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Charles J. Russell, PhD
Charles J. Russell, PhD

Charles J. Russell, PhD

Associate Member, St. Jude Faculty



PhD – University of California at Berkeley
BS – Chemistry, Millikin University

Research Interests

  • Molecular mechanisms of infectious diseases caused by emerging influenza viruses and paramyxoviruses
  • Negative-strand RNA virus replication and pathogenesis, focusing on influenza viruses and paramyxoviruses
  • Viral envelope glycoproteins as targets for novel vaccines and drugs

Selected Publications

Hu M, Kackos C, Banoth B, Ojha CR, Jones JC, Lei S, Li L, Kercher L, Webby RJ, Russell CJ. Hemagglutinin destabilization in H3N2 vaccine reference viruses skews antigenicity and prevents airborne transmission in ferrets. Science Advances. 9:eadf5182, 2023. PMCID: PMC10058244.

Hu M, Jones JC, Banoth B, Ojha CR, Crumpton JC, Kercher L, Webster RG, Webby RJ, Russell CJ. Swine H1N1 influenza virus variants with enhanced polymerase activity and stability promote airborne transmission in ferrets. J. Virol. 96:e0010022. 2022. PMCID: PMC9006939

Yang G, Ojha C, Russell CJ. Relationship between hemagglutinin stability and influenza virus persistence after exposure to low pH or supraphysiological heating. PLoS Pathogens. 17:e1009910. 2021. PMCID: PMC8445419

Okda F, Perry S, Webby RJ, Russell CJ. Interplay between H1N1 influenza A virus infection, extracellular and intracellular respiratory tract pH, and host responses in a mouse model. PLoS One 16:e0251473. 2021. PMCID: PMC8115840

Hu M, Yang G, DeBeauchamp J, Crumpton JC, Kim H, Li L, Wan X-F, Kercher L, Bowman AS, Webster RG, Webby RJ, Russell CJ. HA stabilization promotes replication and transmission of swine H1N1 viruses in ferrets. eLife 9:e56236. 2020. PMCID: PMC7326494

Russier M, Yang G, Briard B, Meliopoulos V, Cherry S, Kanneganti TD, Schultz-Cherry S, Vogel P, Russell CJ. Hemagglutinin stability regulates H1N1 influenza virus replication and pathogenicity in mice by modulating type I interferon responses in dendritic cells. J. Virol. 94: e01423-19, 2019. PMID 31694942. PMCID: PMC7000976

Cai H, Liu M, Russell CJ. Directed evolution of an influenza reporter virus to restore replication and virulence and enhance noninvasive imaging in mice. J. Virology 92: e00593-18, 2018. PMCID: PMC6069190

Mostafa HH, Vogel P, Srinivasan A, Russell CJ. Dynamics of Sendai virus spread, clearance, and immunotherapeutic efficacy after hematopoietic cell transplant imaged non-invasively in mice. J. Virol. 92:e01705-17. 2018. PMCID: PMC5752929.

Russell CJ, Hu M, Okda F. Influenza hemagglutinin protein stability, activation, and pandemic risk. Trends Microbiol. 2018 Oct;26(10):841-853. Epub 2018 Apr 19. PMCID: PMC6150828

Russell CJ, Jones BG, Sealy RE, Surman SL, Mason JN, Hayden RT, Tripp RA, Takimoto T, Hurwitz JL. A Sendai virus recombinant vaccine expressing a gene for truncated human metapneumovirus (hMPV) fusion protein protects cotton rats from hMPV challenge. Virology 509:60-66, 2017. PMCID: PMC5551427

Russier M, Yang G, Marinova-Petkova A, Vogel P, Kaplan BS, Webby RJ, Russell CJ. H1N1 influenza viruses varying widely in hemagglutinin stability transmit efficiently from swine to swine and to ferrets. PLOS Pathogens 13:e1006276. 2017. PMCID: PMC5362248

Elbahesh H, Bergmann S, Russell CJ. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) regulates polymerase activity of multiple influenza A virus subtypes. Virology 499:369-374, 2016. PMID 27743963.

Mostafa HH, Vogel P, Srinivasan A, Russell CJ. Non-invasive imaging of Sendai virus infection in pharmacologically immunocompromised mice: NK and T cells, but not neutrophils, promote viral clearance after therapy with cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone. PLoS Pathogens 12: e1005875, 2016. PMCID: PMC5010285

Russier M, Yang G, Rehg JE, Wong S-S, Mostafa HH, Fabrizio T, Barman S, Krauss S, Webster RG, Webby RJ, Russell CJ. Molecular requirements for a pandemic influenza virus: an acid-stable hemagglutinin protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113:1636-1641, 2016.PMCID: PMC4760800 

Yoon SW, Chen N, Ducatez MF, McBride R, Barman S, Fabrizio TP, Webster RG, Haliloglu T, Paulson JC, Russell CJ, Hertz T, Ben-Tal N, Webby RJ. Changes to the dynamic nature of hemagglutinin and the emergence of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. Sci Rep 5:12828, 2015.

