Susan Hafenstein

Susan Hafenstein

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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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.


  • Ph.D., University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 2003
  • B.S., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 1992

Graduate Students

Most Recent Papers

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 D. 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

Cryoelectron Microscopy Maps of Human Papillomavirus 16 Reveal L2 Densities and Heparin Binding Site

Jian Guan, Stephanie M. Bywaters, Sarah A. Brendle, Robert E. Ashley, Alexander M. Makhov, James F. Conway, Neil D. Christensen, Susan Hafenstein, 2017, Structure on p. 253-263

MOPS and coxsackievirus B3 stability

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

Honey bee deformed wing virus structures reveal that conformational changes accompany genome release

Lindsey J. Organtini, Kristin L. Shingler, Robert E. Ashley, Elizabeth A. Capaldi, Kulsoom Durrani, Kelly A. Dryden, Alexander M. Makhov, James F. Conway, Marie C. Pizzorno, Susan Hafenstein, 2017, Journal of virology

Evolution and cryo-electron microscopy capsid structure of a north american bat adenovirus and its relationship to other mastadenoviruses

Nicole Hackenbrack, Matthew B. Rogers, Robert E. Ashley, M. Kevin Keel, Steven V. Kubiski, John A. Bryan, Elodie Ghedin, Edward C. Holmes, Susan L. Hafenstein, Andrew B. Allison, 2017, Journal of virology

Parvovirus capsid structures required for infection

Heather M. Callaway, Kurtis H. Feng, Donald W. Lee, Andrew B. Allison, Melissa Pinard, Robert McKenna, Mavis Agbandje-McKenna, Susan Hafenstein, Colin R. Parrish, 2017, Journal of Virology

Using a Novel Partitivirus in Pseudogymnoascus destructans to Understand the Epidemiology of White-Nose Syndrome

Vaskar Thapa, Gregory G. Turner, Susan Hafenstein, Barrie E. Overton, Karen J. Vanderwolf, Marilyn J. Roossinck, 2016, PLoS Pathogens

Recent High-Impact Papers

Structural studies of the giant Mimivirus

Chuan Xiao, Yurii G. Kuznetso, Siyang Sun, Susan L. Hafenstein, Victor A. Kostyuchenko, Paul R. Chipman, Marie Suzan-Monti, Didier Raoult, Alexander McPherson, Michael G. Rossmann, 2009, PLoS Biology on p. 958-966

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

Structural comparison of different antibodies interacting with parvovirus capsids

Susan Hafenstein, Valorie D. Bowman, Tao Sun, Christian D.S. Nelson, Laura M. Palermo, Paul R. Chipman, Anthony J. Battisti, Colin R. Parrish, Michael G. Rossmann, 2009, Journal of Virology on p. 5556-5566

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

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

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 D. Christensen, Susan Hafenstein, 2015, Journal of virology on p. 1428-1438

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

Structures of the procapsid and mature virion of enterovirus 71 strain 1095

Javier O. Cifuente, Hyunwook Lee, Joshua D. Yoder, Kristin L. Shingler, Michael S. Carnegie, Jennifer L. Yoder, Robert E. Ashley, Alexander M. Makhov, James F. Conway, Susan Hafenstein, 2013, Journal of Virology on p. 7637-7645