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Neumann received B.S. degrees in Biology and Chemistry (1997) from King College. He earned his Ph.D. in Immunology (2005) from the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of Dr. Larry Turka. Following his Ph.D. degree, he completed a Post-doctoral Research Fellowship (2011) in Innate Immune Cell Biology and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the mentorship of Dr. Ken Jacobson.

Personal Statement

My training and experience in Immunology, Fungal Microbiology and Quantitative Fluorescence Microscopy methods to study Cellular Biophysics have led to a fascination with the biophysics of innate immune fungal recognition as well as novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches to fungal pathogens, such as Candida albicans. My laboratory pursues on a long-term effort to understand the nanobiology of fungal recognition from both the pathogen’s and the host’s perspective. We explore the structure and organization of Candida’s immunogenic cell wall polysaccharides and mechanisms that regulate their structure, thus determining the physical and chemical nanotopography that is perceived by responding innate immunocytes. From the host-perspective, we seek to understand the earliest events in fungal pathogen recognition by innate immunoreceptors, including the C-type lectin Dectin-1, as they bind to cell wall ligands and interact with one another in a complex web of signaling interactions. We synthesize these host- and pathogen-centric views by studying the microscale biogenesis, maturation and function of contact sites between leukocytes and Candida species pathogens. We also pursue other research emphases in the areas of anti-Candida activities of light activated antimicrobials as well as detection of Candida via spectroscopic approaches. My research program utilizes a broad array of technologies, including Super Resolution Microscopy, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging/Förster Resonance Energy Transfer, TIRF Microscopy, Live Cell Confocal Microscopy, Predictive Computational Modeling, Biological Force Measurements, Nanofabrication Fabrication of Biomimetic Devices, and Optical Spectroscopy. Our success is bolstered by a diverse network of collaborators and their expertise in Optical Nanoscopy and Spectroscopy, Mathematical Modeling, Semiconductor Engineering, Mechanobiology and Physical Chemistry of Biopolymers.

My teaching activities center around classroom instruction in the UNM Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP) curriculum and research mentorship for trainees from the high-school to post-doctoral level. I particularly enjoy introducing students to the structure and function of biological membranes; receptor signaling and biophysics in immunity; computational modeling approaches to biological problems; and pathogenesis and immunobiology of infectious diseases through regular instruction in, and directorship of, several courses in our graduate biomedical curriculum. It is also a pleasure to mentor the scholarly work and career development of research trainees, including graduate students from UNM’s BSGP, Biomedical Engineering and Physics programs, through their involvement in my research aims.