Frederick H. Neill, M.A.
Senior Research Assistant
Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology
Baylor College of Medicine
Mr. Neill is a Senior Research Assistant in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. He received a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of California-Riverside and completed a M.A. program in Biology at the University of Northern Colorado, following which he taught middle school science for a short time before joining Baylor. He works in the laboratories of Dr. Mary Estes and Dr. Robert Atmar, currently running tests of the immunological response to norovirus vaccines in human volunteers.
While an undergraduate, Mr. Neill conducted field work on the effect of smog on mountain-dwelling pine trees for the Statewide [California] Air Pollution Research Center. His first tasks at Baylor were also in the field, harvesting oysters from Galveston Bay and testing them for hepatitis A virus and rotavirus. He was an early user of commercialized polymerase chain reaction (PCR) when the emphasis for water- and food-borne viruses shifted to rotavirus and especially norovirus. He has taken part in a number of studies involving the uptake of viruses in shellfish (oysters) and viral contamination of foodstuffs. When thousands of Hurricane Katrina refugees were housed at Houston’s Astrodome, he performed the assays that identified the cause of a gastroenteritis outbreak there: norovirus. He has archived and screened thousands of specimens from Texas Children’s Hospital to help better understand the prevalence and evolution of norovirus in the community. In addition, Mr. Neill has cloned the capsid-encoding genome of several noroviruses which contributed to production of virus-like particles and the development of norovirus vaccines.