Ana Fernandez-Sesma, PhD
img_Ana Fernandez-Sesma
PROFESSOR | Microbiology
PROFESSOR | Medicine, Infectious Diseases
Research Topics
AIDS/HIV, Antivirals, Dendritic Cells, Immune Antagonism, Infectious Disease, Inflammation, Influenza Virus, Interferon, Interferon Antagonists, Macrophage, Mucosal Immunology, Viruses and Virology
Multi-Disciplinary Training Area
Immunology [IMM], Microbiology [MIC]
Evasion of innate immunity by dengue virus (DENV)
Specific Clinical/Research Interests Mechanisms of evasion of immunity by dengue and influenza viruses; human immunology in viral infections. Generation of recombinant viruses.
Current Students: 
Junior faculty:  Irene Ramos, PhD. Sebastian Aguirre, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellows:  Ana Maestre, PhD,  Rafael Fenutria-Aumesquet, PhD, Paula Lopez-Monteagudo, PhD.
Students: Edwin Carbajal, Jessica Pintado-Silva, Tong-Tong Zhu, Gabe Webb.
Research Personnel: Dabeiba Bernal-Rubio, Uma Potla
Past Members: Rebecca Hamlin PhD ,Kevin Maringer, PhD, Anthony Fredericks Ms, Sarah Pagni, PhD, Juan R. Rodriguez, PhD, Timothy Savage, MS, Phoenix Bell, MS.

Summary of Research Studies:

The main focuses of study in the Fernandez-Sesma laboratory are the interactions of   important human pathogens with primary human immune cells.     

  • Dengue virus  (DENV)is an important human pathogen for which there is no vaccine or treatment available. Dengue is a flavivirus transmitted to humans by the bite of the mosquito aedes aegipti. We are studying the role of different primary human cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages in the initiation or evasion of immunity by DENV. We have analyzed the pattern of gene expression and cytokine secretion in different primary cells after DENV infection and have recently shown that the DENV protease complex (NS2B/3) is crucial for the inhibition of type I IFN production by DENV in primary human DCs, an important step in the generation of the innate and adaptive immune responses by this virus. We are currently studying how primary isolates of DENV are able to initiate or evade immune responses in human primary cells.
  • We are also studying adaptation of DENV to human and mosquito cells as part of a DARPA funded  multi-investigator project led by Dr. Raul Andino at UCSF. Our laboratory is interested in innate immune evasion by this virus as a measure of adaptation and fitness.
Innate immunity to dengue virus and influenza virus
The Fernandez-Sesma laboratory studies innate immunity evasion by viruses of human health interest, such a dengue virus (DENV), influenza virus and other viruses, such as HIV. The main area of research in the Fernandez-Sesma laboratory is DENV, which is the most important mosquito transmitted virus in the world for which no vaccines or antiviral drugs are currently available. Additionally the Fernandez-Sesma laboratory investigates the interactions of influenza viruses with human immune cells and the strategies of innate immune evasion developed by important human pathogen.
For updated information please visit the Fernandez-Sesma lab website:

MS, University of Salamanca

PhD, Mount Sinai Graduate School (CUNY)


Best Faculty Mentor to Postdoctoral Fellows

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at mount Sinai

Ana Fernandez-Sesma, PhD

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Dr. Fernandez-Sesma has not yet completed reporting of Industry relationships.

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