Zaraket H, Baranovich T, Kaplan B, Carter R, Song M-S, Paulson J, Rehg J, Bahl J, Crumpton J, Seiler P, Edmonson M, Wu G, Karlsson E, Fabrizio T, Zhu H, Guan Y, Husain M, Schultz-Cherry S, Krauss S, McBride R, Webster RG, Govorkova E, Zhang J, Russell C, Webby R. Mammalian adaptation of influenza A(H7N9) virus is limited by a narrow genetic bottleneck. Nat Commun 6:6553, 2015.

Russell CJ, Hurwitz JL. Sendai virus as a backbone for vaccines against RSV and other human paramyxoviruses. Exp Rev Vaccines 9:1-12, 2015.

Burke CW, Li M, Hurwitz JL, Vogel P, Russell CJ. Relationships between dissemination of primary parainfluenza virus infection in the respiratory tract, mucosal and peripheral immune responses, and protection from reinfection: a non-invasive bioluminescence imaging study. J Virol 89:3568-3583, 2015.

Adderson E, Branum K, Sealy RE, Jones BG, Surman SL, Penkert R, Freiden P, Slobod KS, Gaur AH, Hayden RT, Allison K, Howlett N, Utech J, Allay J, Knight J, Sleep S, Meagher M, Russell CJ, Portner A, Hurwitz JL. Safety and immunogenicity of an intranasal Sendai virus-based parainfluenza virus type 1 vaccine in 3-6 year old children. Clin Vaccine Immunol 22:298-303, 2015.

Show More

Russell CJ. Acid-induced membrane fusion by the hemagglutinin protein and its role in influenza virus biology. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 385:93-116, 2014.

Elbahesh H, Cline T, Baranovich T, Govorkova EA, Schultz-Cherry S, Russell CJ. Novel roles of focal adhesion kinase in cytoplasmic entry and replication of influenza A viruses. J Virol 88:6714-6728, 2014.

Burke CW, Bridges O, Brown S, Rahija R, Russell CJ. Mode of parainfluenza virus transmission determines the dynamics of primary infection and protection from reinfection. PLoS Pathogens 9(11):e1003786, 2013.

Zaraket H, Bridges OA, Duan S, Baranovich T, Yoon S-W, Reed ML, Salomon R, Webby RJ, Webster RG, Russell CJ. Increased hemagglutinin protein stability enhances H5N1 influenza virus growth in the nasopharynx but is insufficient for transmission in ferrets. J Virol 87:9911-9922, 2013.

Fouchier RAM, Kawaoka Y, Carona C, Compans RW, Garcia-Sastre A, Govorkova EA, Guan Y, Herfst S, Orenstein WA, Peiris JSM, Perez DR, Richt J, Russell C, Schultz-Cherry SL, Smith DJ, Steel J, Tompkins SM, Topham DJ, Treanor JJ, Tripp RA, Webby RJ, Webster RG. Gain-of-Function experiments on H7N9. Science 341:612-613, 2013.

Mason JN, Elbahesh H, Russell CJ. Influence of antigen insertion site and vector dose on immunogenicity and protective capacity in Sendai virus-based human parainfluenza virus type 3 vaccines. J Virol 87:5959-5969, 2013.

Galloway SE, Reed ML, Russell CJ, Steinhauer DA. Influenza HA subtypes demonstrate divergent phenotypes for cleavage activation and pH of fusion: implications for host range and adaptation.PLoS Pathogens 9:e1003151, 2013.

Zaraket H, Bridges OA, Russell CJ. The pH of activation of the hemagglutinin protein regulates H5N1 influenza virus replication and pathogenesis in mice. J Virol 87:4826-4834, 2013. *Spotlight article of significant interest selected by the Editors.

Russell CJ. Stalking Influenza Diversity with a Universal Antibody. The New England Journal of Medicine 365:1541-2, 2011.

DuBois RM*, Zaraket H*, Reddivari M, Heath RJ, White SW, Russell CJ. Acid stability of the hemagglutinin protein regulates H5N1 influenza virus pathogenicity. PLoS Pathogens 7:e1002398, 2011. *Joint first authors.

