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Mohan Somasundaran PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUMass Chan Medical School
DepartmentBiochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology
AddressUMass Chan Medical School
364 Plantation Street
Worcester MA 01605
Phone508-856-4408
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentBiochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology

    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentPediatrics
    DivisionPediatric Immunology & Infectious Diseases


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, KL, IndiaBSChemistry
    University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, KL, IndiaMSBiochemistry
    University of Calcutta, Calcutta, , IndiaPHDBiochemistry

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview

    No information is available at this time.



    For his Ph.D., Mohan Somasundaran investigated protein-ligand interactions of sialic acid binding lectin (Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Calcutta and Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ). His postdoctoral studies were on lysosomal storage diseases (Washington University, St. Louis), and on HIV-1 cytopathology (Worcester Foundation/UMass Medical School). He continued as faculty at UMass Medical School to pursue molecular virology projects focusing on genotypic and phenotypic factors of cell-entry, replication and donor-to-recipient transmission of HIV, EBV, CMV, IAV and emerging infectious human pathogens (SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV2). He was the Director of BSL-3 Core Virus Lab and is member of UMass IBC.

    His research interests are to: 

    Develop new molecular, cellular and molecular virology techniques for application in various research and translational projects specifically related to HIV-1, Influenza virus, SARS-CoV2

      • Virus-Cell entry, replication and interactions
      • Reverse genetics assays
      • Structure-function assays for HIV/Influenza/SARS-CoV2 proteins and host-cell restriction (Apobec3) proteins
      • Structure-based drug design and next generation antivirals
      • Pyrosequencing of viral genomes
      • Virus detection and quantification assays
      • Point of Care early diagnostic assays for human pathogens

     

    Utilize state-of-the-art structural biology techniques (i.e. Cryo-EM/ET) and interface with virology techniques to investigate virus structure vs infectivity, replication, evolution/fitness of Influenza virus, HIV-1 and SARS-CoV2





    Our labs have a vibrant culture that supports academic research.  Our multidisciplinary research team focuses on virus-cell interactions and the discovery of antiviral drug candidates. We use Influenza virus and SARS-CoV2 as model systems to study virus entry mechanisms and neutralization, to elucidate the roles of HA-mediated and Spike-mediated membrane fusion, and to develop the next generation of viral entry inhibitors and small molecule antivirals. We utilize techniques in Virology, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Structural Biology, Biochemistry, Cryo EM and Cryo ET to achieve our goals. 

    Influenza A virus (IAV) and SARS-CoV2 are causative agents of respiratory infections associated with high morbidity and mortality worldwide. Both pathogens pose a public health threat for which currently available vaccines are not always completely protective. Combating rapidly evolving pathogens evading immune pressures and resisting antivirals, along with emerging new human pathogens underscore the urgent need for defining the key pathways in virus-host cell interactions, entry and replication. Our studies focus on molecular virology, molecular biology, and structural biology of HIV, Influenza and SARS-CoV2 entry, neutralization, replication and inhibitors.  We use several experimental models, including in vitro cell culture systems, structure-based drug design, computational approaches and Cryo EM & ET, to study disease pathogenesis.  Our goal is to identify primary targets in virus attachment, entry and replication, and to quantitatively characterize virion morphology and glycoprotein density in its native state that can be used to design therapeutic strategies as well as next generation antivirals to thwart infection and disease progression. 



