Dr. Benjamin Nilsson-Payant

My Research Interest in RESIST

RNA viruses carry highly conserved RNA-dependent RNA polymerases that they use to copy and transcribe their genomes. However, as RNA-dependent RNA polymerases are inherently error-prone, all RNA viruses produce aberrant replication products, so-called “defective viral genomes”. My research interests focus on understanding how influenza A virus and other respiratory and emerging negative-sense RNA viruses replicate their RNA genomes and how their (aberrant) replication products induce the innate immune response. We use a combination approach of molecular biology tools, state-of-the-art transcriptomics and viral engineering to understand the molecular mechanisms of viral replication and how virus-host interactions affect viral replication and the innate immune response.

Dr. Benjamin Nilsson-Payant

Dr. Benjamin Nilsson-Payant – Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Since 2022 Senior Scientist, Institute of Experimental Virology, TWINCORE

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Training

  • 2010 – 2013: BSc (Hons) in Biology, Imperial College London, UK

  • 2013 – 2017: DPhil in Infection, Immunology and Translational Medicine, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, UK (Supervisor: Professor Ervin Fodor)

Academic and Research Posts

  • 2018 – 2021: Postdoctoral fellow, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Supervisor: Professor Benjamin tenOever)

  • 2021: Postdoctoral fellow, NYU School of Medicine (Supervisor: Professor Benjamin tenOever)

Other Scientific Roles

  • Referee for numerous journals (e.g. PLoS Pathogens, Archives in Microbiology, Heliyon, …)

Awards and Prizes

  • 2019 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence

  • 2013 Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentship

Recommended Links

For further information about Dr. Nilsson-Payant’s scientific work please check the following links:

10 Selected Publications (of > 16 original publications)

Han Y, Zhu J, Yang L, Nilsson-Payant BE*, Hurtado R, Lacko LA, Sun X, Gade AR, Higgins CA, Sisso WJ, Dong X, Wang M, Chen Z, Ho DD, Pitt GS, Schwartz RE, tenOever BR, Evans T, Chen S (2022) SARS-CoV-2 infection induces ferroptosis of sinoatrial node pacemaker cells. Circulation Research, 130(7):963-977.

Nilsson-Payant BE#, tenOever BR, te Velthuis AJ. (2022) The host factor ANP32A is required for influenza A virus vRNA and cRNA synthesis. Journal of Virology, 96: e02092-21.

Nilsson-Payant BE*, Uhl S, Grimont A, Doane AS, Cohen P, Patel RS, Higgins CA, Acklin JA, Bram Y, Chandar V, Blanco-Melo D, Panis M, Lim JK, Elemento O, Schwartz RE, Rosenberg BR, Chandwani R, tenOever BR (2021) The NF-κB transcriptional footprint is essential for SARS-CoV-2 replication. Journal of Virology, 95:e01257-21.

Yang L, Han Y, Jaffré F, Nilsson-Payant BE*, Bram Y, Wang P, Zhu J, Zhang T, Redmond D, Houghton S, Uhl S, Borczuk A, Huang Y, Richardson C, Chandar V, Acklin JA, Lim JK, Xiang J, Ho DD, tenOever BR, Schwartz RE, Evans T, Chen S. (2021) An hPSC-Derived Immuno-Cardiomyocyte Co-culture Platform to Screen for Drugs that Block Macrophage-Mediated Hyper-inflammation in COVID-19 Hearts. Circulation Research, 129(1):33-46.

Nilsson-Payant BE*, Blanco-Melo D, Uhl S, Escudero-Pérez B, Olschewski S, Thibault P, Panis M, Rosenthal M, Muñoz-Fontela C, Lee B, tenOever BR. (2021) Reduced Nucleoprotein availability impairs negative-sense RNA virus replication and promotes host recognition. Journal of Virology, 95:e02274-20.

Han Y, Duan X, Yang L, Nilsson-Payant BE*, Wang P, Duan F, Tang X, Yaron TM, Zhang T, Uhl S, Bram Y, Richardson C, Zhu J, Zhao Z, Redmond D, Houghton S, Nguyen DT, Xu D, Wang X, Jessurun J, Borczuk A, Huan Y, Johnson JL, Liu Y, Xiang J, Wang H, Cantley LC, tenOever BR, Ho DD, Pan FC, Evans T, Chen HJ, Schwartz RE, Chen S. (2021) Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Inhibitors using Lung and Colonic Organoids. Nature, 589(7841):270-275.

Yang L, Han Y, Nilsson-Payant BE*, Gupta V, Wang P, Duan X, Tang X, Zhu J, Zhao Z, Jaffré F, Zhang T, Kim TW, Harschnitz O, Redmond D, Houghton S, Liu C, Naji A, Ciceri G, Guttikonda S, Bram Y, Nguyen DT, Cioffi M, Chandar V, Hoagland DA, Huang Y, Xiang J, Wang H, Lyden D, Borczuk A, Chen HJ, Studer L, Pan FC, Ho DD, tenOever BR, Evans T, Schwartz RE, Chen S. (2020) A Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-based Platform to Study SARS-CoV-2 Tropism and Model Virus Infection in Human Cells and Organoids. Cell Stem Cell, 27(1):125-136.e7.

Blanco-Melo D, Nilsson-Payant BE*, Liu WC, Uhl S, Hoagland D, Møller R, Jordan TX, Oishi K, Panis M, Sachs D, Wang TT, Schwartz RE, Lim JK, Albrecht RA, tenOever BR. (2020) Imbalanced host response to SARS-CoV-2 drives development of COVID-19. Cell, 181(5):1036-1045.e9.

Nilsson-Payant BE, Sharps J, Hengrung N, Fodor E. (2018) The surface-exposed PA51-72- loop of the influenza A virus polymerase is required for viral genome replication. Journal of Virology, 92:e00687-18.

Nilsson BE, te Velthuis AJW, Fodor E. (2017) Role of the PB2 627-domain in influenza A virus polymerase function. Journal of Virology, 91:e02467- 16.


  Dr. Benjamin Nilsson-Payant
   Institute of Experimental Virology, TWINCORE Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research
  Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7
30625 Hannover
  +49 511 220027-238