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

Adam R. Hersperger, Ph.D.

Adam R. Hersperger, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology; Chair of the Faculty
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, Leah Strausser ’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 Travel Award, American Society for Virology (ASV) annual meeting, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2022)
  • Teacher of Undergraduate Students Registration Award, ASV annual meeting, virtual format due to COVID-19 (2021)
  • Teacher of Undergraduate Students Travel Award, ASV annual meeting, University of Maryland, College Park (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”