College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Department of Veterinary Medicine

Daniel Nelson

Daniel Nelson

PhD Associate Professor





Education and Professional Experience

  • 2010-Present Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, College Park (50% appointment)
  • 2010-Present Associate Professor, Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, University of Maryland, Rockville (50% appointment)
  • 2010-Present Guest Investigator, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
  • 2008-Present Graduate Faculty, Molecular and Cell Biology Graduate Program, University of Maryland, College Park
  • 2007-2010 Assistant Professor, Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Rockville, MD
  • 2005-2007 Research Assistant Professor, Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Rockefeller University, NY
  • 1999-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow for Vincent A. Fischetti, Rockefeller University, NY
  • 2003 M.B.A. Zicklin School of Business, City University of New York
  • 1999 Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens
  • 1993 B.S. in Biology, University of California, Irvine

Current Research Topics

  • Structure/function studies of bacteriophage endolysins
  • Thermodynamic engineering of endolysins
  • Measuring endolysin kinetics
  • Use of bacteriophage proteins for bacterial diagnostics
  • Rapid dispersion of polymicrobial biofilms with bacteriophage depolymerases
  • Strategies to re-sensitize vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to vancomycin
  • Engineering PlyCB, an endolyisn, for use as a novel implant coating



  • VMSC 689, Genomics and Proteomics in Infectious Disease, Course Organizer/Instructor


Above: Confocal microscopy of intracellular PlyCB (red) in A549 epithelial cells. Actin cytoskeleton stained with phalloidin (green) and nucleus stained with Dapi (blue) 





  • Shen, Y. et al. 2016. “A bacteriophage endolysin that eliminates intracellular streptococci.”. Elife 5
  • Schmelcher, M. et al. 2015. “Evolutionarily distinct bacteriophage endolysins featuring conserved peptidoglycan cleavage sites protect mice from MRSA infection.”. J Antimicrob Chemother.
  • Heselpoth, R. D., Y. Yin, J. Moult, and D. C. Nelson. 2015. “Increasing the stability of the bacteriophage endolysin PlyC using rationale-based FoldX computational modeling.”. Protein Eng Des Sel 28(4):85-92.
  • Liu, G. et al. 2015. “The Mga Regulon but not Deoxyribonuclease Sda1 of Invasive M1T1 Group A Streptococcus Contributes to in vivo Selection of CovRS Mutations and Resistance to Innate Immune Killing Mechanisms.”. Infect Immun.
  • Yang, H. et al. 2015. “A chimeolysin with extended-spectrum streptococcal host range found by an induced lysis-based rapid screening method.”. Sci Rep 5:17257.
  • Chen, C. et al. 2014. “Crystal Structure of ORF210 from E. coli O157:H1 Phage CBA120 (TSP1), a Putative Tailspike Protein.”. PLoS One 9(3):e93156.
  • Swift, S. M., and D. C. Nelson. 2014. “Complete Genome Sequence of Staphylococcus aureus Phage GRCS.”. Genome Announc 2(2).
  • Linden, S. B. et al. 2014. “Biochemical and biophysical characterization of PlyGRCS, a bacteriophage endolysin active against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.”. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol.
  • Swift, S. M., J. W. Hudgens, R. D. Heselpoth, P. M. Bales, and D. C. Nelson. 2014. “Characterization of AlgMsp, an alginate lyase from Microbulbifer sp. 6532A.”. PLoS One 9(11):e112939.

Below: Transmission Electron Microscopy of 50 nm gold rods binding to the surface of E. coli

Above: Intracellular Streptococcus pyogenes strain D471 (orange) in A549 epithelial cells. Actin cytoskeleton stained with phalloidin (purple) and nucleus stained with Dapi (blue)
















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