Scott Hensley, PhD

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Microbiology
Department: Microbiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
402A Johnson Pavilion
3610 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-573-3756
Lab: 215-573-3877
Education:
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
-flaviviruses
-zika virus
-dengue virus
-antigenic drift
-vaccines

Key words: Influenza virus, dengue virus, zika 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.

We are now expanding these studies to flaviviruses. We are particularly interested in determining if past flavivirus exposures influence the development of antibody responses against new antigenically distinct flaviviruses.

It is an exciting time to study viral immunology, and enthusiastic undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellows should email hensley@mail.med.upenn.edu if you are interested in joining the lab.

Lab members:

Seth Zost (PhD student/MVP)
Elinor Willis (VMD/PhD student/MVP)
Amy Davis (MD/PhD student/MVP)
Shannon Barbour (PhD student/MVP)
Claudia Arevalo (rotation student/IGG)
Trevor Griesman (rotation student/MVP)
Tyler Garretson (postdoc)
Sigrid Gouma (postdoc)
Megan Gumina (Vagelos Scholar)
Kaela Parkhouse (Research assistant)
Theresa Eilola (Research assistant)

Selected Publications

Zost Seth J, Parkhouse Kaela, Gumina Megan E, Kim Kangchon, Diaz Perez Sebastian, Wilson Patrick C, Treanor John J, Sant Andrea J, Cobey Sarah, Hensley Scott E: Contemporary H3N2 influenza viruses have a glycosylation site that alters binding of antibodies elicited by egg-adapted vaccine strains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Nov 2017.

Willis Elinor, Hensley Scott E: Characterization of Zika virus binding and enhancement potential of a large panel of flavivirus murine monoclonal antibodies. Virology 508: 1-6, May 2017.

Cobey Sarah, Hensley Scott E: Immune history and influenza virus susceptibility. Current Opinion in Virology 22: 105-111, Jan 2017.

Petrie JG, Parkhouse K, Ohmit SE, Malosh RE, Monto AS, Hensley SE.: Antibodies against the current influenza A H1N1 vaccine strain do not protect some individuals from infection with contemporary circulating H1N1 viral strains. Journal of Infectious Diseases 214: 1947-1951, 2016.

Linderman Susanne L, Hensley Scott E: Antibodies with 'Original Antigenic Sin' Properties Are Valuable Components of Secondary Immune Responses to Influenza Viruses. PLoS pathogens 12(8): e1005806, Aug 2016.

Willis Elinor, Parkhouse Kaela, Krammer Florian, Hensley Scott E: Canine H3N8 influenza vaccines partially protect mice against the canine H3N2 strain currently circulating in the United States. Vaccine 34: 5483-5487, Sep 2016.

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Last updated: 09/27/2017
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