Skip to Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Microbiology Logo Microbiology & Immunology
Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

Bennett Henzeler L

Job description:

Bennett is a PhD student from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago. He has a wide exposure in the field of virology and molecular biology. He has previously worked on generating full length infectious molecular clones of a HIV subtype. His current research interest is to decipher the anti -viral potential of class II Histone deacetylases in Influenza A Virus infection. Indeed, his passion towards virology has driven him to explore new arenas to find breakthroughs for infectious diseases. He is also an excellent demonstrator and tutor to undergrads. He works closely with Māori and Pacific community to help with student make their steps to postgraduate study. 

Research interests:

Virus Host Interaction

Current research:

Thesis: "Class II HDACs, an antiviral toolbox in influenza A virus infection"

Influenza A virus (IAV) is a primordial acute respiratory illness. IAV interacts with a plethora of host factors in each stage of its life cycle. Host acetylation plays a crucial role during IAV infection and different classes of the host histone deacetylases (HDACs) are central in negatively regulation. Recent findings exemplified that HDAC4 and 6 of class II have an antiviral role in IAV infection. The class II contains four other, HDAC 5, 7, 9 and 10. My work involves showcasing that the rest of Class II [a (5,7,9) and b (10)] HDAC (RoCIIH) will have an antiviral role in IAV infection. I also work on delineating the mechanism involved by using global transcriptome (RNA-Sequencing). 

About me:   



2021: DT Jones and Webster Chair - TRVAEL GRANT

2020: Sandy Smith Scholarship - GRANT IN AID

2020: University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship

2019: University of Otago International Masters Scholarship


Hussain M, Ahmed F, Henzeler B, Husain M. Anti-microbial host factor HDAC6 is antagonised by the influenza A virus through host caspases and viral PA. FEBS J. 2022 Dec 14. doi: 10.1111/febs.16703. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36516338.

Daniel EA, Esakialraj L BH, S A, Muthuramalingam K, Karunaianantham R, Karunakaran LP, Nesakumar M, Selvachithiram M, Pattabiraman S, Natarajan S, Tripathy SP, Hanna LE. Pooled Testing Strategies for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis: A comprehensive review. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2021 Oct;101(2):115432. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2021.115432. Epub 2021 May 17. PMID: 34175613; PMCID: PMC8127528.

Ashokkumar M, Sonawane A, Sathiyamani B, Esakialraj L BH, Hanna LE. An invitro dataset on infectious potential of transmitted/founder (TF) and non-TF (NT) HIV-1 viruses generated from Interferon alpha-treated primary CD4+ T cells. Data Brief. 2020 Feb 29;29:105365. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2020.105365. PMID: 32195300; PMCID: PMC7075791.