Keir Neuman

B.A. 1994 U.C. Berkeley
M.S. 1997 Princeton University
Ph.D. 2002 Princeton University


Born in Edmonton Alberta, I grew up in Portugal Cove Newfoundland. After one ill-fated year at Memorial University of Newfoundland I made my escape to California where I sold shoes for a year before attending Diablo Valley College. Two years later I transferred to UC Berkeley where I spent three more years studying physics and applied math while working in Roger Falcone’s lab with Tom Donnelly on ultrafast laser and high-field atomic physics. Not wanting to leave Berkeley, I stayed on one more year in the lab before heading off to graduate school. At Princeton I spent my first year working with Sol Gruner on x-ray diffraction studies of liquid crystals and lipids. The second year I worked with Keren Bergman in the Electrical Engineering department where I measured photodamage in optical traps, in collaboration with Steve Block. I joined Steve’s lab in my third year, where I finished the photodamage project and began work on single-molecule measurements of RNA polymerase. Steve made the wise decision to move to Stanford the following year. After much tearing down and rebuilding, I finished my thesis on transcription under load and graduated in July 2002.

I am pursuing further single-molecule measurements of RNA polymerase transcription and pausing with Elio, Kristina, Becky and Josh in Steve’s lab in collaboration with Jeff Gelles at Brandeis and Robert Landick at the university of Wisconsin-Madison.