Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Cassandra Eagle

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Rachel Greene, Douglas Lowman, Hilary Malatino


The goal of this research was the development of a method to extract pure (1,3/1,6)-β-glucans from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These β-glucans are of pharmaceutical importance because an animal’s immune system can recognize glucan molecules, and these molecules can act as immunomodulators, essentially turning on the immune system. The problem in the past has been that previously published methods produce β-glucans with low side chain lengths and few branching occurrences. This issue was tackled by a multivariable approach that reduced extraction steps, initial sample size, and concentrations of reagents used. This method has been shown to produce greater yields of β-glucans while maintaining high purity. Analyses such as 1H-NMR and GC-MS have been used to confirm the content of the extracted glucans. Ideally, this research will generate interest for further β-glucan studies and ultimately be utilized pharmacologically with immunocompromised individuals.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.