Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type



Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

First Advisor

Robert L. Garcea, M. D.


I completed the honor’s thesis project for two reasons; in order to gain research experience with molecular biology techniques that will serve as the foundation for future doctoral work; and due to the significant implications of papillomavirus infection in both human and animal populations, it is important to formulate a vaccine that is both immunogenically effective and cost-efficient so that susceptible populations can be protected from infection. The thesis project was to determine if bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV1) L1 capsid protein could be expressed and purified from Escherichia)coli. Using several molecular biology techniques including; molecular cloning, gene expression, ion exchange chromatography, ammonium sulfate precipitation, size exclusion chromatography and electron microscopy, I found that recombinant BPV1 L1 protein could be expressed from E. coli and subsequently purified to yield L1 capsomeres. These finding suggest that BPV1 L1 capsomeres can be incorporated into a vaccine preventing infection of BPV1 in susceptible populations.