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Ben Neuman

Professor

Fax: 979-845-2891
Email:
bneuman@bio.tamu.edu

Office:
3258 TAMU
Biological Sciences Building East
Room 301B
979-458-5841

Joined the Department in 2021

  • B.S., 1997, University of Toledo, Biology
  • Ph.D., 2001, University of Reading (UK), Animal and Microbial Sciences
  • Postdoctoral Research, The Scripps Research Institute, Virology

If it’s a virus, we study it –  how they work and where they come from, to better understand new diseases before they happen.  Please visit the Neuman Lab website for more information about the lab and our current projects.

Coronavirus, arenavirus and influenzavirus particles are quite variable in appearance, and the proteins that control virion shape and size are the same ones that guide the process of assembling new virions.  Understanding these proteins is key to designing better vaccines and opens up new ways to potentially control infection by limiting not just what goes into a cell, but also what comes out.  We have used cryo-electron microscopy and mass spectroscopy to probe the structure of virion proteins and the ways that changes in protein conformation are linked to the assembly process.

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 that seem new to us are usually just recently arrived from another species.  Finding and understanding viruses before they cause problems is an important component of pandemic preparedness.  We use bioinformatics and molecular biology approaches to discover new RNA viruses, which are also a source of useful proteins that can potentially be exploited as molecular tools.

Part of understanding a virus is learning how each component contributes to the replication cycle.  Taking away components that are important to the virus is a good strategy for designing and testing new antivirals.  We believe that building up a good suite of antivirals as a complement to vaccines, can be a hedge against the rise of potentially vaccine-resistant viral strains.

We also look for the good in viruses.  Phage therapy, where bacteria-killing viruses are deliberately used to control the growth of harmful bacteria and improve the growth of important food crops.  We are exploring new methods like experimental evolution to create more effective phage cocktails for agricultural use

  1. Chaki, SP, Kahl-McDonagh, MM, Neuman, BW, Zuelke, KA. Receptor-Binding-Motif-Targeted Sanger Sequencing: a Quick and Cost-Effective Strategy for Molecular Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 Variants. Microbiol Spectr. 2022;10 (3):e0066522. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.00665-22. PubMed PMID:35638906 .
  2. Cao, W, Cho, CD, Geng, ZZ, Shaabani, N, Ma, XR, Vatansever, EC et al.. Evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Inhibitors Using a Novel Cell-Based Assay. ACS Cent Sci. 2022;8 (2):192-204. doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.1c00910. PubMed PMID:35229034 PubMed Central PMC8848508.
  3. Rajil, N, Esmaeili, S, Neuman, BW, Nessler, R, Wu, HJ, Yi, Z et al.. Quantum optical immunoassay: upconversion nanoparticle-based neutralizing assay for COVID-19. Sci Rep. 2022;12 (1):1263. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-03978-2. PubMed PMID:35075142 PubMed Central PMC8786937.
  4. Rajil, N, Esmaeili, S, Neuman, BW, Nessler, R, Wu, HJ, Yi, Z et al.. Quantum Optical Immunoassay: Upconversion Nanoparticle-based Neutralizing Assay for COVID-19. ArXiv. 2021; :. . PubMed PMID:34671697 PubMed Central PMC8528078.
  5. Neuman, BW, Brashear, WA, Brun, M, Chaki, SP, Fischer, RSB, Guidry, SJ et al.. Case Report: Paucisymptomatic College-Age Population as a Reservoir for Potentially Neutralization-Resistant Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Variants. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021;105 (5):1227-1229. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.21-0542. PubMed PMID:34544043 PubMed Central PMC8592217.
  6. Storey, N, Rabiey, M, Neuman, BW, Jackson, RW, Mulley, G. Genomic Characterisation of Mushroom Pathogenic Pseudomonads and Their Interaction with Bacteriophages. Viruses. 2020;12 (11):. doi: 10.3390/v12111286. PubMed PMID:33182769 PubMed Central PMC7696170.
  7. Alsaadi, EAJ, Neuman, BW, Jones, IM. Identification of a Membrane Binding Peptide in the Envelope Protein of MHV Coronavirus. Viruses. 2020;12 (9):. doi: 10.3390/v12091054. PubMed PMID:32971895 PubMed Central PMC7551300.
  8. James, SL, Rabiey, M, Neuman, BW, Percival, G, Jackson, RW. Isolation, Characterisation and Experimental Evolution of Phage that Infect the Horse Chestnut Tree Pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi. Curr Microbiol. 2020;77 (8):1438-1447. doi: 10.1007/s00284-020-01952-1. PubMed PMID:32193605 PubMed Central PMC7334240.
  9. Alsaadi, EAJ, Neuman, BW, Jones, IM. A Fusion Peptide in the Spike Protein of MERS Coronavirus. Viruses. 2019;11 (9):. doi: 10.3390/v11090825. PubMed PMID:31491938 PubMed Central PMC6784214.
  10. Doyle, N, Neuman, BW, Simpson, J, Hawes, PC, Mantell, J, Verkade, P et al.. Infectious Bronchitis Virus Nonstructural Protein 4 Alone Induces Membrane Pairing. Viruses. 2018;10 (9):. doi: 10.3390/v10090477. PubMed PMID:30200673 PubMed Central PMC6163833.
  11. Ramírez M, Neuman B, Ramírez CA. Bacteriophages as promising agents for the biological control of moko disease (Ralstonia solanacearum) of banana. Biological Control. 2020 Feb; 24:104238.
  12. Peng T, Liu X, Adams LG, Agarwal G, Akey B, Cirillo J, Deckert V, Delfan S, Fry E, Han Z, Hemmer P, Kattawar G, Kim M, Lee M-C, Lu C, Mogford J, Nessler R, Neuman B, Nie X, Pan, Pryor J, Rajil N, Shih Y, Sokolov A, Svidzinsky A, Wang D, Yi Z, Zheltikov A, Scully MO. Enhancing sensitivity of lateral flow assay with application to SARS-CoV-2. Applied Physics Letters. 2020 Sep 21;117(12):120601.
  13. Rajil N, Sokolov A, Yi Z, Adams G, Agarwal G, Belousov V, Brick R, Chapin K, Cirillo J, Deckert V, Delfan S Esmaeili S, Fernández-González A, Fry E, Han Z, Hemmer P, Kattawar G, Kim M, Lee M-C, Lu C-Y, Mogford J, Neuman B, Pan J-W, Peng T, Poor V, Scully S, Shih Y, Suckewer S, Svidzinsky A, Verhoef A, Wang D, Wang K, Yang L, Zheltikov A, Zhu S, Zubairy S, Scully MO. A fiber optic–nanophotonic approach to the detection of antibodies and viral particles of COVID-19. Nanophotonics. 2020 10(1):10.1515.
  14. Cobb AJ, Dell’Isola A, Abdulsattar BO, McLachlan MM, Neuman BW, Müller C, Shankland K, Al-Mulla HM, Binks AW, Elvidge W. Synthesis and antiviral activity of novel spirocyclic nucleosides. New Journal of Chemistry. 2018;42:18363-80.
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