Catherine Mageeney

Postdoctoral Appointee

Portrait of Catherine Mageeney

Mageeney sought to isolate and understand mycobacteriophages during her undergraduate and part of graduate studies. The work completed during this time allowed for characterization of numerous mycobacteriophage genomes and investigation of novel gene products. Her Ph.D. thesis work characterized ribosomal protein paralogues during Drosophila melanogaster spermatogenesis which uncovered a new class of “specialized ribosomes” that are defined by eRpL22 paralogues in D. melanogaster testis, as well as additional roles outside of the ribosome for each paralogue during spermatogenesis.


Bachelor’s Degree: Biology, Cabrini College (2007- 2011)

Doctoral Degree: Cell and Molecular Biology, Lehigh University (2012- 2018)

Postdoctoral Fellowships: Sandia National Laboratories (2018- Present)

Research Interest


Catherine Mageeney’s scientific research interest is studying alternative ways to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria. She studies viruses called bacteriophages that infect and kill bacteria. Bacteriophages have been used as therapy for over a century, but were overshadowed when antibiotics became available. Phage therapy is becoming a popular alternative when antibiotics fail. Bacteriophages are natural predators of only the specific bacteria they can infect, which allows beneficial bacteria to survive while killing pathogenic bacteria.

Mageeney’s previous work focused on characterization of mycobacteriophage genomes. Since coming to Sandia, she has been working to examine genomic islands found with bacteria to find bacteriophages integrated into the host’s chromosome. The phages can be harvested and engineered to produce phages that can no longer integrate into the host genome but will lyse and kill the bacterial host strain. Since the phages can be harvested from any genome of interest, this allows for rapid isolation of therapeutic phages for virtually any pathogen. The major goals of this project are to isolate bacteriophages in a rapid manner with the precise host known. Numerous research avenues are necessary to answer these questions including comparative genomics, molecular engineering and microbiology.


  • Nemes Graduate Fellowship, Lehigh University (2016)

Selected Publications

  • Mageeney C, Pope WH, Harrison M, Moran D, Cross T, Jacobs-Sera D, Hendrix RW, Dunbar D, Hatfull GF. 2012. Mycobacteriophage Marvin: a new singleton phage with an unusual genome organization. Journal of Virology 86(9):4762-4775. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00075-12
  • Dedrick RM, Jacobs-Sera D, Bustamante CA, Garlena RA, Mavrich TN, Pope WH, Reyes JC, Russell DA, Adair T, Alvey R, Bonilla JA, Bricker JS, Brown BR, Byrnes D, Cresawn SG, Davis WB, Dickson LA, Edgington NP, Findley AM, Golebiewska U, Grose JH, Hayes CF, Hughes LE, Hutchison KW, Isern S, Johnson AA, Kenna MA, Klyczek KK, Mageeney CM, Michael SF, Molloy SD, Montgomery MT, Neitzel J, Page ST, Pizzorno MC, Poxleitner MK, Rinehart CA, Robinson CJ, Rubin MR, Teyim JN, Vazquez E, Ware VC, Washington J, Hatfull GF. 2017. Prophage-mediated defence against viral attack and viral counter-defence. Nature Microbiology 2:16251. doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.251
  • Klyczek KK, Bonilla JA, Jacobs-Sera D, Adair TL, Afram P, Allen KG, Archambault ML, Aziz RM, Bagnasco FG, Ball SL, Barrett NA, Benjamin RC, Blasi CJ, Borst K, Braun MA, Broomell H, Brown CB, Brynell ZS, Bue AB, Burke SO, Casazza W, Cautela JA, Chen K, Chimalakonda NS, Chudoff D, Connor JA, Cross TS, Curtis KN, Dahlke JA, Deaton BM, Degroote SJ, DeNigris DM, DeRuff KC, Dolan M, Dunbar D, Egan MS, Evans DR, Fahnestock AK, Farooq A, Finn G, Fratus CR, Gaffney BL, Garlena RA, Garrigan KE, Gibbon BC, Goedde MA, Guerrero Bustamante CA, Harrison M, Hartwell MC, Heckman EL, Huang J, Hughes LE, Hyduchak KM, Jacob AE, Kaku M, Karstens AW, Kenna MA, Khetarpal S, King RA, Kobokovich AL, Kolev H, Konde SA, Kriese E, Lamey ME, Lantz CN, Lapin JS, Lawson TO, Lee IY, Lee SM, Lee-Soety JY, Lehmann EM, London SC, Lopez AJ, Lynch KC, Mageeney CM, Martynyuk T, Mathew KJ, Mavrich TN, McDaniel CM, McDonald H, McManus CJ, Medrano JE, Mele FE, Menninger JE, Miller SN, Minick JE, Nabua CT, Napoli CK, Nkangabwa M Oates EA, Ott CT, Pellerino SK, Pinamont WJ, Pirnie RT, Pizzorno MC, Plautz EJ, Pope WH, Pruett KM, Rickstrew G, Rimple PA, Rinehart CA, Robinson KM, Rose VA, Russell DA, Schick AM, Schlossman J, Schneider VM, Sells CA, Sieker JW, Silva MP, Silvi MM, Simon SE, Staples AK, Steed IL, Stowe EL, Stueven NA, Swartz PT, Sweet EA, Sweetman AT, Tender C, Terry K, Thomas C, Thomas DS, Thompson AR, Vanderveen L, Varma R, Vaught HL, Vo QD, Vonberg ZT, Ware VC, Warrad YM, Wathen KE, Weinstein JL, Wyper JF, Yankauskas JR, Zhang C, Hatfull GF. 2017. Tales of diversity: Genomic and morphological characteristics of forty-six Arthrobacter phages. PLoS ONE 12(7):e0180517. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180517