Neil D. Christensen, Ph.D.

(The information on this page was copied from

Dr. Christensen's page at the Penn State University web site.)


Co-Investigator, project 3



Associate Professor of Pathology,

and Microbiology and Immunology

College of Medicine

Penn State University


Telephone:  (717) 531-6185



Areas of interest:  
papillomaviruses and tumor immunology



The overall research theme in Dr. Neil Christensenís laboratory is studies on immunity to papillomavirus infections. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection causes hyperproliferative lesions in cutaneous and mucosal epithelium. A proportion of these HPV infections have been shown to progress to malignancies of the uterine cervix. The major subprojects include: 1) characterization of viral capsid neutralizing epitopes; 2) vaccine development; 3) analysis of T-cell recognition of viral epitopes on virus-infected papilloma cells; 4) papillomavirus animal model systems; 5) model systems to test for anti-viral compounds, and 6) methods to propagate human papillomaviruses. Current goals are to test both protective and prophylactic vaccines using animal models of papillomavirus infections.

Publications (selected):
  • Han R, Cladel NM, Reed CA, Peng X, Christensen ND.  Protection of rabbits from viral challenge by gene gun-based intracutaneous vaccination with a combination of cottontail rabbit papillomavirus E1, E2, E6 and E7 genes. Journal of Virology 73:7039-7043, 1999.

  • Han R, Cladel NM, Reed CA, Peng X, Budgeon LR, Pickel M, Christensen ND.  DNA vaccination prevents and/or delays carcinoma development of papillomavirus-induced skin papillomas on rabbits.  Journal of Virology 74:9712-9716, 2000.

  • Christensen ND, Cladel NM, Reed CA, Budgeon LR, Embers ME, McClements WL, Ludmerer SW, Jansen KU.  Hybrid papillomavirus L1 molecules assemble into virus-like particles that reconstruct conformational neutralizing epitopes and induce neutralizing antibodies to distinct HPV types. Virology 291:324-334, 2001.

  • Hu J, Han R, Cladel NM, Christensen ND.  Intracutaneous DNA vaccination with the E8 gene of cottontail rabbit papillomavirus induces protective immunity against virus challenge in rabbits. Journal of Virology 76:6453-6459, 2002.





Project 3





Richard Roden

Raphael Viscidi

Neil Christensen




Lin Xue

William Yutzy

Lynn Budgeon






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