Dr. Sullivan received her B.S. (1984) and M.S. (1988) degrees in biology/microbiology from Southeastern Louisiana University. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University Health Sciences Center in 1999 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, studying the role of HIV Tat-induced angiogenesis in the development of Kaposi's sarcoma in 2001. Dr. Sullivan joined the faculty of Tulane University Health Sciences Center as a research assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in 2001. Her research is focused on the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer in response to inhaled environmental agents. She is also interested in the use of stem cells as cell therapy to aid in the repair of injured lung and as vehicles to deliver therapeutic genes for the treatment of lung cancer.
Molecular Mechanisms of Pulmonary Fibrogenesis
The broad interest of our laboratory is to characterize the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that mediate fibroproliferative lung disease and lung cancer. We are using the well-characterized inhaled asbestos model of lung injury as a paradigm for inducing the initial events that lead to fibrogenesis after a single exposure or carcinogenesis upon continued exposure. We are also exploring the potential of adult stem cells to ameliorate lung injury through cellular differentiation and growth factor/cytokine secretion.