Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
Roderick J. O'Sullivan, PhD
Assistant Professor
Suite 2.6d Hillman Cancer Center 5117 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-623-7763

Fax: 412-623-7761


Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 1998-2002

Institute for Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria, 2002-2006

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, 2006-2014

Research Areas
Cancer Pharmacology
DNA Repair
Photo of Roderick J. O'Sullivan, PhD

O'Sullivan Lab Website

The O’Sullivan lab at the Hillman Cancer Center conducts research into proteins that alter the structural and epigenetic functions of human telomeres. Telomeres are structures at the ends of chromosomes – the integrity of telomeres is an important factor in maintaining genome stability to prevent cancer and accelerated aging. Current efforts in the lab relate to deciphering the relationship between the regulation between chromatin structure and telomere function in the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres pathway.

Important Publications
O’Sullivan RJ, Arnoult N, Lackner DH, Oganesian L, Haggblom C, Corpet A, Almounzi G and Karlseder J. Rapid induction of the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway by depletion of the histone chaperone ASF1. Nat Struct Mol Biol 21:167-174, 2013.
O’Sullivan R and Karlseder J. The great unravelling: Chromatin as a modulator of the aging process. Trends Biochem Sci 37:466-476, 2012.
Corpet A, De Koning L, Toedling J, Savignoni A, Berger F, Lemaitre C, O’Sullivan RJ, Karlseder J, Barrilot E, Asselain B, Sastre-Garau X and Almouzni G. Asf1b, the necessary Asf1 isoform for proliferation, is predictive of outcome in breast cancer. EMBO J 30:480-493, 2011.
Flynn RL, Centore RC, O’Sullivan RJ, Rai R, Tse A, Songyang Z, Chang S, Karlseder J and Zou L. TERRA and hnRNPA1 orchestrate an RPA-to-POT1 switch on telomeric single-stranded DNA. Nature 471:532-526. 2011. 
O'Sullivan RJ and Karlseder J. Telomeres: protecting chromosomes against genome instability. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 11:171-81, 2010.
O’Sullivan RJ, Kubicek S, Schreiber SL and Karlseder J.  Reduced histone biosynthesis and chromatin changes arising from a damage signal at telomeres. Nat Struct Mol Biol 17:1218-1226, 2010.
Kubicek S, O'Sullivan RJ, August EM, Hickey E, Mechtler K, Rea S, Farina P, Homon C, Kelly T and Jenuwein T. Reversal of H3K9me2 by a small-molecule inhibitor for the G9a histone methyltransferase. Mol Cell 25:473-481, 2007.

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