Adam R. Hersperger, Ph.D. | Albright College

Adam R. Hersperger, Ph.D.

Adam R. Hersperger, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Science Center room 145

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Cell and Molecular Biology)
B.S., Bucknell University (Cell Biology and Biochemistry)

Areas of Expertise

  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Vertebrate immune systems
  • Ectromelia virus (“mousepox”) and other poxviruses
  • Virus/host interactions

Areas of Research

Recent Publications: (underlined names below indicate undergraduate student co-authors)

  • Morgis RA, Haan K, Schrey JM, Zimmerman RM, Hersperger AR. The epidermal growth factor ortholog of ectromelia virus activates EGFR/ErbB1 and demonstrates mitogenic function in vitro. Virology 2021.
  • Forsyth KS, Roy NH, Peauroi E, DeHaven BC, Wold ED, Hersperger AR, Burkhardt JK, Eisenlohr LC. Ectromelia-encoded virulence factor C15 specifically inhibits antigen presentation to CD4+ T cells post peptide loading. PLOS Pathogens 2020.
  • Frey TR, Forsyth KS, Sheehan MM, DeHaven BC, Pevarnik JG, Hand ES, Pizzorno MC, Eisenlohr LC, Hersperger AR. Ectromelia virus lacking the E3L ortholog is replication-defective and nonpathogenic but does induce protective immunity in a mouse strain susceptible to lethal mousepox. Virology 2018.
  • Frey TR, Lehmann MH, Ryan CM, Pizzorno MC, Sutter G, Hersperger AR. Ectromelia virus accumulates less double-stranded RNA compared to vaccinia virus in BS-C-1 cells. Virology 2017.
  • Hand ES, Haller SL, Peng C Rothenburg S, Hersperger AR. Ectopic expression of vaccinia virus E3 and K3 cannot rescue ectromelia virus replication in rabbit RK13 cells. PLOS ONE 2015.
  • Hersperger AR, Siciliano NA, DeHaven BC, Snook AE, Eisenlohr LC. Epithelial immunization induces polyfunctional CD8+ T-cells and optimal mousepox protection. Journal of Virology 2014.
  • Siciliano NA, Hersperger AR, Lacuanan AM, Xu R, Sidney J, Sette A, Sigal LJ, Eisenlohr LC. Impact of distinct poxvirus infections on the specificities and functionalities of CD4+ T-cell responses. Journal of Virology 2014.


Recent Student Research Collaborations:

  • Megan Keller ’23, Julie Schrey ’21, Michelle Nahrgang ’20, Rose Zimmerman ’19, Kaylyn Haan ’19, Rebecca Morgis ’19, and Sarah Boothman ’18: “Characterization of an epidermal growth factor ortholog encoded by ectromelia virus”
  • Julia Pevarnik ’19, Maura Sheehan ’17, and Devin Fisher ’15: “Understanding the mechanism of CD4 T-cell inhibition by ectromelia virus protein B22”
  • Colton Ryan ’16 and Tiffany Frey ’17: “Ectromelia virus accumulates less double-stranded RNA compared to vaccinia virus”
  • Erin Hand ’15: “Characterization of a mutant ectromelia virus lacking the ability to interfere with dsRNA recognition by host cells”
  • Stephanie McMaster ’14: “The study of microtubule dynamics following ectromelia virus infection of mammalian cells in culture”

For more information about the Hersperger Lab, please click here.

Courses Taught

BIO 101: Concepts and Connections in Biology

BIO 203: Introduction to Genetics

BIO 321: Microbiology

BIO 325: Molecular Genetics

BIO 329: Virology

BIO 498: Immunology

Awards and Grants


  • Teacher of Undergraduate Students Registration Award, American Society for Virology (ASV) annual meeting (2021)
  • Teacher of Undergraduate Students Travel Award, ASV annual meeting (2018)
  • Annadora Vesper Shirk Award for Faculty Scholarship, Albright College (2017)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Bucknell University (2005)


  • R01 grant (#AI110542-01A1), Co-principal Investigator (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
    Project period: July 2015 to December 2019
    Project title: “MHCII cross-presentation as a driver of CD4+ T-cell responses to poxviruses”