Susan Hafenstein

Director of the Center for Structural Biology; Huck Chair of Structural Virology; Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Susan Hafenstein

Research Summary

Using a structural approach to learn more about viral infectivity, tropism, evolution and pathogenicity. Developing approaches to visualize critical events that cause a break from the regular symmetry of the virus, including packaging of the genome, receptor usage, antibody interactions and uncoating of the viral genome during the final stages of infection.

Graduate Students

Huck Affiliations


Publication Tags

Capsid Enterovirus Genome Viruses Parvovirus Virion Epitopes Antibodies Neutralizing Antibodies Cryoelectron Microscopy Protoparvovirus Cryo Electron Microscopy Mutation Minute Virus Of Mice Dna Receptors Rodent Protoparvovirus 1 Divalent Cations Transferrin Receptors Genes Infection Capsid Proteins Immunoglobulin Fragments Crystal Structure Human Papillomavirus 16

Most Recent Papers

Transferrin receptor binds virus capsid with dynamic motion

Hyunwook Lee, Heather M. Callaway, Javier O. Cifuente, Carol M. Bator, Colin R. Parrish, Susan L. Hafenstein, 2019, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on p. 20462-20471

Asymmetry in icosahedral viruses

D. Goetschius, C. Parrish, Susan Hafenstein, 2019, Current Opinion in Virology on p. 67-73

Parvovirus B19 uncoating occurs in the cytoplasm without capsid disassembly and it is facilitated by depletion of capsid-associated divalent cations

Oliver Caliaro, Andrea Marti, Nico Ruprecht, Remo Leisi, Suriyasri Subramanian, Susan Hafenstein, Carlos Ros, 2019, Viruses on p. 430

Examination and reconstruction of three ancient endogenous parvovirus capsid protein gene remnants found in rodent genomes

Heather M. Callaway, Suriyasri Subramanian, Christian A. Urbina, Karen N. Barnard, Robert A. Dick, Carol M. Bator, Susan L. Hafenstein, Robert J. Gifford, Colin R. Parrish, 2019, Journal of virology

Viral engagement with host receptors blocked by a novel class of tryptophan dendrimers that targets the 5-fold-axis of the enterovirus - A 71 capsid

Liang Sun, Hyunwook Lee, Hendrik Jan Thibaut, Kristina Lanko, Eva Rivero-Buceta, Carol Bator, Belen Martinez-Gualda, Kai Dallmeier, Leen Delang, Pieter Leyssen, Federico Gago, Ana San-Felix, Susan Hafenstein, Carmen Mirabelli, Johan Neyts, 2019, PLoS pathogens

Complex and dynamic interactions between parvovirus capsids, transferrin receptors, and antibodies control cell infection and host range

Heather M. Callaway, Kathrin Welsch, Wendy Weichert, Andrew B. Allison, Susan L. Hafenstein, Kai Huang, Sho Iketani, Colin R. Parrish, 2018, Journal of virology

Nuclear, cytosolic, and surface-localized poly(A)-binding proteins of Plasmodium yoelii

Allen M. Minns, Kevin J. Hart, Suriyasri Subramanian, Susan Hafenstein, Scott E. Lindner, 2018, mSphere

High-resolution structure analysis of antibody V5 and U4 conformational epitopes on human papillomavirus 16

Jian Guan, Stephanie M. Bywaters, Sarah A. Brendle, Robert E. Ashley, Alexander M. Makhov, James F. Conway, Neil Christensen, Susan Hafenstein, 2017, Viruses

Cryo-EM maps reveal five-fold channel structures and their modification by gatekeeper mutations in the parvovirus minute virus of mice (MVM) capsid

Suriyasri Subramanian, Lindsey J. Organtini, Alec Grossman, Phillip P. Domeier, Javier O. Cifuente, Alexander M. Makhov, James F. Conway, Anthony D'Abramo, Susan F. Cotmore, Peter Tattersall, Susan Hafenstein, 2017, Virology on p. 216-223

MOPS and coxsackievirus B3 stability

Steven D. Carson, Susan Hafenstein, Hyunwook Lee, 2017, Virology on p. 183-187

Most-Cited Papers

Secretion of genome-free hepatitis b virus - single strand blocking model for virion morphogenesis of para-retrovirus

Xiaojun Ning, David Nguyen, Laura Mentzer, Christina Adams, Hyunwook Lee, Robert Ashley, Susan Hafenstein, Jianming Hu, 2011, PLoS pathogens

The Enterovirus 71 A-particle Forms a Gateway to Allow Genome Release

Kristin L. Shingler, Jennifer L. Yoder, Michael S. Carnegie, Robert E. Ashley, Alexander M. Makhov, James F. Conway, Susan Hafenstein, 2013, PLoS Pathogens

