Board of Directors

Elizabeth Kutter

Betty received her BS in Mathematics in 1962 from the University of Washington and her PhD in Biophysics at the University of Rochester, NY in 1968, working on the transition from host to phage metabolism after T4 infection of E. coli and the role there of T4's substitution of HMdC for C in its DNA. She continued phage work with Rolf Benzinger at the University of Virginia and then joined the faculty of Evergreen in 1972, bringing along an NIH grant. This let her establish the Evergreen Phage Lab, maintained through the years with NSF support in parallel with teaching in the full-time integrated programs typical of Evergreen. From 1975-79, she was a member of the NIH National Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, helping develop regulatory guidelines for this powerful new science. Her 1978-79 sabbatical with Dr. Bruce Alberts at UC San Francisco led to a 15-year international collaboration to sequence bacteriophage T4, the largest genome yet tackled. During a 4-month associated 1990 sojourn in the USSR, she became familiar with the therapeutic use of phage there and began her collaboration with scientists at the Eliava Institute. This led to new directions in research at Evergreen, to broad expansion of the biennial Evergreen International Phage Meetings, and to creation of a small Phagebiotics Foundation, which functioned to help publicize and support phage therapy-related research and information internationally, in part under the auspices of the Evergreen State College Foundation. A variety of international advisors aided very substantially in these efforts.

Gordon Wheat, MD

Gordon is a Board-certified physician (ABFM) with more than 30 years of experience in clinical practice and teaching at a University of Washington affiliated residency training program. 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 also worked for 12 years in the Department of Preventive Care for Group Health Cooperative, a large integrated health care company, reviewing evidence and setting policy for the organization regarding disease prevention. He has published in a peer reviewed journal regarding his work on fitness testing in primary prevention. Overseas medical work in Nepal, Nicaragua, Barbuda and Borneo led to increased interest in antibiotic resistant infections and risks associated with overuse of antimicrobial drugs. He took an interest in the phage research of his two sons during summers in Dr. Kutter's lab and joined the Evergreen Phagebiotics Board in 2004.

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.