dr. Langevin has 8 years of experience developing sample preparation and computational analysis protocols for metagenome sequencing projects. Dr. Langevin has pioneered several innovative assays that characterize microbial pathogens (bacteria and viruses) in various sample types while training at the Centers for Disease Control, Harvard School of Public Health, and Sandia National Laboratories. He currently collaborates with the CDC, UC Davis, UC San Francisco, University of Lyon, Madigan Army Hospital, and the Oswald Cruz foundation to characterize the microbes (bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses) circulating in human, veterinary, and mosquito populations. His research interests focus on defining microbiota community structures in different microenvironments and their impact on the agriculture, wildlife, and human health. Dr. Langevin has published over 40 journal articles related to infectious diseases and he has received multiple patents based on nucleic acid enrichment and prognostic microbial biomarkers using metagenome sequencing techniques.