Moscona Lab

Location and Contact Information

701 West 168th Street
Hammer Health Sciences Building, HHSC13-02
New York, NY 10032
United States

Principal Investigators

  • Profile Headshot
    • Director, Center for Host-Pathogen Interaction
    • Vice Chair of Pediatrics, Basic Science Research

Center for Host-Pathogen Interaction

​The Moscona Lab is dedicated to advancing the basic understanding of the molecular biology of paramyxoviruses and viral entry and to using this understanding to prevent viral infection. The lab is organized around the interdisciplinary theme of virus-host interactions and projects are interrelated in ways that lead to constant communication and contributions to each other's work.

Dr. Moscona directs the Center for Host-Pathogen Interaction, a collaboration between the Moscona and Porotto laboratories with the aim of fostering interdisciplinary research at the human-pathogen interface and stimulating further interactions among various departments and disciplines. Projects draw from strategies and methods of molecular biology, cell biology, biophysics, immunology, computational biology, structural biology, and virology, and use animal models of human disease to answer questions about viral infection. The lab conducts basic research on paramyxoviruses that cause serious and prevalent childhood diseases, and on newly emerging paramyxoviruses that affect humans. We investigate common pediatric respiratory viruses including parainfluenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus as well as emerging lethal henipaviruses including Nipah virus. The focus is on the mechanisms of viral entry into host cells, in the intial stages of infection.

As a basic scientist and a pediatrician, Dr. Moscona focuses on ways to bring fundamental research findings to bear on health problems in children. She is dedicated to nurturing scientists and physicians at every level who share this goal. The laboratory is best known for identifying critical roles of the viral receptor binding protein in activating the viral fusion process during infection. Identifying the mechanism of fusion activation has led to promising targets for interfering with the viral entry process, which are being evaluated in animal models of disease.

Lab Members

  • Francesca Bovier

    Visiting Graduate Student

  • Janie Rae Bynum, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Rose Gordon-Schneider

    Research technician

  • Tara Marcink, PhD

    Postdoctoral fellow

  • Manasi Tamhankar, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Yun Zhu, MD

    Visiting Exchange Scientist

Select Publications

  • Outlaw VK, Bottom-Tanzer S, Kreitler DF, Gellman SH, Porotto M, Moscona A. Dual Inhibition of Human Parainfluenza Type 3 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infectivity with a Single Agent. J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Aug 14;141(32):12648-12656. doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b04615. Epub 2019 Aug 5. PMID: 3126870

  • Porotto M, Ferren M, Chen YW, Siu Y, Makhsous N, Rima B, Briese T, Greninger AL, Snoeck HW, Moscona A. Authentic Modeling of Human Respiratory Virus Infection in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Lung Organoids. MBio. 2019 May 7;10(3). pii: e00723-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00723-19. PMID: 31064833

  • Bottom-Tanzer SF, Rybkina K, Bell JN, Alabi CA, Mathieu C, Lu M, Biswas S, Vasquez M, Porotto M, Melero JA, Más V, Moscona A. Inhibiting Human Parainfluenza Virus Infection by Preactivating the Cell Entry Mechanism. MBio. 2019 Feb 19;10(1). pii: e02900-18. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02900-18. PMID: 30782664

  • Mathieu C, Ferren M, Jurgens E, Dumont C, Rybkina K, Harder O, Stelitano D, Madeddu S, Sanna G, Schwartz D, Biswas S, Hardie D, Hashiguchi T, Moscona A, Horvat B, Niewiesk S, Porotto M. Measles Virus Bearing Measles Inclusion Body Encephalitis-Derived Fusion Protein Is Pathogenic after Infection via the Respiratory Route. J Virol. 2019 Apr 3;93(8). pii: e01862-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01862-18. Print 2019 Apr 15. PMID: 30728259

  • Angius F, Smuts H, Rybkina K, Stelitano D, Eley B, Wilmshurst J, Ferren M, Lalande A, Mathieu C, Moscona A, Horvat B, Hashiguchi T, Porotto M, Hardie D. Analysis of a Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis Genotype B3 Virus from the 2009-2010 South African Measles Epidemic Shows That Hyperfusogenic F Proteins Contribute to Measles Virus Infection in the Brain. J Virol. 2019 Feb 5;93(4). pii: e01700-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01700-18. Print 2019 Feb 15. PMID: 30487282

  • Figueira TN, Mendonça DA, Gaspar D, Melo MN, Moscona A, Porotto M, Castanho MARB, Veiga AS. Structure-Stability-Function Mechanistic Links in the Anti-Measles Virus Action of Tocopherol-Derivatized Peptide Nanoparticles. ACS Nano. 2018 Oct 23;12(10):9855-9865. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.8b01422. Epub 2018 Sep 24. PMID: 30230818

