Profile Photo of Mike Benedict
Michael Benedik

Regents Professor

Fax: 979-845-2891

Joined the Department in 2004

  • University of Chicago – B.A. with Honors, 1976, Biology
  • Stanford University – Ph.D., 1982, Biology – Molecular Genetics

Dr. Benedik has had an active research career in molecular microbiology. His groups research focused on using molecular biology and genetic tools to study and engineer bacteria. One thrust of his research was developing engineered microbes for environmental bioremediation and a second area of research is the antibiotic resistance and tolerance developed by bacteria. Over his career he published more than 100 peer reviewed publications that have garnered over 6000 citations and has an h-index of 42. He has mentored 35 graduate students, postdocs and visiting scientists. He currently serves on 4 editorial boards and continues to be an active reviewer.

Among many committee appointments a few highlights are as graduate advisor for the Department of Biology (2006-10), Vice Chair of the Faculty of Genetics (2004-07), chaired the University Grievance committee (2005-10) and on CAFRT (2008-10). He represented the college in the Texas A&M Faculty Senate from 2005-2012 and was elected Speaker of the Senate in 2011. He was appointed as the first Texas A&M Faculty Ombuds Officer in 2010.

In 2012 he was appointed as the Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost. In 2015 he was appointed the Vice-Provost for Texas A&M University. While continuing to serve as Vice Provost, he was named Chief International Officer for Texas A&M in 2018. He has also played major roles in strategic planning for the university, developing the International Strategic Plan in 2016 and co-chaired the task force that developed the current university vision document (2020-2030) as well as co-chair the task force that wrote the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

In 2021 was appointed Provost at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar for 3 years and rejoined the Biology Department in Fall of 2024.

  1. Song S, E Semenova, K Severinov, L Fernández-García, MJ Benedik, T Maeda, and TK Wood. (2022) CRISPR-Cas Controls Cryptic Prophages. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 23:16195.
  2. Song, S, JS Kim, R Yamasaki, S Oh, MJ Benedik and TK Wood. (2021) Escherichia coli cryptic prophages sense nutrients to influence persister cell resuscitation. Environmental Microbiology 23:7245-54. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.15816.
  3. Liu, X, S Lin, T Liu, Y Zho, W Wang, J Yao, Y Guo, K Tang, R Chen, MJ Benedik and X Wang. (2021) Xenogeneic silencing relies on temperature- dependent phosphorylation of the host H-NS protein in Shewanella. Nucleic Acids Research 49:3427-3440. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkab137.
  4. Yamasaki, R, S. Song, MJ Benedik, TK Wood. (2020) Persister cells resuscitate using membrane sensors that activate chemotaxis, lower cAMP levels, and revive ribosomes. 2020 Jan 24;23(1):100792. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.100792.
  5. Benedik, MJ and BT Sewell. (2018) Cyanide degrading nitrilases in nature. Journal of General and Applied Microbiology 64:90-93. doi: 10.2323/jgam.2017.06.002.
  6. Park, JM, BT Sewell, MJ Benedik. (2017) Cyanide bioremediation: the potential of engineered nitrilases. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 101:3029-42. doi: 10.1007/s00253-017-8204-x.
  7. Crum, MA, BT Sewell, MJ Benedik. (2016) Bacillus Pumilus cyanide dihydratase mutants with higher catalytic activity. Frontiers in Microbiology 7:1264. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01264.
  8. Park, JM, CM Ponder, BT Sewell, MJ Benedik. (2016) Residue Y70 of the nitrilase cyanide dihydratase from Bacillus pumilus is critical for formation and activity of the spiral oligomer. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 26(12):2179-2183. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1606.06035.
  9. Park, JM, M. Andani, BT Sewell, MJ Benedik. (2016) Probing an interfacial surface in the cyanide dihydratase from Bacillus pumilus, a spiral forming nitrilase. Frontiers in Microbiology 6:1479 doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01479.
  10. Crum, MA, JM Park, BT Sewell, MJ Benedik. (2015) C-terminal hybrid mutant of Bacillus pumilus cyanide dihydratase dramatically enhances thermal stability and pH tolerance by reinforcing oligomerization. Journal of Applied Microbiology 118:881-9. doi: 10.1111/jam.12754.