|Institution||College of Medicine|
|Address||500 University Drive Hershey PA 17033|
Professor of Pathology, and Microbiology and Immunology
Associate Chief of Experimental Pathology
Medical Director, Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation
GRADUATE PROGRAM AFFILIATIONS:
Integrative Biosciences, MD/PhD Degree Program, Microbiology and Immunology, Cell and Molecular Biology
Ph.D., Auckland University, Auckland, New Zealand, 1984
Postdoctoral Training, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 1984-1990
The overall research theme in Dr. Neil Christensen’s laboratory is studies on immunity and pathogenesis of 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. Our more recent studies include identification of host receptor molecules involved in papillomavirus uptake and internalization, and the development of a transgenic animal model to study the role of HLA Class I in papillomavirus immunity.
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