Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Larry Grill

Reader 2

Jennifer Armstrong

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information



The coronavirus remains a significant cause of human deaths and has led to several outbreaks and pandemics throughout the world (Le et al., 2020). The most current coronavirus outbreak is cause by the betacoronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which has effectively destroyed economies, led to the overcapacity of hospitals, emptied public spaces, infected millions, and killed hundreds of thousands of people and the numbers continue to grow (Lurie et al., 2020). A vaccine can create a herd immunity throughout the world in order to protect the population from this virus. Many vaccines are currently being designed and tested and have a lot of potential in producing effective antibodies, while still remaining safe. However, the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 is a short term solution and the need for a universal vaccine has become apparent. This research proposes a conserved region in replicase polyprotein 1a, a highly conserved protein throughout the coronaviruses, that has potential to serve as an epitope design for a universal coronavirus vaccine. This epitope is WEYGKCER and is composed of amino acids that are predicted, through several bioinformatics analyses, to be immunogenic, accessible, and hydrophilic. Although in vitro and in vivo studies still must be performed to confirm it as an effective epitope design, this study serves to add a region of the coronavirus that can be explored for a universal vaccine.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.