Scott Hensley, PhD

faculty photo
Wistar Institute Assistant Professor of Microbiology
Department: Microbiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce St
Room 333
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-495-6864
Lab: 215-495-6866
BA (Biology)
University of Delaware, 2000.
PhD (Cell and Molecular Biology)
University of Pennsylvania, 2006.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
-influenza virus
-antigenic drift

Key words: Influenza virus, antigenic drift, viral pathogenesis, viral receptors, antibody specificity, vaccines

Description of Research
Seasonal influenza viruses pose a major threat to the human population, contributing to over 30,000 annual deaths in the United States alone. Influenza viruses rapidly escape pre-existing humoral immunity by accumulating mutations in the viral surface proteins hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). This process, termed “antigenic drift”, creates antigenically distinct viruses, making it difficult to predict which types of viruses will predominate during any given flu season. Antigenic drift is a huge problem for vaccine manufacturers.

The Hensley laboratory has 2 major scientific focuses: 1) elucidating mechanisms that promote antigenic drift of influenza viruses and 2) identifying factors that influence influenza vaccine responsiveness. Our overarching goals are to use basic immunological and virological approaches to improve the process by which influenza vaccine strains are chosen, and to develop new influenza vaccines that are protective against antigenically diverse influenza strains.

It is an exciting time to study influenza viruses, and enthusiastic undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellows should email if you are interested in joining the lab.

Lab members:
Susi Linderman (PhD student/IGG)
Ben Chambers (PhD student/MVP)
Seth Zost (PhD student/MVP)
Elinor Willis (VMD/PhD student/MVP)
Huihui Mou (postdoc)
Kaela Parkhouse (Research assistant)

Selected Publications

Chambers BS, Parkhouse K, Ross TM, Alby K, Hensley SE: Identification of Hemagglutinin Residues Responsible for H3N2 Antigenic Drift during the 2014-2015 Influenza Season. Cell Reports 12(1): 1-6, Jul 2015.

Linderman SL, Chambers BS, Zost SJ, Parkhouse K, Li Y, Herrmann C, Ellebedy A, Carter DM, Andrews SF, Zheng N, Huang M, Huang Y, Strauss D, Shaz BH, Hodinka RL, Reyes-Terán G, Ross TM, Wilson PC, Ahmed R, Bloom JD, Hensley SE: Potential antigenic explanation for atypical H1N1 infections among middle-aged adults during the 2013-2014 influenza season. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111(44): 15798-803, Nov 2014.

Hensley SE: Challenges of selecting seasonal influenza vaccine strains for humans with diverse pre-exposure histories. Current Opinion in Virology 8C: 85-89, Aug 2014.

Chambers BS, Li Y, Hodinka RL, Hensley SE: Recent H3N2 Influenza Virus Clinical Isolates Rapidly Acquire Hemagglutinin or Neuraminidase Mutations When Propagated for Antigenic Analyses. Journal of Virology 88(18): 10986-9, Sep 2014.

Myers JL, Wetzel KS, Linderman SL, Li Y, Sullivan CB, Hensley SE: Compensatory hemagglutinin mutations alter antigenic properties of influenza viruses. Journal of Virology 87(20): 11168-72, Oct 2013.

Li Y, Myers JL, Bostick DL, Sullivan CB, Madara J, Linderman SL, Liu Q, Carter DM, Wrammert J, Esposito S, Principi N, Plotkin JB, Ross TM, Ahmed R, Wilson PC, Hensley SE: Immune history shapes specificity of pandemic H1N1 influenza antibody responses. The Journal of Experimental Medicine 210(8): 1493-500, Jul 2013.

Li Y, Bostick DL, Sullivan CB, Myers JL, Griesemer SB, St. George K, Plotkin JB, Hensley SE: Single hemagglutinin mutations that alter both antigenicity and receptor binding avidity influence influenza virus antigenic clustering. Journal of Virology 87(17): 9904-10, Sep 2013.

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Last updated: 05/17/2016
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