Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Mark R. Sullivan, PhD

Dr. Sullivan [Merck Fellow] studies the processes that lead to opportunistic infections affecting cancer patients. The human body, which is a hostile environment for pathogens, is well-equipped to fend off infections from most bacteria. However, cancer and chemotherapy can cause inflammation, tissue damage, and impairment of the immune system in ways that leave patients vulnerable to bacterial infection. These opportunistic infections are challenging to treat, as antibiotics often have little effect on these bacteria. Dr. Sullivan aims to identify the bacterial components that allow opportunistic pathogens to live within the lung and survive antibiotic treatment. This research will be critical to discovering more effective therapies to eradicate these infections.

Project title: "Identifying requirements for lung infection by opportunistic pathogens"
Institution: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Named Award: Merck Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Eric J. Rubin, MD, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Infectious Disease