Scott Hensley, PhD

faculty photo
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
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, SARS-CoV-2, antigenic drift, viral pathogenesis, viral receptors, antibody specificity, vaccines

Description of Research

Seasonal influenza viruses pose a major threat to the human population. Influenza viruses rapidly escape pre-existing humoral immunity by accumulating mutations in the viral surface proteins hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. 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 problem for vaccine manufacturers.

The Hensley laboratory has 3 major scientific focuses related to influenza viruses: 1) elucidating mechanisms that promote antigenic drift of influenza viruses, 2) identifying factors that influence influenza vaccine responsiveness, 3) developing new influenza vaccine platforms. 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.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hensley laboratory has completed serological assays to characterize antibody responses elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. Ongoing experiments are measuring the durability, specificity, and functionality of antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination in different individuals.

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

Lab members:

Elizabeth Drapeau, PhD (Penn-CEIRR Coordinator)
Naiqing Ye (Lab manager/research assistant)
Jeff Mathwig (Clinical Coordinator)
Ruhi Shah (Research assistant)
Reilly Atkinson (Research assistant)
Jefferson Santos, PhD (Staff scientist)
Colleen Furey, PhD, (postdoctoral fellow)
Ross England, MD/PhD (CHOP clinical fellow)
Ashley Sobel Leonard, MD/PhD (CHOP clinical fellow)
Eileen Goodwin (PhD student/IGG)
Rachel Serafin (PhD student/IGG)
Lydia Mendoza (PhD student/MVP)
Grace Li (PhD student/MVP)
Adebola Agboola (undergraduate student)

Selected Publications

Arevalo CP, Bolton MJ, Le Sage V, Ye N, Furey C, Muramatsu H, Alameh MG, Pardi N, Drapeau EM, Parkhouse K, Garretson T, Morris JS, Moncla LH, Tam YK, Fan SHY, Lakdawala SS, Weissman D, Hensley SE.: A multivalent nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine against all known influenza virus subtypes. Science 378: 899-904, Nov 2022.

Anderson EM, Li SH, Awofolaju M, Eilola T, Goodwin E, Bolton MJ, Gouma S, Manzoni TB, Hicks P, Goel RR, Painter MM, Apostolidis SA, Mathew D, Dunbar D, Fiore D, Brock A, Weaver J, Millar JS, DerOhannessian S; UPenn COVID Processing Unit, Greenplate AR, Frank I, Rader DJ, Wherry EJ, Bates P, Hensley SE.: SARS-CoV-2 infections elicit higher levels of original antigenic sin antibodies compared with SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccinations. Cell Rep 41: 111496, Oct 2022.

Pierce CA, Herold KC, Herold BC, Chou J, Randolph A, Kane B, McFarland S, Gurdasani D, Pagel C, Hotez P, Cobey S, Hensley SE.: COVID-19 and children. Science 377: 1144-1149, Sep 2022.

Bolton MJ, Ort JT, McBride R, Swanson NJ, Wilson J, Awofolaju M, Furey C, Greenplate AR, Drapeau EM, Pekosz A, Paulson JC, Hensley SE.: Antigenic and virological properties of an H3N2 variant that continues to dominate the 2021-22 Northern Hemisphere influenza season. Cell Reports 39: 110897, May 2022.

Christensen SR, Martin ET, Petrie JG, Monto AS, Hensley SE.: The 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Hemagglutinin Stalk Remained Antigenically Stable after Circulating in Humans for a Decade. Journal of Virology May 2022.

Gouma S, Weirick ME, Bolton MJ, Arevalo CP, Goodwin EC, Anderson EM, McAllister CM, Christensen SR, Dunbar D, Fiore D, Brock A, Weaver J, Millar J, DerOhannessian S, Unit TUCP, Frank I, Rader DJ, Wherry EJ, Hensley SE.: Health care worker seromonitoring reveals complex relationships between common coronavirus antibodies and COVID-19 symptom duration. JCI Insight 6: e150449, Aug 2021.

