Barr Lab, Monash University

Our lab studies bacteriophage

Bacteriophages (or phages for short) are the most abundant and diverse microbe found in the body. Phages control and manipulate bacterial populations, can prevent infection and disease, and have important roles in regulating the microbiome and body that have not yet been fully elucidated.

We study phages within the broader context of the human body, investigating their interactions with both bacterial and mammalian hosts. Our research is broadly split across three main research themes. The first research theme investigates the therapeutic use and translation of bacteriophages to combat antimicrobial resistant (AMR) infections, in a process known as Phage Therapy. Second, we delve into the human gut virome by working with gut bacteria and their prophages under anaerobic conditions to understand how these viruses manipulate complex gut ecosystems. Third, we investigate the direct interactions occurring between phages and mammalian cells to determine how these viruses can impact broader physiology and function.

At our core, we are an experimental biology lab and utilise a range of cross-disciplinary techniques to investigate fundamental and mechanistic bacteriophage biology within the body.

A short video from our SBS Documentary 'Last Chance to Save a Life' that summarises what phages are, how we isolate them from sewage, and what they look like under electron microscopy.

Key Publications

Nature Microbiology

Bacteriophage-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii are resensitized to antimicrobials

Gordillo Altamirano, FL, et al.,.


Mammalian cells internalize bacteriophages and utilize them as a food source to enhance cellular growth and survival

Bichet, MC, et al.,.

PLOS Biology

Mammalian cells internalize bacteriophages and use them as a resource to enhance cellular growth and survival

Bichet, MC, et al.,.

See all publications

join the lab

The Barr Lab is based in Biological Sciences at Monash University. We are always interested in recruiting bright and motived researchers with a passion for phages. If you are excited by our research topics you should contact Jeremy directly by email with the relevant information noted below. Applicants for our lab should read and review our Lab Compact, which you can find here.

We encourage undergraduates (3990 course code) and Honours students to join our research team. We are most interested in highly motivated and independent students who can commit to a full year of research in the lab, with a minimum of 10-15 hours in lab per week during the academic year.

All students will be trained in the lab, will work closely with PhD students and post-docs and will be expected to develop their own independent research projects. Students are expected to attend lab meetings, read scientific literature, present your research at meetings, and prepare a research thesis for 3990 and Honours students.

The PhD degree at Monash University is a three-and-a-half year research intensive degree. During the PhD, students will be expected to engage in cutting edge research, read scientific literature, develop independent projects in the lab, present their results at scientific conferences, publish these results in international scientific journals and finally, complete and defend a research PhD thesis. Doing a PhD is a lot of work in a short amount of time, but it can be immensely rewarding experience that can lead to diverse careers in science, industry, government, and many others.

PhD students at Monash University are supported by scholarships that cover living expenses and waive tuition fees. These scholarships are competitive, with intakes twice per year (international applications close 31 March and 31 August). PhD Scholarships are highly competitive. What this means is you typically require high-distinction grades (i.e., >85% or >3.8 GPA) and a minimum of 6-months research experience.

Prospective PhD students should email Jeremy with a brief description of their research interests, CV, along with a copy of their undergraduate and/or post-graduate academic transcripts. For more information see:

I am most interested in training post-docs who want to be research scientists. I expect post-docs to be independent, develop their own research projects, give talks, write papers and grants, train students and most of all to take advantage of the opportunity to work in science.

Funding for post-docs is limited and highly dependent on grant funding. What this means is that you will likely need to find your own funding source. I would be happy to work with you to get fellowships and write grants to support your stay in the lab.

Interested applicants should contact Jeremy to discuss ideas and funding opportunities.

The lab is always open to scientists who wish to visit, train on specific techniques, or collaborate on research projects. These visits are funded by the applicant, but we will cover your lab expense and provide office space. Please contact Jeremy directly.

contact information

School of Biological Sciences,
17 Rainforest Walk,
Clayton Campus, Monash University,
Clayton, VIC, 3800, AUSTRALIA



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The Barr Laboratory
Monash University

School of Biological Sciences,
17 Rainforest Walk,
Clayton Campus, Monash University,
Clayton, VIC, 3800, AUSTRALIA

Contact Information