Marc Benson, Ph.D.

Marc Benson PhD

Marc Benson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Microbiology
Biomedical Sciences

Office: A332
Lab: J208
Phone: (304) 647-6275

Education and Training

Postdoctoral Research Associate
University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO
Field: Bacterial Toxin-Host Interactions

Doctor of Philosophy
Medical University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Field: Microbial Toxins and Pathogenesis

Bachelor of Science
University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
Field: Biology

Research Interest

Our general research interests are bacterial pathogenesis and host-bacterial toxin interactions. Specifically, we study bacterial toxin biochemistry and the role host factors play in toxin function. 

We are most interested in 1) how host factors act as chaperones for AB toxin translocation across the host endosomal membrane and 2) how host factors serve to activate bacterial toxins.  

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Dissertation Award Recipient. Medical College of Wisconsin


  1. Benson MA, Peterson T, Salazar L, Morris W, Hall R, Howlett B, and Phelps P. Burnout in rural physician assistants: an initial study. JPAE. 2016 Jun;27(2)

  2. Benson MA, Fu Z, Kim J, and Baldwin MR. Unique Ganglioside Recognition Strategies for Botulinum Neurotoxin Type E and Type F. J Biol. Chem. 2011 Sep 30;286(39)

  3. Benson MA, Komas SM, Schmalzer KM, Casey MS, Frank DW, and Feix JB. Induced conformational changes in the activation of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type III toxin, ExoU. Biophys J. 2011 Mar;100(5)

  4. Schmalzer KM, Benson MA, and Frank DW. Activation of ExoU Phospholipase Activity Requires Specific C-terminal Regions. J Bacteriol. 2010 Apr;192(7)

  5. Benson M, Schmalzer KM, and Frank DW.  A Sensitive Fluorescence-Based Assay for the Detection of Intracellular ExoU-mediated PLA2 activity.  Clin Chim Acta. 2010 Feb;411(3-4)