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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. Lauber, C, Zhang, X, Vaas, J, Klingler, F, Mutz, P, Dubin, A et al.. Deep mining of the Sequence Read Archive reveals major genetic innovations in coronaviruses and other nidoviruses of aquatic vertebrates. PLoS Pathog. 2024;20 (4):e1012163. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1012163. PubMed PMID:38648214 PubMed Central PMC11065284.
  2. Alugubelli, YR, Xiao, J, Khatua, K, Kumar, S, Sun, L, Ma, Y et al.. Discovery of First-in-Class PROTAC Degraders of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease. J Med Chem. 2024;67 (8):6495-6507. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.3c02416. PubMed PMID:38608245 PubMed Central PMC11056980.
  3. Khatua, K, Alugubelli, YR, Yang, KS, Vulupala, VR, Blankenship, LR, Coleman, D et al.. Azapeptides with unique covalent warheads as SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors. Antiviral Res. 2024;225 :105874. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2024.105874. PubMed PMID:38555023 PubMed Central PMC11070182.
  4. Chaki, SP, Kahl-McDonagh, MM, Neuman, BW, Zuelke, KA. Validating the inactivation of viral pathogens with a focus on SARS-CoV-2 to safely transfer samples from high-containment laboratories. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2024;14 :1292467. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2024.1292467. PubMed PMID:38510962 PubMed Central PMC10951993.
  5. Altangerel, N, Neuman, BW, Hemmer, PR, Yakovlev, VV, Sokolov, AV, Scully, MO et al.. A Novel Non-Destructive Rapid Tool for Estimating Amino Acid Composition and Secondary Structures of Proteins in Solution. Small Methods. 2024; :e2301191. doi: 10.1002/smtd.202301191. PubMed PMID:38485686 .
  6. Kron, NS, Neuman, BW, Kumar, S, Blackwelder, PL, Vidal, D, Walker-Phelan, DZ et al.. Expression dynamics of the aplysia abyssovirus. Virology. 2024;589 :109890. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2023.109890. PubMed PMID:37951086 PubMed Central PMC10842508.
  7. Alugubelli, YR, Xiao, J, Khatua, K, Kumar, S, Ma, Y, Ma, XR et al.. Discovery of First-in-Class PROTAC Degraders of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease. bioRxiv. 2023; :. doi: 10.1101/2023.09.29.560163. PubMed PMID:37808777 PubMed Central PMC10557696.
  8. Altangerel, N, Neuman, BW, Hemmer, PR, Yakovlev, VV, Rajil, N, Yi, Z et al.. Label-free drug interaction screening via Raman microscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023;120 (30):e2218826120. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2218826120. PubMed PMID:37463207 PubMed Central PMC10372630.
  9. Woo, PCY, de Groot, RJ, Haagmans, B, Lau, SKP, Neuman, BW, Perlman, S et al.. ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Coronaviridae 2023. J Gen Virol. 2023;104 (4):. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001843. PubMed PMID:37097842 .
  10. Khatua, K, Alugubelli, YR, Yang, KS, Vulupala, VR, Blankenship, LR, Coleman, DD et al.. An Azapeptide Platform in Conjunction with Covalent Warheads to Uncover High-Potency Inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease. bioRxiv. 2023; :. doi: 10.1101/2023.04.11.536467. PubMed PMID:37090597 PubMed Central PMC10120698.
  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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