Sullivan Lab Mission Statement


Our lab seeks to understand the intersection of viruses, non-coding RNA, and the immune system. We study how viruses interact with host-non-coding-RNA machineries to replicate and cause pathogenesis, and conversely, how hosts utilize non-coding RNA to elicit and regulate the immune response. Most importantly, we are a collective of science-loving individuals that strive to increase our understanding of pathogen-host interactions on a daily basis, while not just enjoying our work but the company of our fellow lab members.

The discovery of silencing non-coding RNAs has dramatically changed our understanding of the regulation of gene expression. This has opened up a new area in the regulation of the immune response. Our research focuses on understanding the role of non-coding RNAs in virus infection and host defense pathways. We work with an array of diverse virus families including DNA tumor viruses and RNA viruses, as well as the enzyme DUSP11. DUSP11 is an RNA phosphatase that helps to regulate the innate immune response.

Our goals are several-fold:

  1. To understand the functions of viral and host-encoded non-coding RNAs and how they contribute to viral lifecycle and pathogenesis
  2. To explore the functions and regulation of immunogenic non-coding RNAs
  3. To uncover new mechanisms of gene regulation utilized by viruses and the host
  4. To use viruses as "molecular divining rods" to probe for new classes of host defense pathways.