Program Leader, Experimental Therapeutics, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Department of Oncologic Sciences, University of South Florida College of Medicine
Research Interests: Dr. Sullivan’s basic research focuses on DNA topoisomerases, which are the nuclear enzyme targets of several commonly used antineoplastic agents (i.e., topoisomerase I and II inhibitors). Current laboratory investigations aim to (1) uncover mechanisms of resistance to inhibitors of topoisomerases, (2) define the amino acid signals in the topoisomerase proteins that are responsible for trafficking these enzymes in and out of the cell nucleus, and (3) explain the mechanism of synergistic tumor cell kill resulting from the combination of topoisomerase and histone deacetylase inhibitors.
Dr. Sullivan’s translational research efforts are focused on defining the mechanisms of resistance to topoisomerase inhibitors that are operational in patients treated with these inhibitors (e.g., topotecan, irinotecan, doxorubicin, etoposide, mitoxantrone), to ultimately design strategies to preclude or surmount these resistance mechanisms in vivo. Translational efforts are also underway to determine if a specific sequence of administration of alkylating agents and topoisomerase inhibitors, both in standard doses and in high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue, is more efficacious.
Finally, Dr. Sullivan’s clinical research interests, in addition to the translational studies above, are in the area of early phase clinical trials. He is the leader of the Phase I Program, where new cytotoxic drugs and molecularly targeted agents are first used in humans with cancer.
M.S., Biochemistry, University of Louisville
M.D., University of Louisville
Residency, University of Florida
Fellow, University of Florida
Publications: Dr. Sullivan has published over 60 articles in prestigious medical journals such as Nature Genetics, Biochemistry, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, as well as Cancer Research. He is also the author or co-author on a variety of book chapters, monographs and abstracts.
Awards & Honors: Dr. Sullivan received the Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude. While a medical student, he was elected to the AOA Honor Medical Society. As a medical oncology fellow and assistant professor, he received the NIH Clinical Investigator Award for five years. Dr. Sullivan is a manuscript reviewer for several medical journals including the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Molecular and Cellular Biology. He has served as a member of the NIH Experimental Therapeutics-2 study section and is now a member of the NIH Oncology Fellowship Special Emphasis Panel and the American Cancer Society Cancer Drug Development Study Section. Dr. Sullivan has been an ad hoc member of six other NIH study sections and reviews grants for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Medical Research Council of Canada and the U.S. Army Breast Cancer Research Program. Dr. Sullivan is also a member of the newly formed NCI investigational Drug Steering Committee.