Skip to main content

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

Nimjee, Shahid M., David Dornbos, George A. Pitoc, Debra G. Wheeler, Juliana M. Layzer, Nicholas Venetos, Allyson Huttinger, et al. “Preclinical Development of a vWF Aptamer to Limit Thrombosis and Engender Arterial Recanalization of Occluded Vessels..” Mol Ther 27, no. 7 (July 3, 2019): 1228–41.

Full Text

Moreno, Angelo, George A. Pitoc, Nancy J. Ganson, Juliana M. Layzer, Michael S. Hershfield, Alice F. Tarantal, and Bruce A. Sullenger. “Anti-PEG Antibodies Inhibit the Anticoagulant Activity of PEGylated Aptamers..” Cell Chem Biol 26, no. 5 (May 16, 2019): 634-644.e3.

Full Text

Kasotakis, George, Ekaterina Kintsurashvili, Manuel D. Galvan, Christopher Graham, J Todd Purves, Suresh Agarwal, David L. Corcoran, Bruce A. Sullenger, Scott M. Palmer, and Daniel G. Remick. “Histone Deacetylase 7 Inhibition in A Murine Model of Gram-Negative Pneumonia-Induced Acute Lung Injury..” Shock, May 2, 2019.

Full Text

Chabata, Charlene V., Ruwan Gunaratne, James W. Frederiksen, and Bruce A. Sullenger. “Exploring Novel Aptamer-Heparin Combinations to Improve Anticoagulation Therapy in Cardiopulmonary Bypass.” In Molecular Therapy, 27:364–65. CELL PRESS, 2019.