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Publications in VIVO

Fillman, Christy L.

Teaching Professor of Distinction


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Bacteriophage are viruses that infect bacteria. Phage are specific to the type of bacteria they infect. The mycobacteriophage, which are used as a model, are phage that were isolated using Mycobacterium smegmatis as a host. Some species of Mycobacterium are pathogenic to humans, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium lepera, which cause tuberculosis and leprosy respectively. Many mycobacteriophage that infect M. smegmatis can also infect M. tuberculosis and/or M. lepera. These studies could lead to a greater understanding of the complex nature of mycobacteriophage biology and their potential use in treating disease. Current projects include annotation of novel bacteriophage genomes, prediction of gene functions using bioinformatics tools, and comparative genomics studies.


  • bacteriophage genomics


selected publications


courses taught

  • MCDB 1020 - Introduction to Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Major
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023
    Introduces students to the Molecular and Cellular Biology major. Provides an overview of the major and how it differs from other CU biology programs; how to get involved in clubs, research, and/or internship opportunities; strategies for succeeding in MCDB courses; and career options. This is a first-year colloquium course specifically designed for freshman and other students exploring their educational and career opportunities in our department. Recommended restriction: New MCDB majors.
  • MCDB 1161 - From Dirt to DNA: Phage Genomics Laboratory I
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023
    Provides laboratory experience working on a bacteriophage genomics research project. Students will study novel bacteriophage they isolate from the environment. Topics covered include phage biology, bacteria and phage culturing and amplification, DNA isolation, restriction digest analysis, agarose gel electrophoresis, and electron microscopy.
  • MCDB 2150 - Principles of Genetics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023
    Introduces the behavior of genes and chromosomes in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Covers three areas: transmission genetics, molecular genetics, and population genetics. Attention is given to genetic mapping, recombinant DNA procedures, and gene expression. Recommended prerequisite: MCDB 1150 or EBIO 1210 or CHEN 2810 (minimum grade C-) and recommended corequisite of MCDB 2152. Degree credit not granted for this course and MCDB 2222.
  • MCDB 2152 - Problem Solving Co-Seminars for Genetics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023
    Uses problem solving and other interactive group work to aid student learning in MCDB 2150. Students will work in small groups on learning and practicing how to solve difficult conceptual problems, as well as using hands-on activities and concept mapping to help learn content. Recommended corequisite: MCDB 2150.
  • MCDB 2161 - From DNA to Genes, Phage Genomics Laboratory II
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023
    Provides laboratory experience working on a bacteriophage isolated during the previous semester. Topics include bioinformatics, genome annotation, open reading frame and RNA identification, BLAST analysis, phylogenetics and submission to a genomic database.
  • MCDB 3010 - Undergraduate Teaching in Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    To address the need for more advanced and continued participation in course-based research, MCDB 3010 is designed to train students who have taken MCDB 1171 or MCDB 2171 or MCDB 4202 as teaching assistants. The aim is to enhance the students' experience and responsibilities in course-based research and to prepare them for research and mentorship in a departmental or graduate laboratory. May be repeated up to 4 total credit hours.
  • MCDB 3161 - From DNA to Genes, Phage Genomics Laboratory II
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2024
    Provides in-silico laboratory experience annotating bacteriophage genomes from bacteriophages that were isolated in MCDB 1161. Topics include genome annotation, predicting gene functions using BLAST and HHPred, independent research, scientific writing, and preparation of an annotation file that will be submitted to a public genome database.
  • MCDB 4980 - Honors Research
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2024
    Provides faculty-supervised research for students who have been approved by the departmental honors committee. Normally taken during the semester before completion of the honors thesis. Recommended prerequisite: MCDB 4840 or comparable research experience, and minimum GPA of 3.20.
  • MCDB 4990 - Honors Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2024
    Involves the preparation and defense of an honors thesis, based on faculty-supervised original research, including final phases of the research project. Recommended prerequisites: MCDB 4840 or MCDB 4980 or comparable research experience, and minimum GPA of 3.3 and approval by the MCDB Honors Committee.


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