College of Medicine professor receives Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal

Neil Christensen, professor of pathology and microbiology and immunology at Penn State College of Medicine and director of the Jake Gittlen Laboratories for Cancer Research, received the Penn State 2018 Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement.

Christensen was awarded the Faculty Scholar Medal in Entrepreneurship, Technology Transfer and Economic Development. He spent three decades studying the immunity and pathogenesis of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection to better understand how the virus can lead to genital malignancies.

His research involves the construction of a large and diverse set of monoclonal antibodies to various viral and host proteins with particular strength and probes that recognize HPV capsids and that have virus neutralizing activities. Christensen’s antibodies were foundational for the development of commercially available HPV vaccines and vaccine candidates.

“The interest in Christensen’s antibodies supports his mastery for antibody creation,” a nominator said. “His expertise is not limited to the generation of antibodies against HPV. Christensen and his team have experience in antibody purification, Fab production, immunoassays and the construction of single-chain variable fragment reagents. Because of this experience, he is currently collaborating with more than 15 Penn State colleagues, creating antibodies for various clinical targets and applications.”

Established in 1980, the Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme.

Read more about Christensen and the other medal recipients on Penn State News.

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Last Updated May 16, 2018