Catherine Mageeney

Senior Member of the Technical Staff

Author profile picture

Senior Member of the Technical Staff

(925) 294-1043

Sandia National Laboratories, California
P.O. Box 969
Livermore, CA 94551-0969


Catherine Mageeney is a molecular biologist with a focus on bacteriophages – viruses infecting bacteria. Bacteriophages exist for every known bacterial species and are readily found through metagenomic studies. Bacteriophages can be use in therapeutic, environmental, and bioproduction applications. She is interested in using computational and experimental approaches to understand bacteriophage genomics and gene function, bacteriophage resistance mechanisms, and build bacteriophage engineering pipelines for isolated bacterial or bacteria in communities. Mageeney’s previous work at Sandia involved computational identification of genomic islands (including prophages – bacteriophages integrated into bacterial genomes) in bacterial and archaea genomes. This computational work was the basis of identification and engineering prophages for therapeutic applications. Prior to coming to Sandia, she focused on characterization of mycobacteriophage genomes with an emphasis on prophage-mediate defense mechanisms.


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

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

Postdoctoral Fellowships: Sandia National Laboratories (2018- 2020)

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)


Steven Branda, Nicole Collette, Nicole Aiosa, Neha Garg, Catherine Mageeney, Kelly Williams, Ashlee Phillips, Kelsey Hern, Adam Arkin, James Ricken, Delaney Wilde, Sahiba Dogra, Brittany Humphrey, Kunal Poorey, Colleen Courtney, (2022). Reconfiguration of the Respiratory Tract Microbiome to Prevent and Treat Burkholderia Infection Publication ID: 80404

Catherine Mageeney, Kelly Williams, (2021). Applications of Precise Prophage Mapping Publication ID: 76509

Catherine Mageeney, (2021). Expanding the Scope of Genomic Security: Targeted Genome Editing within Microbiomes through Designer Bacteriophage Vectors Publication ID: 80309

Catherine Mageeney, (2021). Phage Factory: A phage for any bacteria Publication ID: 75759

Catherine Mageeney, Joseph Schoeniger, Kelly Williams, (2021). Computational Front End for Creating a Universal Phage Engineering Platform Publication ID: 79668

Dario Tommasini, Catherine Mageeney, Kelly Williams, (2021). Helper-Embedded Satellites (HESs): Useful New Vectors Publication ID: 78391

Catherine Mageeney, Kelly Williams, Joseph Schoeniger, (2021). Computational Front End for Creating Universal Phage-based Vectors for Bacteria Publication ID: 77259

Catherine Mageeney, Hamidu Mohammed, Marta Dies, Samira Anbarib, Netta Cudkevich, Yanyan Chen, Javier Buceta, Vassie Ware, (2020). Mycobacterium Phage Butters-Encoded Proteins Contribute to Host Defense against Viral Attack [plus supplemental information] mSystems Publication ID: 73507

Catherine Mageeney, Anupama Sinha, Kelly Williams, Steven Branda, (2020). Genome Sequences of Burkholderia thailandensis Strains E421, E426, and DW503 Microbiology Resource Announcements Publication ID: 71061

Steven Branda, Pei-Li Wang, Annette LaBauve, Anupama Sinha, Kunal Poorey, Kelly Williams, George Michailidis, Joseph Schoeniger, Catherine Mageeney, Colleen Courtney, Sahar El-Etr, Magda Franco, Victoria Lao, Patrik D’haeseleer, Jose Pena, Brent Segelke, (2019). Elucidation of Host-Pathogen Interactions via Dual RNA-Seq Analysis to Support Development of Countermeasures Against the Intracellular Bacterial Pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei Publication ID: 66457

Catherine Mageeney, Britney Lau, Steven Branda, Anupama Sinha, Raga Krishnakumar, Kelly Williams, (2019). Computational front end to diverse therapeutic phage cocktails Publication ID: 66274

Catherine Mageeney, Alecia Rokes, Britney Lau, Steven Branda, Anupama Sinha, Raga Krishnakumar, Kelly Williams, (2019). Computational front end to diverse therapeutic phage cocktails Publication ID: 70235

Catherine Mageeney, Kelly Williams, Steven Branda, Raga Krishnakumar, (2019). Diverse therapeutic phage cocktails through a computational front end Publication ID: 68942

Catherine Mageeney, Alecia Rokes, Britney Lau, Steven Branda, Raga Krishnakumar, Kelly Williams, (2019). Computational front end to diverse therapeutic phage cocktails Publication ID: 69317

