Alon Herschhorn, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine

Alon Herschhorn

Contact Info

Mailing Address:
Microbiology and Immunology
1st Floor Mailroom
MRF 2821A
689 23rd Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Lab Address:
Microbiology Research Facility
689 23rd Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
IDIM Admin

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Administrative Fax Number

Tel Aviv University President and Rector Fellowship (2004-2008)

Rothschild Fellowship (2010-2011)

Krim Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Research, American foundation for AIDS research (2013-2014)

PhD, Medical Sciences (Virology & Immunology), Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel

MSc, Medical Sciences, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel

BA, Molecular Biochemistry, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel


Alon Herschhorn Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his current faculty appointment, Dr. Herschhorn held a faculty position as Instructor in Microbiology and Immunobiology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, where he developed strong research program on virus entry and fate, with a specific focus on HIV-1. Dr. Herschhorn successfully obtained the prestigious Rothschild and amfAR fellowships as well as external funding, and developed productive collaborations with different research groups in USA and Canada.

Dr. Herschhorn is leading a new research group in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine that will develop new tools to study, at the molecular and cellular levels, the mechanisms underlying virus-host interactions. His previous work provided new insights into the entry process of HIV-1, the conformational dynamics of the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins, and the cellular processes that contribute to the fate of viral infection.


  • Virus-host interactions
  • Molecular Virology, biology, and immunology
  • Synthetic and systems virology
  • Antibody engineering

Awards & Recognition

  • Summa Cum Laude, B.A. in Molecular Biochemistry (1999)
  • Summa Cum Laude, M.Sc. in Medical Sciences (2002)
  • Tel Aviv University President and Rector Fellowship (2004-2008)
  • Trotzki Prize for academic excellence (2007)
  • Rothschild Fellowship (2010-2011)
  • Young investigator award, Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (2013)
  • Krim Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Research, American Foundation for AIDS research (2013-2014) Divisions


Research Summary/Interests

My laboratory is working on exciting directions to understand and target HIV-1 host interactions at the molecular and cellular levels. We use interdisciplinary approaches at the interface of synthetic and molecular virology, immunology and cell biology to gain new insights into complex biological processes with the aim of translating these insights into novel therapies and vaccines to treat and prevent viral infections.


  • Herschhorn, A.*, Gu, C., Moraca, F., Ma, X., Farrell, M. Smith, A.B.,Pancera, M., Kwong, P.D., Schön, A., Freire, E., Abrams C., Blanchard, S.C., Mothes, W. & Sodroski, J.G.* The ?20-?21 of gp120 is a regulatory switch of HIV-1 Env conformational transitions. Nat. Commun. 8, 1049 (2017).
    *Co-corresponding author
  • Pancera, M., Lai, Y-T. Bylund, T., Druz, A., Narpala, S., O’Dell, S., Schön, A., Bailer, R.T., Chuang, G-W., Geng, H., Louder, M.K., Rawi, R., Soumana, D.I., Finzi, A., Herschhorn, A., Madani, N., Sodroski, J., Freire, E., Langley, D.R., Mascola, J.R., McDermott, A. & Kwong, P.D. Crystal structures of HIV-1 Env with small molecule-entry inhibitors BMS-378806 and BMS-626529. Nat. Chem. Biol. 13, 1115-1122 (2017).
  • Herschhorn, A., Gu, C., Espy, N., Richard, J., Finzi, A. & Sodroski, J.G. A broad HIV-1 inhibitor blocks envelope glycoprotein transitions critical for entry. Nat. Chem. Biol. 10, 845-852 (2014).
  • Highlighted by Ward, A. Small-molecule inhibitors: Viral fusion arrested. Nat. Chem. Biol.10, 797–798 (2014)
  • Highlighted in Nature SciBX 7, 37 (2014); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.1101
  • The inhibitor was selected by Nature Chemical Biology as a chemical probe


Academic Interests and Focus

Molecular and synthetic virology; Host response to viral infection; Humoral immunology; Molecular biochemistry


Clinical Interests

HIV-1 infection and latency; HIV-1 vaccine and eradication