Anderson EM, Goodwin EC, Verma A, Arevalo CP, Bolton MJ, Weirick ME, Gouma S, McAllister CM, Christensen SR, Weaver J, Hicks P, Manzoni TB, Oniyide O, Ramage H, Mathew D, Baxter AE, Oldridge DA, Greenplate AR, Wu JE, Alanio C, D'Andrea K, Kuthuru O, Dougherty J, Pattekar A, Kim J, Han N, Apostolidis SA, Huang AC, Vella LA, Kuri-Cervantes L, Pampena MB; UPenn COVID Processing Unit, Betts MR, Wherry EJ, Meyer NJ, Cherry S, Bates P, Rader DJ, Hensley SE.: Seasonal human coronavirus antibodies are boosted upon SARS-CoV-2 infection but not associated with protection. Cell 184, April 2021.

#Flannery DD, #Gouma S, Dhudasia MB, Mukhopadhyay S, Pfeifer MR, Woodford EC, Triebwasser JE, Gerber JS, Morris JS, Weirick ME, McAllister CM, Bolton MJ, Arevalo CP, Anderson EM, Goodwin EC, *Hensley SE, *Puopolo KM.: Assessment of Maternal and Neonatal Cord Blood SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies and Placental Transfer Ratios. JAMA Pediatrics 2021.

Anderson EM, Diorio C, Goodwin EC, McNerney KO, Weirick ME, Gouma S, Bolton MJ, Arevalo CP, Chase J, Hicks P, Manzoni TB, Baxter AE, Andrea KP, Burudpakdee C, Lee JH, Vella LA, Henrickson SE, Harris RM, Wherry EJ, Bates P, Bassiri H, Behrens EM, Teachey DT, Hensley SE.: SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in children with MIS-C and mild and severe COVID-19. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 10: 669-673, May 2020.

Willis E, Pardi N, Parkhouse K, Mui BL, Tam YK, Weissman D, Hensley SE: Nucleoside-modified influenza mRNA vaccination partially overcomes antigen-specific maternal antibody inhibition of de novo immune responses in mice. Science Translational Medicine 12(525), Jan 2020.

Worobey M, Plotkin S, Hensley SE: Influenza Vaccines Delivered in Early Childhood Could Turn Antigenic Sin into Antigenic Blessings. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives(online), Jan 2020.

Gouma S, Anderson EM, Hensley SE.: Challenges of making effective influenza vaccines. Annual Review in Virology 7(1): 495-512, Sept 2020.

Gouma S, Weirick M, Hensley SE. : Antigenic assessment of the H3N2 component of the 2019-2020 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. Nature Communications 11(2445 ), 2020.

Arevalo CP, Le Sage V, Bolton MJ, Eilola T, Jones JE, Kormuth KA, Nturibi E, Balmaseda A, Gordon A, Lakdawala SS, Hensley SE: Original antigenic sin priming of influenza virus hemagglutinin stalk antibodies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 117(29): 17221-17227, Jul 2020.

#Flannery DD, #Gouma S, Dhudasia MB, Mukhopadhyay S, Pfeifer MR, Woodford EC, Gerber JS, Arevalo CP, Bolton MJ, Weirick ME, Goodwin EC, Anderson EM, Greenplate AR, Kim J, Han N, Pattekar A, Dougherty J, Kuthuru O, Mathew D, Baxter AE, Vella LA, Weaver J, Verma A, Leite R, Morris JS, Rader DJ, Elovitz MA, Wherry EJ, *Puopolo KM, *Hensley SE: SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among parturient women in Philadelphia. Science immunology 5(49), Jul 2020.

Gouma S, Kim K, Weirick ME, Gumina ME, Branche A, Topham DJ, Martin ET, Monto AS, Cobey S, Hensley SE: Middle-aged individuals may be in a perpetual state of H3N2 influenza virus susceptibility. Nature communications 11(1): 4566, Sep 2020.

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Last updated: 11/29/2022
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