Russell Caratenuto, Grace Ciabattoni, Nicolas DesGranges, Cassidy Drost, Longhui Gao, Brianna Gipson, Nicholas Kahler, Nicole Kirven, Julia Melehani, Krishna Patel, Alecia Rokes, Ryan Seth, Matthew West, Alexa Alhout, Francis Akoto, Nicole Capogna, Netta Cudkevich, Lee Graham, Matthew Grapel, Maaz Haleem, Jamie Korenberg, Brooke Lichak, Lauren McKinley, Kourtney Mendello, Caitlin Murphy, Lauren Pyfer, Wascar Ramirez, Julia Reisner, Rachel Swope, Matthew Thoonkuzhy, Lauren Vargas, Croldy Veliz, Katherine Volpe, Kevin Zhang, Dylan Faltine-Gonzalez, Caitlin Zuilkoski, Catherine Mageeney, Hamidu Mohammed, Margaret Kenna, Vassie Ware, (2019). Genome sequences of six cluster n mycobacteriophages, kevin1, nenae, parmesanjohn, shrimpfriedegg, smurph, and spongebob, isolated on mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155 Microbiology Resource Announcements Publication ID: 68085

Catherine Mageeney, Alecia Rokes, Briney Lau, Steven Branda, Raga Krishnakumar, Kelly Williams, (2019). Diverse therapeutic phage cocktails through a computational front end Publication ID: 67521

Britney Lau, Catherine Mageeney, Steven Branda, Kelly Williams, (2018). Phage Therapy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a Galleria mellonella infection model Publication ID: 63262

Alecia Rokes, Danielle Dufek, Catherine Mageeney, Anupama Sinha, Kelly Williams, (2018). Engineering Phages for Therapeutic Use Publication ID: 63274

