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The Hepatitis C virus is the cause of an epidemic of liver cirrhosis and cancer for which there is currently no cure or vaccine
for. One of the issues that arise when trying to develop a vaccine is the high mutation rate the virus undergoes. There are
currently 6 different strains of the Hepatitis C virus, each having multiple subtypes. Vaccines in general work when an immune
response is created after the immune system has been infiltrated by a foreign antigen. A new approach to vaccine design may be
the solution needed for the ever changing Hepatitis C. Peptide vaccines involve the use of B-cell and T-cell epitopes of a target
molecule creating an immunogenic universal vaccine. By using bioinformatics or various computational techniques, we hope to
find and analyze protein sequences in the hepatitis C core that will lead to the development of a global drug.
Nicole S Williams is pursuing a B.S. in Biological Science from Atlanta Metropolitan State College. She has been actively involved in research since
her freshman year, both at AMSC and the Morehouse School of Medicine.
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