John M. Sullivan MD, PhD

John Sullivan

John M. Sullivan
MD, PhD

Professor of Ophthalmology

Department of Ophthalmology

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences


Specialty/Research Focus

Bioinformatics; Biophysical Modeling; Computational Drug Discovery; Drug Design; Drug Development; Drug Discovery; Electrophysiology; Gene Delivery; Gene Expression; Gene Therapy; Gene Therapy; Imaging In Vivo; Inherited Metabolic Disorders; Membrane Biophysics; Metalloenzymes; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Molecular Basis of Disease; Molecular diagnostics; Molecular genetics; Multimodal Imaging Technology; Nanoparticles; Neurodegenerative disorders; Ophthalmology; Pathophysiology; Pediatric Ophthalmology; Protein Folding; Retina; Retina – retinal disease and therapy; RNA; Transcription and Translation; Vision science

Contact Information
VA Western NY Healthcare System
Medical Research, Bldg 20, Rm 245
3495 Bailey Ave
Buffalo, New York 14215
Phone: (716) 862-6533
Fax: (716) 862-6526
js354@buffalo.edu


Patient Care

This faculty member is affiliated with UBMD, practicing physicians who are also professors in the Jacobs School.

View this physician on UBMD


Professional Summary:

I am a Clinician Scientist working in the field of hereditary retinal and macular degenerations. I direct a regional referral service for these diseases at the Ross Eye Institute. My NIH- and VA-funded laboratory is focused on the development of gene-based and nucleic acid therapeutics for hereditary retinal degenerations and common age-related macular degeneration.

Education and Training:

  • Fellowship, Retinal Degenerative Diseases, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (1994)
  • Residency, Ophthalmology, Washington Univ. School Medicine, St. Louis MO (1992)
  • MD, Medicine/Biophysics, Mount Sinai School Medicine, NY (1987)
  • PhD, Biophysics, Medicine/Biophysics, Mount Sinai School Medicine (1987)
  • BA, Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (1979)

Employment:

  • Professor, Ophthalmology, University at Buffalo- State University of New York Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (2017-present)
  • Staff Physician, VA Western NY Healthcare System (2004-present)
  • Associate Professor with tenure, Ophthalmology, University at Buffalo- State University of New York Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (2011–2017)
  • Associate Professor- tenure track, Ophthalmology, University at Buffalo- State University of New York Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (2004–2011)
  • Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology, Upstate Medical University- State University of New York Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (1994–2004)
  • Lecturer in Ophthalmology, University of Michigan (1992–1994)
  • Fellow in Neurobiology; Staff Physician, Washington University School of Medicine; John Cochran Veterans Administration Hospital (1991–1992)
  • Resident in Ophthalmology (PGY2- PGY4), Washington University School of Medicine (1988–1991)
  • Intern (PGY1), St. John's Mercy Medical Center (1987–1988)

Awards and Honors:

  • Chair of the Ad Hoc Tenure and Promotions Committee of the JSMBS (2021)
  • Notable Story about Dr. Sullivan and the Ross Eye Institute Retinal Degeneration Program. In UB Medicine Magazine commemorating the historic 175th anniversary (2021)
  • Clinical Scientist Award (2020)

Research Expertise:

  • RNA and Nucleic Acid Drug Discovery: Our current efforts are directed to discovery of enhanced forms of catalytic RNAs for use as gene therapeutic agents or direct nucleic acid therapeutics

Research Centers:

  • Ira G. Ross Eye Institute Research Center

UB 2020 Strategic Strengths:

  • Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan
  • Information and Computing Technology
  • Integrated Nanostructured Systems
  • Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • January 2025–December 2027
    A Ribozyme Rescue Strategy for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
    VA Central Office
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $330,000
  • October 2009–December 2024
    A Ribozyme Rescue Strategy for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
    Veterans Administration BLRD Merit Award
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $715,000
  • April 2020–March 2024
    Immunotherapy for acute lung injury secondary to influenze
    National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $1,747,088
  • January 2022–December 2022
    Development of Enhanced Hammerhead Ribozymes (E-hhRzs) as Therapeutics for AMD and other Retinal Diseases
    JB McDonald Foundation, Evergreen CO Donald R. McJunkin, President
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $15,000
  • September 2003–September 2022
    A Ribozyme Rescue Strategy for Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa
    National Eye Institute
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $975,000
  • March 2020–September 2021
    VA Merit Technology Transfer Supplement Award
    Veterans Administration Central Office
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $100,000
  • February 2019–September 2019
    Shared Equipment Evaluation Program (ShEEP)- Upgrade of Retinal Optical Coherence Tomography Instrumentation
    Veterans Administration- VA Central Office
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $470,000
  • June 1996–May 2001
    The Early Receptor Current of Rhodopsin Activation
    National Eye Institute
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $350,000

Patents:

  • COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS FOR THERAPY OF MACULAR DEGENERATION An novel approach for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration and juvenile macular degeneration through the use of nucleic acid therapeutics. (2013)
  • Method for identification of polynucleotides capable of cleaving target mRNA Approach to identify rare accessible regions in therapeutic target RNAs, and the development of high throughput screening approaches to identify lead nucleic acid therapeutic agents. (2012)

Journal Articles:

See all (25 more)

Abstracts:

