Penn Dental Medicine

Departments & Faculty

Roselyn J. Eisenberg, PhD

Department of Microbiology
Primary Appointment with
School of Veterinary Medicine


  • PhD, Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania, 1965
  • AB, Biology, Bryn Mawr College, 1960
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Princeton University, 1965-1968


  • Fellow, American Academy of Microbiologists
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Research Interests

Dr. Eisenberg’s overall goal is to understand the mechanisms by which two enveloped viruses, herpes simplex virus (HSV) and poxvirus (vaccinia, VACV) enter susceptible cells. Her research is a collaborative effort with long-term colleague, Dr. Gary H. Cohen, Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology at Penn Dental Medicine; while Dr. Eisenberg is a member of the School of Veterinary Medicine faculty with a secondary appointment at Penn Dental Medicine, her lab is at the Dental School with Dr. Cohen. Both herpesviruses and poxviruses employ a number of viral envelope proteins to accomplish virus-cell fusion. Although the goal is the same – to deliver the viral genome into the host cell, the mechanisms differ. HSV uses four proteins, gD, gB, gH and gL to accomplish this goal, while poxviruses employ many more. Drs. Eisenberg and Cohen and their collaborators solved the crystal structures of gD and gB and these structural studies are being combined with biochemical and microscopy studies to explore how the gD/receptor interaction triggers virus entry and cell fusion. Similar approaches are being used to examine the role of VACV glycoproteins in entry. A candidate receptor binding protein is being used to identify the cell receptor.

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Roselyn J. Eisenberg, PhD
The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030