    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Chang CW, Parsi KM, Somasundaran M, Vanderleeden E, Liu P, Cruz J, Cousineau A, Finberg RW, Kurt-Jones EA. A Newly Engineered A549 Cell Line Expressing ACE2 and TMPRSS2 Is Highly Permissive to SARS-CoV-2, Including the Delta and Omicron Variants. Viruses. 2022 06 23; 14(7). PMID: 35891350.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    2. Huang QJ, Song K, Xu C, Bolon DNA, Wang JP, Finberg RW, Schiffer CA, Somasundaran M. Quantitative structural analysis of influenza virus by cryo-electron tomography and convolutional neural networks. Structure. 2022 05 05; 30(5):777-786.e3. PMID: 35290796.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    3. Jiang L, Samant N, Liu P, Somasundaran M, Jensen JD, Marasco WA, Kowalik TF, Schiffer CA, Finberg RW, Wang JP, Bolon DNA. Identification of a Permissive Secondary Mutation That Restores the Enzymatic Activity of Oseltamivir Resistance Mutation H275Y. J Virol. 2022 03 23; 96(6):e0198221. PMID: 35045267.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    4. Koupenova M, Corkrey HA, Vitseva O, Tanriverdi K, Somasundaran M, Liu P, Soofi S, Bhandari R, Godwin M, Parsi KM, Cousineau A, Maehr R, Wang JP, Cameron SJ, Rade J, Finberg RW, Freedman JE. SARS-CoV-2 Initiates Programmed Cell Death in Platelets. Circ Res. 2021 09 03; 129(6):631-646. PMID: 34293929.
      Citations: 42     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    5. Lockbaum GJ, Henes M, Talledge N, Rusere LN, Kosovrasti K, Nalivaika EA, Somasundaran M, Ali A, Mansky LM, Kurt Yilmaz N, Schiffer CA. Inhibiting HTLV-1 Protease: A Viable Antiviral Target. ACS Chem Biol. 2021 03 19; 16(3):529-538. PMID: 33619959.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    6. Harshbarger WD, Deming D, Lockbaum GJ, Attatippaholkun N, Kamkaew M, Hou S, Somasundaran M, Wang JP, Finberg RW, Zhu QK, Schiffer CA, Marasco WA. Unique structural solution from a VH3-30 antibody targeting the hemagglutinin stem of influenza A viruses. Nat Commun. 2021 01 25; 12(1):559. PMID: 33495478.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    7. Prachanronarong KL, Canale AS, Liu P, Somasundaran M, Hou S, Poh YP, Han T, Zhu Q, Renzette N, Zeldovich KB, Kowalik TF, Kurt-Yilmaz N, Jensen JD, Bolon DNA, Marasco WA, Finberg RW, Schiffer CA, Wang JP. Mutations in Influenza A Virus Neuraminidase and Hemagglutinin Confer Resistance against a Broadly Neutralizing Hemagglutinin Stem Antibody. J Virol. 2019 01 15; 93(2). PMID: 30381484.
      Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    8. Silvas TV, Hou S, Myint W, Nalivaika E, Somasundaran M, Kelch BA, Matsuo H, Kurt Yilmaz N, Schiffer CA. Substrate sequence selectivity of APOBEC3A implicates intra-DNA interactions. Sci Rep. 2018 05 14; 8(1):7511. PMID: 29760455.
      Citations: 22     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    9. Brese RL, Gonzalez-Perez MP, Koch M, O'Connell O, Luzuriaga K, Somasundaran M, Clapham PR, Dollar JJ, Nolan DJ, Rose R, Lamers SL. Ultradeep single-molecule real-time sequencing of HIV envelope reveals complete compartmentalization of highly macrophage-tropic R5 proviral variants in brain and CXCR4-using variants in immune and peripheral tissues. J Neurovirol. 2018 08; 24(4):439-453. PMID: 29687407.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    10. Quitadamo B, Peters PJ, Repik A, O'Connell O, Mou Z, Koch M, Somasundaran M, Brody R, Luzuriaga K, Wallace A, Wang S, Lu S, McCauley S, Luban J, Duenas-Decamp M, Gonzalez-Perez MP, Clapham PR. HIV-1 R5 Macrophage-Tropic Envelope Glycoprotein Trimers Bind CD4 with High Affinity, while the CD4 Binding Site on Non-macrophage-tropic, T-Tropic R5 Envelopes Is Occluded. J Virol. 2018 01 15; 92(2). PMID: 29118121.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    11. Weiss ER, Lamers SL, Henderson JL, Melnikov A, Somasundaran M, Garber M, Selin L, Nusbaum C, Luzuriaga K. Early Epstein-Barr Virus Genomic Diversity and Convergence toward the B95.8 Genome in Primary Infection. J Virol. 2018 01 15; 92(2). PMID: 29093087.
      Citations: 18     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    12. Kouno T, Silvas TV, Hilbert BJ, Shandilya SMD, Bohn MF, Kelch BA, Royer WE, Somasundaran M, Kurt Yilmaz N, Matsuo H, Schiffer CA. Crystal structure of APOBEC3A bound to single-stranded DNA reveals structural basis for cytidine deamination and specificity. Nat Commun. 2017 04 28; 8:15024. PMID: 28452355.
      Citations: 68     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    13. Weiss ER, Alter G, Ogembo JG, Henderson JL, Tabak B, Baki? Y, Somasundaran M, Garber M, Selin L, Luzuriaga K. High Epstein-Barr Virus Load and Genomic Diversity Are Associated with Generation of gp350-Specific Neutralizing Antibodies following Acute Infectious Mononucleosis. J Virol. 2017 Jan 01; 91(1). PMID: 27733645.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    14. McManus M, Mick E, Hudson R, Mofenson LM, Sullivan JL, Somasundaran M, Luzuriaga K. Early Combination Antiretroviral Therapy Limits Exposure to HIV-1 Replication and Cell-Associated HIV-1 DNA Levels in Infants. PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0154391. PMID: 27104621.
      Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    15. Sanborn KB, Somasundaran M, Luzuriaga K, Leitner T. Recombination elevates the effective evolutionary rate and facilitates the establishment of HIV-1 infection in infants after mother-to-child transmission. Retrovirology. 2015 Nov 16; 12:96. PMID: 26573574.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    16. Greenough TC, Straubhaar JR, Kamga L, Weiss ER, Brody RM, McManus MM, Lambrecht LK, Somasundaran M, Luzuriaga KF. A Gene Expression Signature That Correlates with CD8+ T Cell Expansion in Acute EBV Infection. J Immunol. 2015 Nov 01; 195(9):4185-97. PMID: 26416268.
      Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    17. Bohn MF, Shandilya SMD, Silvas TV, Nalivaika EA, Kouno T, Kelch BA, Ryder SP, Kurt-Yilmaz N, Somasundaran M, Schiffer CA. The ssDNA Mutator APOBEC3A Is Regulated by Cooperative Dimerization. Structure. 2015 May 05; 23(5):903-911. PMID: 25914058.
      Citations: 56     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    18. Luzuriaga K, Gay H, Ziemniak C, Sanborn KB, Somasundaran M, Rainwater-Lovett K, Mellors JW, Rosenbloom D, Persaud D. Viremic relapse after HIV-1 remission in a perinatally infected child. N Engl J Med. 2015 Feb 19; 372(8):786-8. PMID: 25693029.
      Citations: 151     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    19. Renzette N, Somasundaran M, Brewster F, Coderre J, Weiss ER, McManus M, Greenough T, Tabak B, Garber M, Kowalik TF, Luzuriaga K. Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein 1 genetic variability in peripheral blood B cells and oropharyngeal fluids. J Virol. 2014 Apr; 88(7):3744-55. PMID: 24429365.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    20. Bohn MF, Shandilya SM, Albin JS, Kouno T, Anderson BD, McDougle RM, Carpenter MA, Rathore A, Evans L, Davis AN, Zhang J, Lu Y, Somasundaran M, Matsuo H, Harris RS, Schiffer CA. Crystal structure of the DNA cytosine deaminase APOBEC3F: the catalytically active and HIV-1 Vif-binding domain. Structure. 2013 Jun 04; 21(6):1042-50. PMID: 23685212.
      Citations: 63     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    21. Wang S, Kishko M, Wan S, Wang Y, Brewster F, Gray GE, Violari A, Sullivan JL, Somasundaran M, Luzuriaga K, Lu S. Pilot study on the immunogenicity of paired Env immunogens from mother-to-child transmitted HIV-1 isolates. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2012 Nov 01; 8(11):1638-47. PMID: 23151449.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    22. Li M, Shandilya SM, Carpenter MA, Rathore A, Brown WL, Perkins AL, Harki DA, Solberg J, Hook DJ, Pandey KK, Parniak MA, Johnson JR, Krogan NJ, Somasundaran M, Ali A, Schiffer CA, Harris RS. First-in-class small molecule inhibitors of the single-strand DNA cytosine deaminase APOBEC3G. ACS Chem Biol. 2012 Mar 16; 7(3):506-17. PMID: 22181350.
      Citations: 73     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    23. Auclair JR, Somasundaran M, Green KM, Evans JE, Schiffer CA, Ringe D, Petsko GA, Agar JN. Mass spectrometry tools for analysis of intermolecular interactions. Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 896:387-98. PMID: 22821539.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Cells
    24. Kishko M, Somasundaran M, Brewster F, Sullivan JL, Clapham PR, Luzuriaga K. Genotypic and functional properties of early infant HIV-1 envelopes. Retrovirology. 2011 Aug 15; 8:67. PMID: 21843318.
      Citations: 24     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    25. Greenough TC, Campellone SC, Brody R, Jain S, Sanchez-Merino V, Somasundaran M, Luzuriaga K. Programmed Death-1 expression on Epstein Barr virus specific CD8+ T cells varies by stage of infection, epitope specificity, and T-cell receptor usage. PLoS One. 2010 Sep 23; 5(9):e12926. PMID: 20886079.
      Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    26. Shandilya SM, Nalam MN, Nalivaika EA, Gross PJ, Valesano JC, Shindo K, Li M, Munson M, Royer WE, Harjes E, Kono T, Matsuo H, Harris RS, Somasundaran M, Schiffer CA. Crystal structure of the APOBEC3G catalytic domain reveals potential oligomerization interfaces. Structure. 2010 Jan 13; 18(1):28-38. PMID: 20152150.
      Citations: 92     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    27. Sophan S, Meng CY, Pean P, Harwell J, Hutton E, Trzmielina S, Somasundaran M, Luzuriaga K, Pugatch D. Virologic and immunologic outcomes in HIV-infected Cambodian children after 18 months of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2010 Jan; 41(1):126-37. PMID: 20578491.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    28. Mehta N, Trzmielina S, Nonyane BA, Eliot MN, Lin R, Foulkes AS, McNeal K, Ammann A, Eulalievyolo V, Sullivan JL, Luzuriaga K, Somasundaran M. Low-cost HIV-1 diagnosis and quantification in dried blood spots by real time PCR. PLoS One. 2009 Jun 05; 4(6):e5819. PMID: 19503790.
      Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    29. Mitchell C, Jennings C, Brambilla D, Aldrovandi G, Amedee AM, Beck I, Bremer JW, Coombs R, Decker D, Fiscus S, Fitzgibbon J, Luzuriaga K, Moye J, Palumbo P, Reichelderfer P, Somasundaran M, Stevens W, Frenkel L. Diminished human immunodeficiency virus type 1 DNA yield from dried blood spots after storage in a humid incubator at 37 degrees C compared to -20 degrees C. J Clin Microbiol. 2008 Sep; 46(9):2945-9. PMID: 18614660.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    30. Sanchez-Merino V, Farrow MA, Brewster F, Somasundaran M, Luzuriaga K. Identification and characterization of HIV-1 CD8+ T cell escape variants with impaired fitness. J Infect Dis. 2008 Jan 15; 197(2):300-8. PMID: 18177249.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    31. Auclair JR, Green KM, Shandilya S, Evans JE, Somasundaran M, Schiffer CA. Mass spectrometry analysis of HIV-1 Vif reveals an increase in ordered structure upon oligomerization in regions necessary for viral infectivity. Proteins. 2007 Nov 01; 69(2):270-84. PMID: 17598142.
      Citations: 28     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    32. Gibson L, Dooley S, Trzmielina S, Somasundaran M, Fisher D, Revello MG, Luzuriaga K. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) IE1- and pp65-specific CD8+ T cell responses broaden over time after primary CMV infection in infants. J Infect Dis. 2007 Jun 15; 195(12):1789-98. PMID: 17492595.
      Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    33. Greenough TC, Carville A, Coderre J, Somasundaran M, Sullivan JL, Luzuriaga K, Mansfield K. Pneumonitis and multi-organ system disease in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus. Am J Pathol. 2005 Aug; 167(2):455-63. PMID: 16049331.
      Citations: 64     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    34. Farrow MA, Somasundaran M, Zhang C, Gabuzda D, Sullivan JL, Greenough TC. Nuclear localization of HIV type 1 Vif isolated from a long-term asymptomatic individual and potential role in virus attenuation. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2005 Jun; 21(6):565-74. PMID: 15989462.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    35. Greenough TC, Babcock GJ, Roberts A, Hernandez HJ, Thomas WD, Coccia JA, Graziano RF, Srinivasan M, Lowy I, Finberg RW, Subbarao K, Vogel L, Somasundaran M, Luzuriaga K, Sullivan JL, Ambrosino DM. Development and characterization of a severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus-neutralizing human monoclonal antibody that provides effective immunoprophylaxis in mice. J Infect Dis. 2005 Feb 15; 191(4):507-14. PMID: 15655773.
      Citations: 85     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    36. Li W, Greenough TC, Moore MJ, Vasilieva N, Somasundaran M, Sullivan JL, Farzan M, Choe H. Efficient replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in mouse cells is limited by murine angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. J Virol. 2004 Oct; 78(20):11429-33. PMID: 15452268.
      Citations: 100     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    37. Li W, Moore MJ, Vasilieva N, Sui J, Wong SK, Berne MA, Somasundaran M, Sullivan JL, Luzuriaga K, Greenough TC, Choe H, Farzan M. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is a functional receptor for the SARS coronavirus. Nature. 2003 Nov 27; 426(6965):450-4. PMID: 14647384.
      Citations: 2795     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    38. Precopio ML, Sullivan JL, Willard C, Somasundaran M, Luzuriaga K. Differential kinetics and specificity of EBV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells during primary infection. J Immunol. 2003 Mar 01; 170(5):2590-8. PMID: 12594286.
      Citations: 26     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    39. Somasundaran M, Sharkey M, Brichacek B, Luzuriaga K, Emerman M, Sullivan JL, Stevenson M. Evidence for a cytopathogenicity determinant in HIV-1 Vpr. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jul 09; 99(14):9503-8. PMID: 12093916.
      Citations: 45     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    40. Haran JP, Greenough TC, Luzuriaga K, Sullivan JL, Flanigan T, Somasundaran M. Enhanced culture method for detection of replication-competent virus in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HIV type 1-infected individuals. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2002 May 20; 18(8):577-83. PMID: 12036487.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
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