Matthew Sullivan

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew Sullivan



Riffe Lab

Areas of Expertise

  • Phage Ecology and Evolution
  • Phage-host Interaction biology
  • Phage Discovery through (meta)genomics


  • B.S. Long Island University, 1997
  • M. Phil. Queens University of Belfast, 1998
  • Ph.D. MIT/WHOI, 2004
  • Postdoc, MIT, 2004-2007

Dr. Matthew B. Sullivan's research focus is on the co-evolution of microbe and virus (phage) in environmental populations, as well as the impact of marine phages on microbe-mediated global biogeochemistry. Genomics and model-systems-based experimentation revealed that cyanobacterial phages often contain host photosynthesis genes, which are expressed during infection and act as a diversity generator for their numerically-dominant, globally-distributed phtosynthetic hosts. Using a genomic and metagenomic toolkit, we query 'wild' viral populations to identify important hypotheses that can be evaluated using model-system approaches with appropriate phage isolates. The Sullivan lab is also developing sing-cell assays to investigate questions that are critical for

Prochlorococcus cyanophages.

modeling and predicting the impoacts of phage-host interactions in the wild. Specifically, these include gaining an understanding of the in situ host range of phage isolates, the metabolic capacity of to-date uncultured phage-host systems, the impacts of host growth status on phage production, and the fraction of microbial cells that are infected in wild populations.

Matthew Sullivan's Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • Murata, K., Zhang, Q.-F., Galaz-Montoya, J.G., Fu, C., Coleman, M.C., Osburne, M., Schmid, M., Sullivan, M.B.^, Chisholm, S.W.^, & Chiu, W^. 2017. Visualizing Adsorption of Cyanophage P-SSP7 onto Marine Prochlorococcus. Scientific Reports. In press. (^ = co-corresponding authors)

  • Kang, D.-W.*, Adams, J.B.*, Gregory, A.C.*, Borody, T., Chittick, L., Fasano, A., Khoruts, A., Geis, E., Maldonado, J., McDonough-Means, S., Pollard, E.L., Roux, S., Sadowsky, M.J., Schwarzberg Lipson, K., Sullivan, M.B.^, Caporaso, J.G.^ & Krajmalnik-Brown, R.^ 2017. Microbiota transfer alters gut ecosystem and improves gastrointestinal and autism symptoms: an open-label study. Microbiome. 5: 10. (* = co-first authors,^ = co-corresponding authors)  LINK

  • Enault, F., Briet, A., Bouteille, L., Roux, S., & Sullivan, M.B., Petit, M.A. 2017. Phages rarely encode antibiotic resistance genes: a cautionary tale for virome analyses. ISMEJ. 11: 237-247.  LINK  PREPRINT

  • Bolduc, B., Youens-Clark, K., Roux, S., Hurwitz, B.L.^, & Sullivan, M.B.^ 2017. iVirus: facilitating new insights into viral ecology with software and community datasets imbedded in a cyberinfrastructure. (^=co-corresponding authors). ISMEJ. 11: 7-14.  LINK  PREPRINT

  • Howard-Varona. C., Roux, S., Dore, H., Solonenko, N., Holmfeldt, K., Markillie, L.M.Orr, G., & Sullivan, M.B. 2017. Regulation of infection efficiency in a globally abundant marine Bacteriodetes virus. ISME J. 11: 284-295.  LINK

  • Roux, S., Brum, J.R., Dutilh, B.E., Sunagawa, S., Duhaime, M.B., Loy, A., Poulos, B.T., Solonenko, N., Lara, E., Poulain, J., Pesant, S., Kandels-Lewis, S., Dimier, C., Picheral, M., Searson, S., Cruaud, C., Alberti, A.,  Duarte, C.M.M.,  Gasol, J.M.M.,  Vaqué, D., Tara Oceans Coordinators, Bork, P.,  Acinas, S.G., Wincker, P. & Sullivan, M.B. 2016. Ecogenomics and potential biogeochemical impacts of globally abundant ocean viruses. Nature. 537: 689-693.  LINK  PREPRINT

  • Guidi, L.*, Chaffron, S.*, Bittner, L.*, Eveillard, D.*, Larhlimi, A., Roux, S., Darzi, Y., Audic, S., Berline, L., Brum, J.R., Coelho, L.P., Espinoza, J.C., Malviya, S., Sunagawa, S., Dimier, C., Kandels-Lewis, S., Picheral, M., Poulain, J., Searson, S., Tara Oceans Consortium Coordinators, Stemmann, L., Not, F., Hingamp, P., Speich, S., Follows, M., Karp-Boss, L., Boss, E., Ogata, H., Pesant, S., Weissenbach, J.,, Wincker, P., Acinas, S.G., Bork, P., de Vargas, C., Iudicone, D., Sullivan, M.B., Raes, J., Karsenti, E., Bowler, C., & Gorsky, G. 2016. Plankton networks driving carbon export in the oligotrophic ocean. Nature. 532: 465-470. (*=co-first authors)  LINK

  • Brum J.R.*, Ignacio-Espinoza, J.C.*, Kim, E-H.*, Trubl, G., Jones, R., Roux, S., VerBerkmoes, N.C., Rich, V.I.^, & Sullivan, M.B.^ 2016. Illuminating structural proteins in viral “dark matter” with metaproteomics. PNAS. 113: 2436-2441. (*=co-first authors) (^=co-corresponding authors)  LINK

  • Roux, S., Hallam, S.J., Woyke, T., & Sullivan, M.B. 2015. Viral dark matter and virus-host interactions resolved from publicly available microbial genomes. eLife. 10.7554/eLife.08490.  LINK

  • Brum, J.R.*, Ignacio-Espinoza, J.C.*, Roux, S.*, Doulcier, G., Acinas, S.G., Alberti, A., Chaffron, S., Cruaud, C., de Vargas, C., Gasol, J.M., Gorsky, G., Gregory, A.C., Guidi, L., Hingamp, P., Iudicone, D., Not, F., Ogata, H., Pesant, S., Poulos, B.T., Schwenck, S.M., Speich, S., Dimier, C., Kandels-Lewis, S., Picheral, M., Searson, S., Tara Oceans Coordinators, Bork, P., Bowler, C., Sunagawa, S., Wincker, P., Karsenti, E., & Sullivan, M.B. 2015. Patterns and ecological drivers of ocean viral communities. Science. 348. doi:10.1126/science.1261498. (*=co-first authors)   LINK

  • Brum, J.R., & Sullivan, M.B. 2015. Rising to the challenge: accelerated pace of discovery transforms marine virology. Nature Rev. Microbiol. 13:147–159.  LINK


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