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Bruce Alan Sullenger, PhD

Joseph W. and Dorothy W. Beard Professor of Experimental Surgery, in the School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
Associate Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Office: 1079 MSRB II, Box 103035, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 103035, Durham, NC 27710

The main focus of my translational research laboratory is to develop RNA based therapeutic agents for the potential treatment of a range of diseases. To this end, we have and will continue to take advantage of the fact that RNA is not just a passive carrier of genetic instructions inside of cells during the conversion of information from DNA to RNA to protein. Rather, RNA is an extremely versatile biological macromolecule. Certian RNAs can bind to specific protiens with high affinities, while others can for catalytic centers and perform enzymatic reactions. These facets of RNA coupled with the ease with which RNA can be manipulated in vitro make it a very powerful and unique therapeutic agent whose potential is largely untapped. Durring our endeavors, we plan to work closely with the members of the Molecular Therapeutics program as well as other faculty at the Duke University Medical Center to expedite the development and testing of these therapeutics.

The specific aims of my laboratory are:

1. To isolate and characterize RNA and DNA aptamers which block therapeutically relavent proteins such as those involved in cardiovascular diseases and immune modulation.

2. To develop RNA-based tumor targeting strategies for delivering siRNAs and miRNAs to tumor cells.

3. To reprogram cells using mRNA delivery.

4. To explore novel methods to control inflammation.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Cornell University, 1990

Selected Grants

Publications

Darrabie, MD, Cheeseman, J, Limkakeng, AT, Borawski, J, Sullenger, BA, Elster, EA, Kirk, AD, and Lee, J. "Toll-like receptor activation as a biomarker in traumatically injured patients(Accepted)." Journal of Surgical Research 231 (November 1, 2018): 270-277.

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Chabata, CV, Frederiksen, JW, Sullenger, BA, and Gunaratne, R. "Emerging applications of aptamers for anticoagulation and hemostasis.(Accepted)" Current Opinion in Hematology 25, no. 5 (September 2018): 382-388.

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Gunaratne, R, Kumar, S, Frederiksen, JW, Stayrook, S, Lohrmann, JL, Perry, K, Bompiani, KM, Chabata, CV, Thalji, NK, Ho, MD, Arepally, G, Camire, RM, Krishnaswamy, S, and Sullenger, BA. "Combination of aptamer and drug for reversible anticoagulation in cardiopulmonary bypass." Nature Biotechnology 36, no. 7 (August 2018): 606-613.

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LaCroix, BL, Patierno, BM, Sullenger, BA, George, DJ, Patierno, SR, and Freedman, JA. "Development of a novel therapeutic splice-switching oligonucleotide targeting race-related androgen receptor signaling and aggressive prostate cancer." 10th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. Atlanta, GA. September 25, 2017 - September 28, 2017.: AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, July 1, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

LaCroix, BL, Patierno, BM, Sullenger, BA, George, DJ, Patierno, SR, and Freedman, JA. "Nutritional profiling reveals glutamine-utilizing transaminases as a metabolic vulnerability of TAZ/YAP-driven breast cancer cells." 10th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. Atlanta, GA. September 25, 2017 - September 28, 2017.: AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, July 1, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Powell Gray, B, Kelly, L, Ahrens, DP, Barry, AP, Kratschmer, C, Levy, M, and Sullenger, BA. "Tunable cytotoxic aptamer-drug conjugates for the treatment of prostate cancer." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115, no. 18 (May 2018): 4761-4766.

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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).

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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.

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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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