  • Figueira TN, Augusto MT, Rybkina K, Stelitano D, Noval MG, Harder OE, Veiga AS, Huey D, Alabi CA, Biswas S, Niewiesk S, Moscona A, Santos NC, Castanho MARB, Porotto M. Effective in Vivo Targeting of Influenza Virus through a Cell-Penetrating/Fusion Inhibitor Tandem Peptide Anchored to the Plasma Membrane. Bioconjug Chem. 2018 Oct 17;29(10):3362-3376. doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.8b00527. Epub 2018 Sep 14. PMID: 30169965

  • Iketani S, Shean RC, Ferren M, Makhsous N, Aquino DB, des Georges A, Rima B, Mathieu C, Porotto M, Moscona A*, Greninger AL. Viral Entry Properties Required for Fitness in Humans Are Lost through Rapid Genomic Change during Viral Isolation. MBio. 2018 Jul 3;9(4). pii: e00898-18. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00898-18. PMID: 29970463 *Corresponding author

  • Mathieu C, Porotto M, Figueira T, Horvat B, Moscona A. Fusion Inhibitory Lipopeptides Engineered for Prophylaxis of Nipah Virus in Primates. J Infect Dis. 2018 Mar 16. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiy152

  • Chen YW, Huang SX, de Carvalho ALRT, Ho SH, Islam MN, Volpi S, Notarangelo LD, Ciancanelli M, Casanova JL, Bhattacharya J, Liang AF, Palermo LM, Porotto M, Moscona A, Snoeck HW. A three-dimensional model of human lung development and disease from pluripotent stem cells. Nat Cell Biol. 2017 May;19(5):542-549. doi: 10.1038/ncb3510. Epub 2017 Apr 24. PMID: 28436965

  • Mathieu C, Augusto MT, Niewiesk S, Horvat B, Palermo LM, Sanna G, Madeddu S, Huey D, Castanho MA, Porotto M, Santos NC, Moscona A. Broad spectrum antiviral activity for paramyxoviruses is modulated by biophysical properties of fusion inhibitory peptides. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 8;7:43610. doi: 10.1038/srep43610. PMID: 28344321

  • Palermo LM, Uppal M, Skrabanek L, Zumbo P, Germer S, Toussaint N, Huey D, Rima B, Niewiesk S, Porotto, M, Moscona A. Features of Circulating Parainfluenza Virus Required for Growth in Human Airway. MBio. 2016 Mar 15;7(2). pii: e00235-16. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00235-16

  • Gui L, Jurgens EM, Ebner JL, Porotto M, Moscona A*, Lee KK*. Electron tomography imaging of surface glycoproteins on human parainfluenza virus 3: Association of receptor binding and fusion proteins before receptor engagement. MBio. 2015 Feb 17;6(1):e02393-14. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02393-14. PMID: 25691596 (*senior, co-corresponding)

  • Palmer SG, DeVito I, Jenkins SG, Niewiesk S, Porotto M, Moscona A. 2014. Circulating clinical strains of human parainfluenza virus reveal the viral entry requirements for in vivo infection. J Virol. 2014 Sep 10. pii: JVI.01965-14.

  • Xu R, Palmer SG, Porotto M, Palermo LM, Niewiesk S, Wilson IA, Moscona A. 2013. Interaction between the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase and fusion glycoproteins of human parainfluenza virus type III regulates viral growth in vivo. mBio 4(5):e00803-13. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00803-13.

  • Porotto M, Salah ZW, Gui L, Devito I, Jurgens EM, Lu H, Yokoyama CC, Palermo LM, Lee K, Moscona A. Regulation of paramyxovirus fusion activation: the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase protein stabilizes the fusion protein in a pre-triggered state. J Virol. 2012 Dec;86(23):12838-48. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01965-12. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

  • Palmer, S., Porotto, M., Palermo, L.M., Cunha, L., Greengard, O., Moscona, A. Adaptation of human parainfluenza virus to airway epithelium reveals fusion properties required for growth in host tissue. mBio. 2012 Jun 5;3(3). pii: e00137-12. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00137-12. Print 2012.

  • Porotto M, Rockx B, Yokoyama CC, Talekar A, DeVito I, Palermo LM, Cortese R, Lu M, Feldmann H, Pessi A, Moscona A. Inhibition of Nipah virus infection in vivo: Targeting an early stage of paramyxovirus fusion activation during viral entry. PLoS Pathogens 6 (10): e1001168. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001168, 2010. (*senior, corresponding)