Paramyxoviruses are unique among fusion promoting viruses because their receptor binding and fusion activities reside on two separate proteins. This distinctive distribution of functions necessitates a mechanism by which the two proteins can transmit the juxtaposition of the viral and host cell membranes, mediated by the attachment protein (HN/H), into membrane fusion, mediated by the fusion (F) protein. This mechanism allows for paramyxoviruses to gain entry into and spread between cells, and therefore, is an important aspect of virus infection and disease progression. This thesis presents evidence to argue that the IR in the stalk of the NDV HN protein directly mediates the interaction with the F protein that is necessary for fusion. Overall, the data presented in this thesis extend the current knowledge of the mechanism by which the paramyxovirus attachment protein can trigger the F protein to initiate membrane fusion. A clear understanding of this process has the potential to identify new anti-viral strategies, such as small molecule inhibitors, aimed at controlling paramyxovirus infection by interfering with early steps in the virus infection cycle.