Bryan Cullen, PhD – Biography

James B. Duke Professor
Founding Director, Center for Virology

research • biography • lab members • publicationslab website


Bryan R. Cullen obtained a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Warwick University in the UK and a M.Sc. in Virology from the University of Birmingham before moving to the USA, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Rutgers University. In 1987, he was recruited to Duke University Medical Center as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He currently holds a James B. Duke Professorship in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke. Dr. Cullen’s research interests have historically revolved around the use of viruses as genetic tools to understand aspects of the biology of the eukaryotic cell, focusing particularly on RNA-sequence mediated gene regulation. Currently, his laboratory is studying the regulation of viral mRNA expression by epitranscriptomic modifications and the use of CRISPR/Cas as a potential approach to the treatment of chronic diseases caused by DNA viruses. Dr. Cullen has published over 315 research papers, is on the editorial board of 11 prominent journals and has been recognized as one of the most highly cited scientists in the field of microbiology.

Honors & Awards

•Recipient of the 1989 Eli Lilly Molecular Biology Contact Award

•Recipient of a 1993 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award

•Listed as one of the 10 most cited AIDS researchers by Science (Heavy Hitters in AIDS, Vol. 260, p. 1262, 1993)

•Recipient of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Distinguished Alumni Award (2000)

•Awarded the distinguished professorship James B. Duke Professor of Genetics (2000)
Listed as one of the world’s most “Highly Cited Researchers” by the Institute for Scientific Information (2001) []

•Appointed to the honorary position of “Visiting Professor,” by the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK (2002)

•Awarded a Distinguished Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at Durham University, U.K. (2007)

•Elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (2009)

•Bernard Fields Memorial Lectureship, 2011 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunisitic Infections

•Elected to the rank of Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2011)

•Awarded a Visiting Professorship by the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at the University of Warwick, UK (2012)

•Recipient of the 2013 Research Mentoring Award for Basic Science Research, Duke University Medical Center (2013)

•Listed asbeing in top 1% of the world’s most “Highly Cited Researchers” by Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytics at Web of Science (2001-present) [].

•Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Lectureship, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia (2014)

PLoS Pathogens selected two manuscripts from the Cullen laboratory (#220 and #269) as among the most important published in the first ten years of the journal’s existence (42 total and 11 virology manuscripts were chosen)

•Honorary doctorate of science (D.Sc.) awarded by Warwick University, UK (2016).