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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

Hu, Jiabiao, Conrad P. Hodgkinson, Richard E. Pratt, JaeWoo Lee, Bruce A. Sullenger, and Victor J. Dzau. “Enhancing cardiac reprogramming via synthetic RNA oligonucleotides.” Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 23 (March 5, 2021): 55–62.

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Stanfield, Brent A., Todd Purves, Scott Palmer, Bruce Sullenger, Karen Welty-Wolf, Krista Haines, Suresh Agarwal, and George Kasotakis. “IL-10 and class 1 histone deacetylases act synergistically and independently on the secretion of proinflammatory mediators in alveolar macrophages.” Plos One 16, no. 1 (2021): e0245169.

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Holl, Eda K., Victoria Frazier, Karenia Landa, David Boczkowski, Bruce Sullenger, and Smita K. Nair. “Controlling cancer-induced inflammation with a nucleic acid scavenger prevents lung metastasis in murine models of breast cancer.” Mol Ther, December 19, 2020.

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Zakeri, Amanda, Ashutosh P. Jadhav, Bruce A. Sullenger, and Shahid M. Nimjee. “Ischemic stroke in COVID-19-positive patients: an overview of SARS-CoV-2 and thrombotic mechanisms for the neurointerventionalist.” J Neurointerv Surg, December 9, 2020.

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