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Why Biology at Albright?

The Biology Major



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ACES Scholarships

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photoAdam R. Hersperger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
610-929-6617 | ahersperger@albright.edu


  • Ph.D.: University of Pennsylvania (cell and molecular biology)
  • B.S.: Bucknell University (cell biology and biochemistry)

Research Areas

  • Virology
  • Immune systems of mammals
  • Innate immunity
  • Ectromelia virus (also known as mousepox)
  • Understand how viruses interact with infected host cells
  • Better understand the interaction between a virus and the host’s immune system


  • 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; 6: 169-173.
  • 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; 117(14): 3799-3808.
  • 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; 6(5): e1000917.
  • 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; 6(3): e1000798.
  • 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; 182(9): 5560-5569.
  • Hersperger AR, Makedonas G, and Betts MR. Flow cytometric detection of perforin upregulation in human CD8+ T-cells. Cytometry A 2008; 73(11): 1050-1057.

Recent Student Research Collaborations

  • Colton Ryan ’16 and Tiffany Frey ’17, “Ectromelia virus accumulates less free double-stranded RNA compared to vaccinia virus”
  • Maura Sheehan ’17, “Understanding the mechanisms of T-cell inhibition by the B22 protein of ectromelia virus”
  • Erin Hand ’15, “Characterization of a Mutant Ectromelia Virus Lacking the Ability to Interfere with dsRNA Recognition by Host Cells”
  • Devin Fisher ’15, “Understanding the Mechanism of CD4+ T-cell Inhibition by Ectromelia Virus”
  • Stephanie McMaster ’14, “The Study of Microtubule Dynamics following Ectromelia Virus Infection of Mammalian Cells in Culture”