Adam R. Hersperger, Ph.D.

Adam R. Hersperger, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
Science Building room 145

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

Areas of Expertise

  • Virology
  • Immune systems of vertebrates
  • Ectromelia virus (also known as mousepox virus)
  • Virus/host interactions


Areas of Research

Publications (underlined names indicate an undergraduate student author)

  • 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.
  • Fang M, Siciliano NA, Hersperger AR, Roscoe F, Hu A, Ma X, Shamsedeen AR, Eisenlohr LC, Sigal LJ. Perforin-dependent CD4+ T-cell cytotoxicity contributes to control a murine poxvirus infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2012.
  • Hersperger AR, Siciliano NA, Eisenlohr LC. Comparable Polyfunctionality of Ectromelia Virus- and Vaccinia Virus-Specific Murine T-Cells despite Markedly Different In Vivo Replication and Pathogenicity. Journal of Virology 2012.
  • Hersperger AR, Migueles SA, Betts MR, Connors M. Qualitative features of the HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell response associated with immunologic control. Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS 2011.
  • Hersperger AR, Martin JN, Shin LY, Sheth P, Kovacs CM, Cosma GL, Makedonas G, Pereyra F, Walker BD, Kaul R, Deeks SG, Betts MR. Increased HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell cytotoxic potential in HIV elite controllers is associated with T-bet expression. Blood 2011.
  • Hersperger AR, Pereyra F, Nason M, Demers K, Sheth P, Shin LY, Kovacs CM, Rodriguez B, Sieg SF, Teixeira-Johnson L, Gudonis D, Goepfert PA, Lederman MM, Frank I, Makedonas G, Kaul R, Walker BD, Betts MR. Perforin expression directly ex vivo by HIV-specific CD8+ T-cells is a correlate of HIV elite control. PLOS Pathogens 2010.
  • Makedonas G, Hutnick N, Haney D, Amick AC, Gardner J, Cosma G, Hersperger AR, Dolfi D, Wherry EJ, Ferrari G, Betts MR. Perforin and IL-2 upregulation define qualitative differences among highly functional virus-specific human CD8+ T-cells. PLOS Pathogens 2010.
  • Makedonas G, Banerjee PP, Pandey R, Hersperger AR, Sanborn KB, Hardy G, Orange JS, Betts MR. Rapid up-regulation and granule-independent transport of perforin to the immunological synapse define a novel mechanism of antigen-specific CD8+ T-Cell cytotoxic activity. Journal of Immunology 2009.
  • Hersperger AR, Makedonas G, and Betts MR. Flow cytometric detection of perforin upregulation in human CD8+ T-cells. Cytometry A 2008.


Recent Student Research Collaborations

  • Julia Pevarnik ’19, Maura Sheehan ’17, and Devin Fisher ’15: “Understanding the mechanism of CD4+ T-cell inhibition by ectromelia virus protein B22”
  • Rebecca Morgis ’19 and Sarah Boothman ’18: “Characterization of an epidermal growth factor ortholog encoded by ectromelia virus”
  • 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”

Courses Taught

BIO 321: Microbiology

BIO 325: Molecular Genetics

BIO 329: Virology

BIO 498: Immunology