  • Myers JM, Sullivan JM. (2020) RNA Structure-Function Properties in Facilitated hammerhead ribozymes with unprecedented catalytic rates. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). (Jun) 2293, (2293) Oral
  • Myers JM, Sullivan JM. (2022) Synthetic Nuclease Resistant Enhanced Hammerhead Ribozymes for Nucleic Acid Ocular Therapeutics. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Denver, Colorado (Jun) Poster; Oral
  • Seraly M, Sullivan JM. (2022) A novel homozygous nonsense mutation in the PDE6C gene discovered in a patient with achromatopsia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Denver, Colorado (Jun), (ID 3707765) Poster
  • Shi M, Greyner-Almeida H, Sima, A, Teigen R, Gianfagna P, Plotke B, Sullivan JM, Millen AE, Patel SP. (2022) Association among basement membrane diseases of the eye: Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), anterior basement membrane dystrophy (ABMD) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Denver, Colorado (Jun), (ID 3708602) Poster; Oral
  • Sullivan JM, Myers JM. (2022) RNA Structure-function properties of enhanced hammerhead ribozymes with high catalytic efficiency. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Denver, Colorado (Jun), (ID 3711619) Poster; Oral
  • Cooke Bailey J, ......., Sullivan JM, Crawford D, Iyengar SK. (2021) POAG genetic risk score performs worse in African-descent than European descent samples, highlighting need for expanded genetic studies in diverse populations. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). (Jun) 1513, (1513) Poster
  • Myers JM, Sullivan JM. (2021) Enhanced hammerhead ribozymes as synthetic nucleic acid ocular therapeutics. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Assoc for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Baltimore, Maryland (Jun) 1203, (1203) Poster
  • Sullivan JM, Myers JM. (2020) A facilitated hammerhead ribozyme rhodopsin therapeutic with catalytic efficiency on par with ribonuclease A at cellular free Mg2+ levels. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). (Jun) 4481 Poster
  • Igo R, Kinzy TG, Halladay CW, Crawford DC Greenberg PB, Sullivan JM,......, Peachey NS, Iyengar SK. (2020) Phenome-wide association analysis on risk variants for age-related macular degeneration reveals shared genetic influences with a wide range of disorders; the Million Veteran Program. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). (Jun) 3518 Poster
  • Cooke-Bailey J, Nealon CL, Halladay CW,....., Sullivan JM, Wy W-C, Peachey NS. (2020) Computable phenotyping for primary open-angle glaucoma using electronic health records in the Million Veteran Program. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). (Jan) 4555, (4555) Poster

Professional Memberships:

  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology; Clinical/Research in Vision society
  • Biophysical Society; Society focused on the science of biophysics, education, and research

Presentations:

  • "A Future of AMD Treatments" 33rd International Congress of German Ophthalmological Surgeons DOC- Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Ophthalmochirurgie. (2021)
  • "Hammerhead Ribozymes with Protein-Level Catalytic Rates- Revitalizing a Post-Transcriptional Modality for Therapeutic RNA Drug Discovery" Drug Discovery Development and Lead Optimization Virtual Meeting United Scientific Group (2020)

Service Activities:

  • Chair, Ad hoc JSMBS Tenure and Promotions Committee; Chair (2021–2022)
  • Idea Champion for UB-CNAT in Biotechnology Section for Endless Frontiers initiative; Group of Three Idea Champions (2021–present)
  • Review Fellowship applications for a Frawley award to fellows conducting clinical research; Thomas Frawley MD Fellowship Application Reviewer (2021)
  • Undergraduate student from Canisius College referred by local community Ophthalmologist to discuss career path and plans.; Advisor (2021–present)
  • Brought Concept of UB- Center for Nucleic Acid Therapeutics (UB-CNAT) to UB Bold Ideas Program. Concept Selected for Development; Idea Champion (2021–present)
  • Jewish Federation Apartments, Amherst NY. Gave talk on Age-Related Macular Degeneration and development of therapies.; Speaker (2020–present)
  • Ad hoc JSMBS Tenure and Promotions Committee; Member (2019–present)
  • Chair Departmental IRB. Direct Clinical Research Project reviews for UB Clinical Research Office; Chair of Departmental IRB Committee (2019–present)
  • Designated Faculty Lead to UB JSMBS Development Office for Philanthropy; Lead (2018–present)
  • David Bussing PhD thesis: "Evaluation of Pharmacokinetics of Protein Therapeutics for Ocular Disorders"; PhD Thesis Committee member. Served in advisory status for research conducted which was ophthalmological/retinal therapeutics in nature (2018–2021)
  • Proposed Idea to Dean JSMBS for UB- Center for Nucleic Acids Therapeutics (UB-CNAT); Idea Champion (2018–present)
  • Faculty Tenure and Promotions Committee; Member (2017–present)
  • Senior Clinician Scientist Faculty Mentor for Sangita P Patel MD PhD- provide guidance and strategic advise on career path, grant applications, and science development; Senior Clinician Scientist Faculty Mentor for Sangita P. Patel, MD PhD (2017–present)
  • Editorial Board of Molecular Vision; Member (2011–present)
  • Multiple Journals (e.g., IOVS, Biophysical J, Exp Eye Res, Vision Research); Reviewer (2008–present)
  • Ad Hoc Reviewer multiple NIH Study Sections (e.g., DPVS, others); Member (2006–present)
  • Founder and Director of Inherited Retinal Degeneration Program and Clinical Retinal Electrophysiology Service; Director of Retinal Degeneration Service (2004–present)
  • Ad hoc MD PhD Committee Member; Committee Support (2004–present)

School News:

In the Media:


Clinical Specialties:

Clinical Offices:

Insurance Accepted:



Contact Information

VA Western NY Healthcare System
Medical Research, Bldg 20, Rm 245
3495 Bailey Ave
Buffalo, New York 14215
Phone: (716) 862-6533
Fax: (716) 862-6526
js354@buffalo.edu

This faculty member is affiliated with UBMD, practicing physicians who are also professors in the Jacobs School.

View this physician on UBMD