Donna M. Neumann, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology - Research

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology - Research

Assistant Professor of Genetics - Research

1901 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: 504-568-3179
Fax: 504-568-2361


BA Chemistry 2000
University of New Orleans

PhD Organic Chenistry 2004
University of New Orleans


Dr. Donna Neumann received her PhD in Organic Chemistry in 2004 from the University of New Orleans, where she was a Board of Regents Fellow from 2000-2004. She began her postdoctoral work in 2004 in the research group of Professor Hames M. Hill in the Department of Ophthalmology at LSUHSC, and received an Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for her postdoctoral studies (2004-2008). Dr. Donna Neumann joined the Department of Pharmacology at LSUHSC in November 2010.

Research Interests


Research Interests: Epigenetic Modifications Regulating Ocular HSV-1 Latency and Reactivation  Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a double-stranded DNA virus that, after the primary infection, enters the sensory neurons of the host and establishes a lifelong latent infection. Neurons harboring latent HSV-1 can reactivate periodically in response to a physical, emotional, or chemical stressor, and once reactivation has been initiated, the virus can replicate in the sensory ganglia, spread back to the periphery, and cause disease, specifically corneal scarring and irreversible blindness. During latency, the HSV-1 genome exists in sensory neurons as a circular episome associated with histones. The molecular mechanisms that govern the HSV-1 maintenance of latency and initiate reactivation of HSV-1 have not yet been well defined, making novel drug discovery for the treatment of recurrent ocular HSV-1 a challenging task. However, we have shown that epigenetic modifications play a critical role in not only the maintenance of HSV-1 latency, but in the reactivation process as well. Our lab has focused on the defining the epigenetic controls regulating HSV-1 latency and reactivation to allow the identification of specific target enzymes or pathways involved in chromatin remodeling associated with HSV-1 infections. Our overall goal is to identify new avenues for the discovery of novel treatments that minimize or eliminate recurrent episodes of ocular HSV-1.   

Committees & Administrative Responsibilities

2010 - Women's Affairs Committee, LSUHSC

Selected Publications

Webre JM, Hill JM, Clement C, Nolan NM, McFerrin HE, Bhattacharjee PS, Hsia V, Neumann DM, Lukiw WJ, Thompson HW. Rabbit and mouse models of HSV-1 latency, reactivation and recurrent eye diseases. In press. J Biomed Biotech 2012.

Cammarata A, Upadhyay SK, Jursic BS, Neumann DM. Antifungal activity of 2alpha, 3beta-functionalized steroids stereoselectively increases with the addition of oligosaccharides. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 21:7379-86, 2011.

Upadhyay SK, Creech CC, Bowdy KL, Stevens ED, Jursic BS, Neumann DM. Synthesis and antifungal activity of functionalized 2,3-spirostane isomers. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 21:2826-31, 2011.

Creech CC, Neumann DM. Changes to euchromatin on LAT and ICP4 following reactivation are more prevalent in an efficiently reactivating strain of HSV-1. PLoS One 5:e15416, 2010.

Jursic BS, Upadhyay SK, Creech CC, Neumann DM. Novel and efficient synthesis and antifungal evaluation of 2,3-functionalized cholestane and androstane derivatives. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 20:7372-5, 2010.

Bhattacharjee PS, Neumann DM, Hill JM. A human apolipoprotein E mimetic peptide effectively inhibits HSV-1 TK-positive and TK-negative acute epithelial keratitis. Curr Eye Res 34:99-102, 2009. 

Hill JM, Zhao Y, Clement C, Neumann DM, Lukiw WJ. HSV-1 infection of human brain cells induces miRNA-146a an Alzheimer-type inflammatory signaling. Neuroreport 20:1500-5, 2009.

Bhattacharjee PS, Neumann DM, Foster TP, Clement C, Singh G, Thompson H, Kaufman HE, Hill JM. Effective treatment of ocular HSK with a human Apolipoprotein E mimetic peptide in a mouse eye model. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2008;49:4263-8. PMID: 18515564 

Hill JM, Ball MJ, Neumann DM, Azcuy AM, Bhattacharjee PS, Bouhanik S, Clement C, Lukiw WJ, Foster TP, Kumar M, Kaufman HE, Thompson HW. The high prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 DNA in human trigeminal ganglia is not a function of age or gender. J Virol 2008; 82:8230-4. PMID: 18550674  

Bhattacharjee PS, Neumann DM, Foster TP, Bouhanik S, Clement C, Vinay D, Thompson HW, Hill JM. Effect of human apolipoprotein E genotype on the pathogenesis of experimental ocular HSV-1. Exp Eye Res 2008;87:122-30. PMID: 18572164 

Giordani NV, Neumann DM, Kwiatkowski DL, Bhattacharjee PS, McAnany PK, Hill JM, Bloom DC. During herpes simplex virus type 1 infection of rabbits, the ability to express the latency-associated transcript increases latent-phase transcription of lytic genes. J Virol 2008;82:6056-60. PMID: 18400860

Neumann DM, Bhattacharjee PS, Hill JM. Sodium butyrate: A chemical inducer of in vivo reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 1 in the ocular mouse model. J Virol 2007;81:6106-10. PMID: 17360760 

Hill JM, Bhattacharjee PS, Neumann DM. Apolipoprotein E alleles can contribute to the pathogenesis of numerous clinical conditions including HSV-1corneal disease. Exp Eye Res 2007; 84:801-11. PMID: 17007837

Bhattacharjee PS, Neumann DM, Stark D, Thompson HW, Hill JM. Apolipoprotein E modulates establishment of HSV-1 latency and survival in a mouse ocular model. Curr Eye Res 2006;31:703-708. PMID: 17007837 

Neumann DM, Bhattacharjee PS, Giordani NV, Bloom DC, Hill JM. In vivo changes in the patterns of chromatin structure associated with the latent herpes simplex virus type 1 genome in mouse trigeminal ganglia can be detected at early times after butyrate treatment. J Virol 2007;81:13248-53. PMID: 17881451