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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

Naqvi, I, Gunaratne, R, McDade, JE, Moreno, A, Rempel, RE, Rouse, DC, Herrera, SG, Pisetsky, DS, Lee, J, White, RR, and Sullenger, BA. "Polymer-Mediated Inhibition of Pro-invasive Nucleic Acid DAMPs and Microvesicles Limits Pancreatic Cancer Metastasis." Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy (February 23, 2018).

Full Text

Toulmé, J-J, Giangrande, P, Mayer, G, Suess, B, Ducongé, F, Sullenger, B, de Franciscis, V, Darfeuille, F, and Peyrin, E. "Aptamers in Bordeaux, 24–25 June 2016." Pharmaceuticals 10, no. 4 (December 2017): 14-14.

Full Text

Steen Burrell, K-A, Layzer, J, and Sullenger, BA. "A kallikrein-targeting RNA aptamer inhibits the intrinsic pathway of coagulation and reduces bradykinin release." Journal of thrombosis and haemostasis : JTH 15, no. 9 (September 2017): 1807-1817.

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Woodruff, RS, Ivanov, I, Verhamme, IM, Sun, M-F, Gailani, D, and Sullenger, BA. "Generation and characterization of aptamers targeting factor XIa." Thrombosis research 156 (August 2017): 134-141.

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