Monash University
WH_Thesis_ammended_FINAL.pdf (5.37 MB)

From test-tube to the gut: Uncovering phage evolution and ecology within the gut-on-a-chip mucus layer

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posted on 2022-02-16, 22:42 authored by WAI HOE CHIN
Bacteriophages – or phages for short – are viruses that kill bacteria and they are found abundantly in the human gut. My thesis aims to understand how phages evolve and behave in the gut mucus environment. I experimented with phages in gut-on-a-chip microfluidic devices and revealed that phages can evolve to the gut mucus environment to foster persistence. Competition between phages also caused phage and bacterial populations to fluctuate uniquely in the mucus environment. Collectively, my thesis revealed an untapped evolutionary potential of phages in our gut and their role in shaping the unique composition of viruses and bacteria in our gut.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Jeremy Barr

Additional supervisor 1

Adrian Neild

Additional supervisor 2

Michael J. McDonald

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Biological Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Science