Daniel Stein




Email: dcstein@umd.edu

Office Phone: (301) 405-5448

Lab: 1105 Microbiology Building

Fax: (301) 314-9489

Office Address: 1103 Microbiology Building



graduate program affiliations

  • BISI - BISI-Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, & Genomics (CBBG)
  • BISI - BISI-Molecular & Cellular Biology (MOCB)

research interests

Dr. Stein has 38 years of experience studying various aspects of neisserial biology, defining basic genetic processes of the gonococcus and relating them to gonococcal pathogenesis. He has developed a variety of genetic tools to manipulate the gonococcal genome, allowing him to generate strains with defined surface structures.  Using these strains and the technologies that he has develop, he is dissecting the role that various surface molecules play in gonococcal pathogenesis.  His current research focuses on how colonization by GC can result in asymptomatic infection, especially in women.  He is examining the role of the opacity protein (Opa) and its interaction with lipooligosaccharide in gonococcal pathogenesis. While many papers have been published that support the hypothesis that Opa is a key GC invasin, promoting GC entry into cells, his research suggests that Opa can contribute to disease in additional ways. Using a strain where all 11 opa genes were deleted, he found that this strain invaded into cervical tissue explants much better than Opa-expressing bacteria.  Since Opa expression leads to significant bacterial clumping, it suggests that this Opa function may be highly relevant to preventing invasive GC disease, and the inability to induce symptoms. A second research project focuses on various aspects of neisserial phage biology.  He believes that their functionality plays an essential role in virulence.  Students use molecular genetic, cellular, immunological bioinformatic and biochemical techniques to further our understanding of gonococcal disease.



He Co-Founded SD Nanosciences, a biotechnology company focused on utilizing surfactant vesicle technology for gonococcal vaccine development and drug delivery.


recent publications


Yu Q, Wang LC, Di Benigno S, Gray-Owen SD, Stein DC, Song W.  2019.  Neisseria gonorrhoeae infects the heterogeneous epithelia of the human cervix using distinct mechanisms.  PLoS Pathog. 2019 Dec 2;15(12):e1008136. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008136.


Wang LC, Wagner J, Capino A, Nesbit E, Song W, Stein DC.  2019. Quantitative Examination of Antibiotic Susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Aggregates Using ATP-utilization Commercial Assays and Live/Dead Staining. J Vis Exp. 2019 Feb 8;(144). doi: 10.3791/58978.


Wang LC, Litwin M, Sahiholnasab Z, Song W, Stein DC.  2018. Neisseria gonorrhoeae Aggregation Reduces Its Ceftriaxone Susceptibility.Antibiotics (Basel). 2018 Jun 15;7(2).


Wang LC, Yu Q, Stein DC, Song W. Immunofluorescence Analysis of Human Endocervical Tissue Explants Infected with Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Bio Protoc. 2018 Feb 5;8(3). pii: e2720. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.2720.


Wang, LC, Yu, Q., Edwards, V., Lin, B, Qiu, J, Turner, JR, Stein, DC and Song, W.  2017. Neisseria gonorrhoeae Infects the Human Endocervix by Activating Non-Muscle Myosin II-Mediated Epithelial Exfoliation. PLoS Pathog. 2017 Apr 13;13(4):e1006269.


John, C., Phillips, N., Stein, DC and Jarvis, GA.  2018.  Innate immune response to LOS:  pivotal regulator of the pathobiology of invasive Neisseria meningitidis infections.  Pathog Dis. 2017 Apr 1;75(3). https://doi.org/10.1093/femspd/ftx030


John CM, Phillips NJ, Din R, Liu M, Rosenqvist E, Høiby EA, Stein DC, Jarvis GA. 2016. Lipooligosaccharide Structures of Invasive and Carrier Isolates of Neisseria meningitidis Are Correlated with Pathogenicity and Carriage. J Biol Chem. 291:3224-38.


Piekarowicz A, Kłyż A, Majchrzak M, Stein DC. 2016.  Oral Immunization of Rabbits with S. enterica Typhimurium Expressing Neisseria gonorrhoeae Filamentous Phage Φ6 Induces Bactericidal Antibodies Against N. gonorrhoeae.  Sci Rep.  4;6:22549. doi: 10.1038/srep22549.


Bhoopalan SV, Piekarowicz A, Lenz JD, Dillard JP, Stein DC. 2016. nagZ Triggers Gonococcal Biofilm Disassembly.  Sci Rep. ;6:22372. doi: 10.1038/srep22372.


Stein, D. C., A. LeVan, L-C Wang, L. Zimmerman and W. Song. 2015. Expression of Opacity Proteins Interferes with the Transmigration of Neisseria gonorrhoeae across Polarized Epithelial Cells. PLOS ONE 10(8): e0134342.


Piekarowicz, A., A. Kłyż, M. Majchrzak, E. Szczęsna, M. Piechucki, A. Kwiatek, T.K. Maugel, and D.C. Stein. 2014.  Neisseria gonorrhoeae Filamentous Phage Ngo{Phi}6 Is Capable of Infecting a Variety of Gram-Negative Bacteria. J. Virol. 88:1002-10


Richard K, Mann BJ, Stocker L, Barry EM, Qin A, Cole LE, Hurley MT, Ernst RK, Michalek SM, Stein DC, Deshong P, Vogel SN.  2014. Novel Catanionic Surfactant Vesicle Vaccines Protect Mice against Francisella tularensis LVS and Confer Significant Partial Protection against F. tularensis Schu S4.  Clin Vaccine Immunol. 21:: 212–226.


Edwards VL, Wang LC, Dawson V, Stein DC, Song W. 2013. Neisseria gonorrhoeae breaches the apical junction of polarized epithelial cells for transmigration by activating EGFR. Cell Microbiol. 2013 Jun;15(6):1042-57


Hurley, M. T., Wang, Z., Mahle, A., Rabin, D., Liu, Q., English, D. S., Zachariah, M. R., Stein, D. and DeShong, P. (2013), Synthesis, Characterization, and Application of Antibody Functionalized Fluorescent Silica Nanoparticles. Adv. Funct. Mater. 23: 3335–3343.


LeVan A, Zimmerman LI, Mahle AC, Swanson KV, DeShong P, Park J, Edwards VL, Song W, Stein DC. 2012. Construction and characterization of a derivative of Neisseria gonorrhoeae strain MS11 devoid of all opa genes. J. Bacteriol. 194:6468-78



Stevens, A. M., A. C. Smith, G. Marbach-Ad, S. A. Balcom, J. Buchner, S. L. Daniel, J. J. DeStefano, N. M. El-Sayed, K. Frauwirth, V. T. Lee, K. S. McIver, S. B. Melville, D. M. Mosser, D. L. Popham, B. E. Scharf, F. D. Schubot, R. W. Seyler, Jr., P. A. Shields, W. Song, D. C. Stein, R. C. Stewart, K. V. Thompson, Z. Yang, and S. A. Yarwood. 2017. Using a Concept Inventory to Reveal Student Thinking Associated with Common Misconceptions about Antibiotic Resistance. J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ., in press.      


Stewart, R. C., Stein, D.C., McIver, K. S.,Buchner, J. and Smith, A. C.. 2014.  Cow of the Future Case Study. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo. http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/future_cow.pdf         


Stewart, R.C., Stein, D.C., Yuan, R.T., Smith, A.C.  2014. The Farmer's Dilemma - a case study for learning bacterial genetics and biotechnology. J. Microbiol. Biol. Edu. 15:36-7


Complete bibliography.