Neil D. Christensen, Ph.D.
(The information on this page was
Dr. Christensen's page at the Penn State University web site.)
and Microbiology and
College of Medicine
Areas of interest:
papillomaviruses and tumor immunology
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
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.
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,
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.