Showing Results. Show More Publications

Selected Publications

  • Mageeney CM*, Mohammed HT*, Dies M, Anbari S, Cudkevich N, Chen Y, Buceta J, Ware VC. (2020). Mycobacterium phage Butters-encoded proteins contribute to host defense against viral attack. mSystems 5 (5) e00534-20; DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00534-20.
  • Mageeney CM, Sinha A, Mosesso RA, Medlin DL, Lau BY, Rokes AB, Lane TW, Branda SS, Williams KP. (2020). Computational basis for on-demand production of diversified therapeutic phage cocktails. mSystems 5:e00659-20. doi: /10.1128/mSystems.00659-20.
  • Mageeney CM, Sinha A, Williams KP, Branda SS. (2020). Genome Sequences of Burkholderia thailandensis strains E421, E426, and DW503. Microbial Resource Announcements (in press).
  • Mageeney CM*, Lau BY*, Wagner JM*, Hudson CM, Schoeniger JS, Krishnakumar R, Williams KP. (2020). New candidates for regulated gene integrity revealed through precise mapping of integrative genetic elements. Nucleic Acids Research, gkaa156. doi:10.1093/nar/gkaa156
  • Mageeney CM, Ware VC. (2019). Specialized eRpL22 paralogue-specific ribosomes regulate specific mRNA translation in spermatogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 30(17):2240-2253. Doi:10.1091/mbc.E19-02-0086.
  • Caratenuto RA, Ciabattoni GO, DesGranges NJ, Drost CL, Gao L, Gipson B, Kahler NC, Kirven NA, Melehani JC, Patel K, Rokes AB, Seth RA, West MC, Alhout AA, Akoto FF, Capogna N, Cudkevich N, Graham LH, Grapel MS, Haleem MM, Korenberg JB, Lichak BP, McKinley LN, Mendello KR, Murphy CE, Pyfer LM, Ramirez WA, Reisner JR, Swope RH, Thoonkuzhy MJ, Vargas LA, Veliz CA, Volpe KR, Zhang KD, Faltine-Gonzalez DZ, Zuilkoski CM, Mageeney CM, Mohammed HT, Kenna MA, Ware VC . (2019). Genome Sequences of Six Cluster N Mycobacteriophages isolated on M. smegmatis mc2155: Kevin1, Nenae, Parmesanjohn, ShrimpFriedEgg, Smurph, and SpongeBob. Microbiology Resource Announcement, 8(22): e00399-19. Doi: 10.1128/MRA.00399-19
  • Mageeney CM*, Kearse MG*, Gershman BW, Pritchard CE, Colquhoun JM, Ware VC.  (2018). Functional interplay between ribosomal protein paralogues in the eRpL22 family in Drosophila melanogaster. Fly, 12(3-4):143-163. doi: 10.1080/19336934.2018.1549419
  • Hughes L, Shaffer C, Ware VC, Aguayo I, Aziz R, Bhuiyan S, Bindert I, Calovich-Benne C, Chapman J, Donegan-Quick R, Farooq A, Garcia C, Graham L, Green B, Kenna MA, Kneeream E, Laing C, Mageeney CM, Meridew S, Mikolon A, Morgan R, Nayek S, Olugbade I, Pike K, Schlegel L, Shishido T, Suresh T, Suri N, Weston Hafer K, Garlena R, Russell D, Cresawn S, Pope W, Jacobs-Sera D, Hatfull GF. (2018). Eight Genome Sequences of Cluster BE1 Phages isolated on Streptomyces. Genome Announcements, 6(2): e01146-17. 10.1128/genomeA.01146-17.
  • Edgington NP, Voshell SM, Ware VC, Akoto FF, Alhout AA, AtwalGJ, Balyozian JB, Cadieux ZA, ChopBM, CoffinAG,  Cresawn SC, Cudkevich N, Faltine-Gonzalez DZ, Gardner AD, GarlenaRA, Gilmer BJ, Graham LH, GrapelMS, HaleemMM, Jacobs-SeraD, Kenna MA, KhanMA, Klein TN, Korenberg JB, Lichak BP, MageeneyCM, McBrideCB, McKinleyLN, Mendello KR, MyersCM, Nguyen AT, PasqualucciBA, Pope WH, PowarsMA, Pyfer LM, Ramirez WA, ReisnerJR, Rosenblatt CS, RussellDA, Sapao PA, Saux VC, Singh I, SwopeRH, Thoonkuzhy MJ, Walters ML, Vargas LA, Veliz CA, Zhang KD, ZuilkoskiCM, Hatfull GF. (2017). Genome Sequences of Chancellor, Mitti, and Wintermute, three Subcluster K4 phages isolated using Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155. Genome Announcements, 5(45): e01070-17. 10.1128/genomeA.01070-17.
  • 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 OS, Casazza W, Cautela JA, Chen K, Chimalakonda NS, Chudoff D, Conner JA, Cross TS, Curtis KN, Dahlke JA, Deaton BM, Degroote SJ, DeNigris DM, DeRuff KC, Dolan D, Dunbar D, Egan MS, Evans DR, Fahnestock AK, Farooq MA, Finn G, Fratus GR, 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, Matthew 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 fourty-six Arthrobacter phages. PLoS One, 12(7): e0180517. 10.1371/journal.pone.0180517.
  • Mageeney CM, Bhalla C, Bowman CA, Devireddy B, Dzurick AP, Graham LH, Grossi M, Kenna MA, Kowal MA, Nielsen DD, Pallay RA, Ruffing KM, Russell DA, Sarli SL, Shaw A, Skibbens JW, Teyim JN, and Ware VC. (2017). Genome Sequences of Mycobacteriophages Jane and Sneeze, New Members of Cluster G. Genome Announcements, 5(11): e01486-16. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01486-16
  • Mageeney CM, Seier ER, Esposito EC, Graham LH, Heckman EL, Hipwell CM, Kelliher AB, Lando NA, Morales PY, Russell DA, Tsaousis BE, Kenna MA, and Ware VC. Genome Sequence of Cluster W Mycobacteriophage Taptic. (2017). Genome Announcements, 5(11): e01606-16. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01606-16.
  • Dedrick R* , Jacobs-Sera D*, Guerrero C,  Garlena R , Mavrich T, Pope W, Cervantes Reyes J, Russell D, Adair T , Alvey R, Bonilla JA,  Bricker J, Brown B , Byrnes D, Cresawn S, Davis W,  Dickson L,  Edgington N, Findley A, Golebiewska U, Grose J, Hayes C, Hughes L, Hutchison C, Isern S, Johnson A, Kenna M, Klyczek K, Mageeney CM, Michael S, Molloy S, Montgomery M, Neitzel J, Page S, Pizzorno M, Poxleitner M,  Rinehart C, Robinson C, Rubin M, Teyim J, Vazquez E, Ware V,  Washington J. Prophage-mediated defense against viral attack and viral counter-defense. (2017). Nature Microbiology, 2:16251. doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.251.
  • Pope WH, Bowman CA, Russell DA, Jacobs-Sera D, Asai DJ, Cresawn SG, Jacobs Jr WR, Hendrix RW, Lawrence JG, Hatfull GF, Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science, Phage Hunters Integrating Research and Education, Mycobacterial Genetics Course. (2015). Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity. eLife, 4:e06416. doi: 10.7554/eLife.06416
  • Leung W, Genomics Education Partnership, Elgin SCR. Drosophila Muller F elements maintain a distinct set of genomic properties over 40 million years of evolution. (2015). G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 5(5):719-40. doi: 10.1534/g3.114.015966.
  • 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.
  • Dunbar D, Harrison M, Mageeney C, Catagnus C, Cimo A, Beckowski C, Ratmansky L. (2012). The Rewards and Challenges of Undergraduate Peer Mentoring in Course-based Research: Student Perspectives from a Liberal Arts Institution. PURM, 2012 April.
  • Harrison M, Dunbar D, Mageeney C, Lopatto D. (2010). Peer Mentoring in an Introductory Biology Laboratory.  CUR Quarterly, 31(2).

*denotes equal contribution