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Dean Donna Murasko, PhD

Donna Murasko, PhD

Professor Emerita
Department of Biology
Phone: 215.895.1892

Please note: Dr. Murasko no longer accepts graduate students due to her emerita (retired) status.


  • PhD, Microbiology, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA, 1975
  • BA, Bacteriology, Douglass College of Rutgers, The State University, New Brunswick, NJ, 1972

Postdoctoral Training

  • Postdoctoral Associate, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, 1976-77
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, The Institute for Cancer Research, Philadelphia, PA, 1975-76

Academic Positions

  • 2022:  Professor Emerita of Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2002 - 2022: Professor of Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2002 - Present: Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2002 - Present: Professor of Medicine, College of Medicine, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1998 - 2002: Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, MCP Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1998 - 2002: Professor of Medicine, MCP Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA

Academic Administration

  • 2003 - 2018: Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2002 - 2003: Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2002: Vice Provost, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1996 - 2002: Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Research Interests:

Although my initial training was in tumor immunology, the focus of my research for more than 20 years examined changes in immune response with increasing age. Utilizing both mouse models and human samples, my colleagues and I investigated the immune response to viruses: control of primary virus infections in mice and protection from influenza disease after vaccination of humans. Due to the importance of CD8 T cell response in virus infections, most of our work included CD8 T cells. We consistently demonstrated an age-associated decrease and delay in response to virus using three different viruses, two strains of mice and humans. Previous studies focused on intrinsic changes in the CD8 T cells and the role of extrinsic factors (e.g., dendritic cells, Treg, and cytokine production).

Honors and Awards

  • 2012: Association for Women in Science: Elizabeth W. Bingham Mentoring Award
  • 2009: Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2001: Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
  • 2000: Research Award, Drexel University
  • 2000 - 2001: ELAM Fellow

Research Activities

Research Grants as Principal Investigator

NIH R21 AGO41510
Total Direct Costs:
Years of Award:
Immunity of aged mice after lifelong repeated live or killed influenza vaccines
September 2011 - July 2013
NIH 1R43 A1085783-01 A1
Total Direct Costs:
Years of Award:

Novel Protein Adjuvant for Flu Vaccine
July 2010 - June 2012
NIH R01 AG14913
Total Direct Costs:
Years of Award:
Persistent Virus Infection in Aged Mice
April 1998 - March 2010
NIH R01 AG18641
Total Direct Costs:
Years of Award:
T Cell Response of Elderly to Influenza Immunization
September 2000 - June 2004



  • Jiang, J., Fisher, E.M., Murasko, D.M., 2013. Intrinsic defects in CD8 T cells with aging contribute to impaired primary antiviral responses. Exp Gerontol. June; 48(6):579-86.
  • Nogusa, S., Murasko, D.M., Gardner, E.M., 2012. Differential effects of stimulatory factors on natural killer cell activities of young and aged mice. J. Gerontol. A. Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. Sept; 67(9):947-54.
  • Jiang, J., Fisher, E.M., Murasko, D.M., 2011. CD8 T cell responses to influenza virus infection in aged mice. Ageing Res. Rev., Sept; 10(4):422-7.
  • Williams-Bey, Y., Jiang, J., Murasko, D.M., 2011. Expansion of regulatory T cells in aged mice following influenza infection. Mech. Ageing. Dev., Apr; 132(4):163-70.
  • He, S., Kato, K., Jiang, J., Wahl, D.R., Mineishi, S., Fisher, E.M., Murasko, D.M., Glick, G.D., Zhang, Y., 2011. Characterization of the metabolic phenotype of rapamycin-treated CD8+ T cells with augmented ability to generate long-lasting memory cells. PLoS One, 2011:6(5):e20107.
  • Jiang, J., Fisher, E., Bennett, A.J., Murasko, D.M., 2010. Enhancement of virus-specific expansion of transgenic CD8 T Cells in aged mice by dendritic cells mechanisms of ageing and development. Mech. Ageing Develop., 131: 580-583.
  • Jiang, J., Bennett, A.J., Fisher, E., Williams-Bey, Y., Shen, H. and Murasko, D.M., 2009. Limited expansion of virus-specific CD8 T cells in the aged envrionment. Mech. Ageing Develop., 130: 713-721.
  • Uchida, T., Scumpia, P.O., Murasko, D.M., Seki, S., Woulfe, S., Clare-Salzler, M.J., and Moldawer, L.L., 2007. Variable Requirement of Dendritic Cells for Recruitment of NK and T Cells to Different TLR Agonists. J. Immunology, 178(6): 3886-92.
  • Gallagher, Jr., M.J., Vaze, N., Gangoli, S., Vasilets, V.N., Gutsol, A.F., Milovanova, T.N., Anandan, S., Murasko, D.M., Friedman, A.A., 2007. Rapid Inactivation of Airborne Bacteria Using Atmospheric Pressure Dielectric Barrier Grating Discharge. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 35(5): 1501-1510.
  • Jiang, J., Gross, D., Elbaum, P., and Murasko, D.M. 2007. Aging affects initiation and continuation of T cell proliferation. Mech. Ageing Develop., 128: 332-339.
  • Gonzales, E., Gardner, E. and Murasko, D.M. 2007. Recruitment and retention of older adults in influenza immunization study. J. Cultural Diversity, 14: 81-87.

Books and Chapters

  • Committee for the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space; National Research Council. Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011.
  • Gravenstein, S., Mody, L., Murasko, D.M., 2011. From Publication to Practice: An interdisciplinary look at the new developments in the prevention and treatment of influenza in older adults. The Gerontological Society of America, 1-16.
  • Gardner, E. and Murasko, D.M., 2009. Age-Related Changes in Type 1 and Type 2 Cytokine Production in Humans. Handbook on Immunosenescence, Springer Science & Business Media B.V.
  • Jiang, J. and Murasko, D.M., 2005. Response of Aged Mice to Primary Virus Infections. Immunol. Rev. 205, pp. 285-296.