Burke CW*, Mason JN*, Surman SL, Jones BG, Dalloneau E, Hurwitz JL, Russell CJ. Illumination of parainfluenza virus infection and transmission in living animals reveals a tissue-specific dichotomy. PLoS Pathogens 7:e1002134, 2011. *Joint first authors.

DuBois RM, Aguilar‐Yañez JM, Mendoza‐Ochoa GI, Oropeza-Almazán Y, Schultz-Cherry S, Alvarez MM, White SW, Russell CJ. The receptor-binding domain of influenza virus hemagglutinin protein produced in Escherichia coli folds into its native, immunogenic structure. J Virol 85:865-872, 2011.

Vanderlinden E, Göktaş F, Cesur Z, Froeyen M, Reed ML, Russell CJ, Cesur N, Naesens L. Novel inhibitors of influenza virus fusion: structure activity relationship and interaction with the viral hemagglutinin. J Virol 84:4277-4288, 2010.

Reed ML, Bridges OA, Seiler P, Kim J-K, Yen H-L, Salomon R, Govorkova EA, Webster RG, Russell CJ. The pH of activation of the hemagglutinin protein regulates H5N1 influenza virus pathogenicity and transmissibility in ducks. J Virol 84:1527-1535, 2010.

Luque LE, Bridges OA, Mason JN, Boyd KL, Portner A, Russell CJ. Residues in the heptad repeat A region of the fusion (F) protein modulate the virulence of Sendai virus in mice. J Virol 84:810-821, 2010. *Spotlight article of significant interest selected by authors.

Boyd V, Mason J, Hanumesh P, Price J, Russell CJ, Webb TR. 2-Substituted-4,5-Dihydroxypyrimidine-6-Carboxamide RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase Targeted Libraries. J Combinatorial Chem 11:1100-1104, 2009.

Watanabe M, Mishin VP, Brown SA, Russell CJ, Boyd K, Babu YS, Taylor G, Xiong X, Yan X, Portner A, Alymova IV. Effect of hemagglutinin-neuraminidase inhibitors BCX 2798 and BCX 2855 on growth and pathogenicity of Sendai/human parainfluenza type 3 chimera virus in mice. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 53:3942-3951, 2009.

Reed ML, Yen H-L, DuBois RM, Bridges OA, Salomon R, Webster RG, Russell CJ. Amino acid residues in the fusion peptide pocket regulate the pH of activation of the H5N1 influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein. J Virol 83:3568-3580, 2009.

Jones B, Zhan X, Mishin V, Slobod KS, Surman S, Russell CJ, Portner A, Hurwitz JL. Human PIV-2 recombinant Sendai virus (rSeV) elicits durable immunity and combines with two additional rSeVs to protect against hPIV-1, hPIV-2, hPIV-3, and RSV. Vaccine 27:1848-1857, 2009.

Zhan X, Slobod KS, Krishnamurthy S, Luque LE, Takimoto T, Jones B, Surman S, Russell CJ, Portner A, Hurwitz JL. Sendai virus recombinant vaccine expressing hPIV-3 HN or F elicits protective immunity and combines with a second recombinant to prevent hPIV-1, hPIV-3 and RSV infections.Vaccine 26:3480-3488, 2008.

Luque LE, Russell CJ. Spring-loaded heptad repeat residues regulate the expression and activation of the paramyxovirus fusion (F) protein. J Virol 81:3130-3141, 2007.

Russell CJ, Luque LE. The structural basis of paramyxovirus invasion. Trends Microbiol 14:243-246, 2006.

Russell CJ, Webster RG. The genesis of a pandemic influenza virus. Cell 123:368-371, 2005.Russell CJ, Jardetzky TS, Lamb RA. Conserved glycine residues in the fusion peptide of the paramyxovirus fusion protein regulate activation of the native state. J Virol 78:13727-13742, 2004.

Waning DL, Russell CJ, Jardetzky TS, Lamb RA. Activation of a paramyxovirus fusion protein is modulated by inside-out signaling from the cytoplasmic tail. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:9217-9222, 2004.

Russell CJ, Kantor KL, Jardetzky TS, Lamb RA. A dual-functional paramyxovirus F protein regulatory switch segment: activation and membrane fusion. J Cell Biol 163:363-374, 2003.

Takeda M, Leser GP, Russell CJ, Lamb RA. Influenza virus hemagglutinin concentrates in lipid raft microdomains for efficient viral fusion. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:14610-14617, 2003.

Russell CJ, Jardetzky TS, Lamb RA. Membrane fusion machines of paramyxoviruses: capture of intermediates of fusion. EMBO Journal 20:4024-4034, 2001.

Last update: April 2023