Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the cause of 99.7% of cervical cancers. Research of cervical cancer has made this disease mostly curable in the developing world. Head and neck cancer, which is increasingly caused by HPV, still is associated with a mortality rate of 50,000 in the US annually. This study proposed to evaluate the biology of HPV-16 in head and neck tumors by using RT-qPCR to measure the RNA expression and its relation to physical status of the virus. Methods: This study was to develop an assay that uses RT-qPCR to determine the quantitative expression of HPV-16 RNA coding for proteins E1, E2, E4, E5, E6, and E7 in tumor samples. The assay development started with creation of primers. It went on to test the primers on template DNA through traditional PCR and then on DNA from HPV-16 positive cell lines, SiHa and CaSki, using RT-qPCR. This paper also describes the troubleshooting methods taken for the PCR reaction. Once the primers are verified, the RT-qPCR process can be carried out on RNA purified from tumor samples. Results: No primer sets have been confirmed to produce a product through PCR or RT-qPCR. The primer sequences match up correctly with known sequences for HPV-16 E1, E2, E4, E5, E6, and E7. RT-qPCR showed results consistent with the hypothesis. Conclusion: The RT-qPCR protocol must be optimized to confirm the primer sequences work as desired. Then primers will be used to study physical status and RNA expression in HPV-positive and HPV-negative head and neck tumor samples. This assay can help shed light on which proteins are expressed most in tumors of the head and neck and will aid in the development of future screening and treatment options.