Brian M. Sullivan, PhD

Institute Investigator
Department of Immunology and Microbiology
California Campus


Research Focus

My lab focuses on the mechanisms of disease during infection with viruses that cause hemorrhagic illness.  We have developed mouse models of severe hemorrhagic disease to study the molecular mechanisms that underlie vascular permeability, hemorrhage, immune-mediated damage, and death.  Through our partnership, the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, a highly collaborative group of scientists and physicians in the United States and Africa, we are translating our findings in mice to disease in humans.

Some of the question we are currently exploring include:

     - Why do some people infected with Lassa virus die, while others survive?
     - Can early markers predict disease outcomes? 
     - How does innate immune signaling affect adaptive responses to cause disease?
     - What are the factors that contribute to vascular permeability?
     - How do host and viral genetics combine to affect disease outcomes? 

As we begin to answer these questions, we will identify host and viral disease mechanisms that can be exploited as targets for pharmaceutical intervention. 


Ph.D. (Immunology, Virology), University of California, Berkeley, 2009
B.A. (Biological Sciences), Columbia University, 2000

Professional Experience

2017-2017 Assistant Professor of Immunology and Microbiology, Immunology and Microbiology, Scripps Research
2014-2017 Assistant Professor of IMS, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research

Selected References

All Publications

Ng CT, Sullivan BM, Teijaro JR, Lee AM, Welch M, Rice M, Sheehan KCF, Schreiber RD, Oldstone MB. Blockade of interferon beta signaling controls persistent viral infection. Cell Host and Microbe. 2015; 17(5):653-61. NIHMSID: NIHMS684042 PMID: 25974304

Sullivan BM, Teijaro JR, de la Torre JC, Oldstone MB. Early virus-host interactions dictate the course of a persistent infection. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Jan 8;11(1):e1004588. PMID: 25569216

Baccala R, Welch MJ, Gonzalez-Quintial R, Walsh KB, Teijaro JR, Nguyen A, Ng CT, Sullivan BM, Zarpellon A, Ruggeri ZM, de la Torre JC, Theofilopoulos AN, Oldstone MB. Type I interferon is a therapeutic target for virus-induced lethal vascular damage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 17;111(24):8925-30. PMID: 24889626

Teijaro JR, Ng C, Lee AM, Sullivan BM, Sheehan KC, Welch M, Schreiber RD, de la Torre JC, Oldstone MB. Persistent LCMV infection is controlled by blockade of type I interferon signaling. Science. 2013 Apr 12;340(6129):207-11. PMID: 23580529

Sullivan BM, Ng CT, Oldstone MB. The role of dendritic cells in viral persistence. Current Opinion in Virology. 2011 Sep 1;1(3):160-166. PMID: 21909344

Sullivan BM, Emonet SF, Welch MJ, Lee AM, Campbell KP, de la Torre JC, Oldstone MB. Point mutation in the glycoprotein of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus is necessary for receptor binding, dendritic cell infection, and long-term persistence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2011 Feb 15;108(7):2969-74 PMID: 21270335

Sullivan BM, Coscoy L. The u24 Protein from Human Herpesvirus 6 and 7 Affects Endocyctic Recycling. Journal of Virology. 2010 Feb; 84: 1265-1275 PMID: 19923186

Sullivan BM, Coscoy L. Downregulation of the T Cell Receptor Complex and Impariment of T Cell Activation by Human Herpesvirus 6 u24 Protein. Journal of Virology. 2008 Jan; 82(2): 602-8. PMID: 17977973


Complete List of Publications

Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium