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David Steinhauer

Email: dsteinh@emory.edu

The Steinhauer laboratory is primarily interested in influenza virus entry into host cells and the role of the hemagglutinin glycoprotein (HA) in this process. The work has a strong focus on the structure-function relationships of HA with regard to its receptor binding and membrane fusion properties. The work combines protein structure analysis and molecular virology techniques to address specific questions on how influenza viruses attach to cells, deliver their genomes, assemble at the end of the replication cycle, and evolve to evade host immune responses and the action of antiviral drugs. We are also attempting to exploit our knowledge of high resolution HA structures to design novel vaccines for influenza, and for other pathogens using influenza as a vector.

Research Interests

The Steinhauer laboratory is primarily interested in influenza virus entry into host cells and the role of the hemagglutinin glycoprotein (HA) in this process. The work has a strong focus on the structure-function relationships of HA with regard to its receptor binding and membrane fusion properties. The work combines protein structure analysis and molecular virology techniques to address specific questions on how influenza viruses attach to cells, and mediate the fusion of viral and cellular membranes to deliver their genomes.  The studies on influenza binding to sialic acid-containing cell-surface receptors integrate our experience with influenza molecular genetics and the carbohydrate chemistry expertise of our collaborators in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Cummings in the Department of Biochemistry here at Emory.  Many of these efforts involve the continued development and application of glycan microarray technology to examine receptor binding properties of natural isolates and laboratory mutants of influenza. 

The membrane fusion work continues to involve structural, biochemical, and functional analyses of HA mutants and the biological characteristics of viruses containing such mutants.  The studies focus on proteolytic activation of membrane fusion activity, and the fusion properties of the HA. The studies now encompass viruses of all 16 known HA subtypes, and the developing story suggests that cleavage activation and membrane fusion phenotypes may play an instrumental role in the replication properties and the ecology of influenza viruses, and therefore, the capacity to influence host range and transmission to humans.

Publications

Research Topics