Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Garcea

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Martin

Third Advisor

Dr. J. Harrison Carpenter


The research project described in this thesis details the characterization of monoclonal antibodies designed to react with the L1 protein of Human Papillomavirus type 31, as measured by specific laboratory assays. These antibodies were tested for reactivity against HPV31 L1 proteins in Western blots, enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays (ELISAs), and pseudovirus neutralization assays. The characterization of these antibodies is an important step in the production of second-generation HPV vaccines, where the antibodies would be used during the design and manufacturing process. The results of this research present characterization data for each of 48 different monoclonal antibodies produced as to their reactivity in Western blots, ELISAs, and pseudovirus neutralization assays. A wide range of reactivity across all antibodies was observed for each assay. After reviewing the completed data, reactive candidate monoclonal antibodies for each assay were determined and will be immediately utilized in various quality control steps in second-generation vaccine development in the Garcea Lab, expediting the production of more stable and cost-effective multivalent vaccines.