Enterovirus 71 Binding to PSGL-1 on Leukocytes

Yorihiro Nishimura, Hyunwook Lee, Susan Hafenstein, Chikako Kataoka, Takaji Wakita, Jeffrey M. Bergelson, Hiroyuki Shimizu, 2013, PLoS Pathogens

Group Selection and Contribution of Minority Variants during Virus Adaptation Determines Virus Fitness and Phenotype

Antonio V. Bordería, Ofer Isakov, Gonzalo Moratorio, Rasmus Henningsson, Sonia Agüera-González, Lindsey Organtini, Nina F. Gnädig, Hervé Blanc, Andrés Alcover, Susan Hafenstein, Magnus Fontes, Noam Shomron, Marco Vignuzzi, 2015, PLoS Pathogens

A cryo-electron microscopy study identifies the complete H16.V5 epitope and reveals global conformational changes initiated by binding of the neutralizing antibody fragment

Hyunwook Lee, Sarah A. Brendle, Stephanie M. Bywaters, Jian Guan, Robert E. Ashley, Joshua D. Yoder, Alexander M. Makhov, James F. Conway, Neil Christensen, Susan Hafenstein, 2015, Journal of virology on p. 1428-1438

A strain-specific epitope of enterovirus 71 identified by cryo-electron microscopy of the complex with fab from neutralizing antibody

Hyunwook Lee, Javier O. Cifuente, Robert E. Ashley, James F. Conway, Alexander M. Makhov, Yoshio Tano, Hiroyuki Shimizu, Yorihiro Nishimura, Susan Hafenstein, 2013, Journal of virology on p. 11363-11370

Depletion of virion-associated divalent cations induces parvovirus minute virus of mice to eject its genome in a 3′ -to-5′ direction from an otherwise intact viral particle

Susan F. Cotmore, Susan Hafenstein, Peter Tattersall, 2010, Journal of virology on p. 1945-1956

The crystal structure of a coxsackievirus B3-RD variant and a refined 9-angstrom cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of the virus complexed with decay-accelerating factor (DAF) provide a new footprint of DAF on the virus surface

Joshua D. Yoder, Javier O. Cifuente, Jieyan Pan, Jeffrey M. Bergelson, Susan Hafenstein, 2012, Journal of Virology on p. 12571-12581

Structure of a packaging-defective mutant of minute virus of mice indicates that the genome is packaged via a pore at a 5-fold axis

Pavel Plevka, Susan Hafenstein, Lei Li, Anthony D'Abramo, Susan F. Cotmore, Michael G. Rossmann, Peter Tattersall, 2011, Journal of Virology on p. 4822-4827

Kinetic and structural analysis of coxsackievirus B3 receptor interactions and formation of the A-particle

Lindsey J. Organtini, Alexander M. Makhov, James F. Conway, Susan Hafenstein, Steven D. Carsonc, 2014, Journal of virology on p. 5755-5765

News Articles Featuring Susan Hafenstein

Altered 'coat' disguises fatal brain virus from neutralizing antibodies

A genetic modification in the ‘coat’ of a brain infection-causing virus may allow it to escape antibodies, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Scientists pinpoint how the deadly canine parvovirus learned to infect dogs in the 1970s

Canine parvovirus, a highly contagious and deadly virus of dogs, initially infected cats and other animals long before it acquired a few mutations and started a worldwide epidemic in the late 1970s. Now, a team led by the Baker Institute’s Dr. Colin Parrishhave worked with Dr. Susan Hafenstein’s laboratory at Penn State University to show exactly how parvovirus enters canine cells, and it’s a surprisingly wobbly interaction.

Virus may jump species through 'rock-and-roll' motion with receptors

Like a janitor thumbing through a keychain to find just the right key to open a lock, the "rock-and-roll" motion of the canine parvovirus during the binding process may help explain how the virus can find the spot on a receptor to infect not just dogs, but multiple species, according to an international team of researchers.

Resolution Revolution: Penn State welcomes a new era of atomic-level imaging with cryo EM facility

Using extreme cold to arrest fluid samples in motion, cryo EM allows researchers to see proteins, clusters of molecules, and viruses with astounding clarity—to the point where individual atoms may become visible.

Scientists discover weakness in common cold virus

An indentation on the surface of the viruses that cause a multitude of illnesses, including the common cold, has been discovered. Scientists believe this vulnerability marks a weak spot on the viruses that antiviral medications could target to administer effective treatment for colds and polio, among other illnesses