Janet L Brandsma PhD
Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Comparative Medicine and of Pathology
Molecular biology of papillomavirus pathogenesis; Development of protective and therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated disease; Vaccines; Virology
Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are etiologically involved in inducing cervical and other anogenital cancers. Our goals are:
- to define the genetic determinants of papillomavirus-induced benign and malignant disease, and
- to develop a papillomavirus vaccine to prevent tumors from forming, and/or to induce, or accelerate, their regression.
For goal 1: we generate site specific mutations in a complete CRPV genome, test the ability of the mutant genomes to induce disease in rabbits, and characterize lesions that form histologically and biochemically.
For goal 2, we generate, and then bind to fine gold particles, eukaryotic expression vectors for individual CRPV genes. Rabbits are immunized with the DNA-coated particles (the candidate vaccine) using an Accell Gene Delivery System. The rabbit immune response is characterized, and its effectiveness is evaluated by challenge with CRPV.