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Cardiovascular Biology Laboratory

Photo of Bruce Alan Sullenger, PhD

Bruce Alan Sullenger, PhD

Office: 421 Medical Sciences Building Durham, NC 27710
Phone: 919-684-6375

The Cardiovascular Biology Laboratory, under the direction of Bruce Sullenger, is focused on multidisciplinary translational research approaches to the study of blood coagulation, inflammation, and atherogenesis at the molecular level. Novel anti-coagulation approaches developed within the program are presently undergoing pre-clinical and clinical evaluation. Ongoing studies are aimed at exploring molecular therapeutic approaches in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

The lab strives to develop novel, safe, and effective nucleic acid therapeutics. The lab currently focuses on two areas:

RNA and DNA Repair by Targeted Trans-Splicing

  • RNA repair: Using spliceosome-mediated or group I ribozyme-directed approaches
  • DNA repair: Using the group II mobile intron 

Goals for each approach

  • Evaluate and enhance activity in mammalian cell lines, primary cells, and animal models
  • Apply to clinically relevant targets such as beta-globin (sickle cell anemia, beta-thalassemia), p53 (cancer), mitochondrial genome (certain muscular/neurologic conditions), CCR5 (HIV)
  • Uncover factors influencing trans-splicing and reactions specific to the group II mobile intron 


RNA Ligands To Block or Alter Target Protein Functions

  • In-vitro selection and combinatorial chemistry
  • Cell cycle modulator
  • Immune response modulator
  • Anticoagulation
  • For targeted delivery of siRNAs

The SELEX Process

Latest Publications

Corey, Kristin M., Lyra B. Olson, Ibtehaj A. Naqvi, Sarah A. Morrison, Connor Davis, Shahid M. Nimjee, Loretta G. Que, et al. “Exposure and Outcome in practice: a retrospective cohort study between fibrinolytic suppression and hypercoagulability, the severity of hypoxemia, and mortality in COVID-19 patients.” Anesthesiology, April 11, 2022.

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Naqvi, Ibtehaj, Nicholas Giroux, Lyra Olson, Sarah Ahn Morrison, Telmo Llanga, Tolu O. Akinade, Yuefei Zhu, et al. “DAMPs/PAMPs induce monocytic TLR activation and tolerance in COVID-19 patients; nucleic acid binding scavengers can counteract such TLR agonists.” Biomaterials 283 (April 2022): 121393.

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Reed, Christopher R., Desiree Bonadonna, James C. Otto, Charles Griffin McDaniel, Charlene Vongai Chabata, Maragatha Kuchibhatla, James Frederiksen, et al. “Aptamer-based factor IXa inhibition preserves hemostasis and prevents thrombosis in a piglet model of ECMO.” Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 27 (March 8, 2022): 524–34.

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