Design and Optimization of RSV F for Vaccination

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Wilson, Elizabeth
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Honors Projects and Posters
University Honors Program

The Honors project is potentially the most valuable component of an Honors education. Typically Honors students choose to do their projects in their area of study, but some will pick a topic of interest unrelated to their major.

The Honors Program requires that the project be presented at a poster presentation event. Poster presentations are held each semester. Most students present during their senior year, but may do so earlier if their honors project has been completed.

This site presents project descriptions and selected posters for Honors projects completed since the Fall 2015 semester.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common infection that affects most infants by the age of two, as well as a large percentage of the elderly population. Currently, the majority of prevention lies in the hands of the caretakers: wash hands frequently, avoid contact if sick or have babies wear masks, keep young children away from babies, avoid crowds during outbreaks. As these methods are not always feasible, this project aims to develop a vaccine for RSV by focusing on the fusion (F) glycoprotein. This protein is necessary for the virus to infect, as it assists the virus in fusing to the plasma membrane of the target cell, assisting in the injection of viral RNA into target cells and in spreading the virus to other cells. This work aims to manufacture a recombinant F protein, express high quantities of it, and test its immunogenicity in mice. The virus was tested in both eukaryotic and baculovirus cell lines to determine which provided the most optimum immunological response. Additionally, mitochondrial adjuvants (2-D-glucose) were injected in mice to determine their antigenic responses. This step has prepared for future work in testing the response of the F protein in mice.