In This Section

Kathleen E. Sullivan, MD, PhD
Photo of Kathleen E. Sullivan
Chief, Division of Allergy and Immunology

Dr. Sullivan's research focuses on new and rare immunodeficiencies. She has a long-standing interest in one of the most common of the primary immunodeficiencies – chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. She also investigates common variable immunodeficiency, as well as the genetics and epigenetics of systemic lupus erythematosus.



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With respect to her research on chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, Dr. Sullivan and her colleagues are investigating the dynamics underlying the process by which immunoglobulin levels and the antibody function decline in adulthood for some patients. The team is working to develop testing for early identification of patients who have impending humoral dysfunction.

Dr. Sullivan's research interest also include the poorly understand and late-onset common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). She has a particular interest in developing a process for risk stratifying patients and defining clinical outcomes.

Dr. Sullivan sees patients in the Center for Very Early Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease. A subset of patients have an underlying immunodeficiency and benefit from therapy targeted to their specific genetic type of inflammatory bowel disease.

In addition, Dr. Sullivan's research on autoimmunity and inflammation has been primarily directed at understanding the epigenetics of systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. Along with her colleagues, and using analytical tools like ChIP-seq and RNA-seq, Dr. Sullivan has found broadly altered packaging of DNA with some genes repressed inappropriately and some genes derepressed. The team believes a cure relies on ultimately re-setting the epigenome.

Education and Training

BA, Johns Hopkins University (Biophysics), 1980

MA, Johns Hopkins University (Biophysics), 1980

PhD, University of California, San Francisco (Immunology/Biochemistry), 1987

MD, University of California, San Francisco, 1988

Titles and Academic Titles

Chief, Division of Allergy and Immunology

Co-Leader, Immune Dysregulation Frontier Program

Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

Immune Deficiency Foundation, Consulting Immunologist, 2008-

AAAAI Board of Directors, 2014-2019

National Societies

Clinical Immunology Society

American Academy of Science

American College of Rheumatology

American Association of Immunologists

Society for Pediatric Research

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

Professional Awards

Lady Barbara Colyton Award for Excellence in Autoimmunity Research, University of Pennsylvania, 2005

Fellow, Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 2007-

Distinguished Service Award, Clinical Immunology Society, 2011

Erwin Neter Award for Laboratory Immunology, 2011

Boyle Achievement Award, Immune Deficiency Foundation, 2017

Publication Highlights

Links of Interest