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Senior Fellows
Cornelius W Sullivan
University of Southern California

Areas of Interest:

ethics in research, intellectual property & technology transfer

Cornelius (Neal) W. Sullivan is Professor of Biological Sciences at USC's College of letters, Arts and Sciences since 1974. He was named the first Director of The Marine Biology Research Section of the Department in 1981 served for nine years then was appointed Diector of the Allan Hancock Foundation and Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies from 1990-93. From 1993-97 he served in Washington, D.C. as Director of the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs and Director of the U.S. Antarctic Research Program. Under Presidential Decision Directive #6646 he was point for the NSF planning, funding and management of all U.S. activities in Antarctica. He managed a professional staff of sixty in his office and oversaw a $100M private contract for polar operations and logistics. Sullivan successfuly lead the NSF's effort to gain Congressional support ($150M) to rebuild the South Pole Station and helped in obtaining use of U.S. Navy nuclear submarines for scientific explorations of Arctic seas. Sullivan provided Congressional testimony on nine occassions before U. S. Senate and U. S. house of Representatives Committees on basic sceinces. He was named Vice Provost for Research at the University of Sounthern California in July, 1997 and served through July, 2005. In this role he was responsible for for developing new university wide programs of interdisciplinary research, research strategic planning, ethics in research, intellectual property & technology transfer, and compliance with federal state and local regulatns governing research at the University Park and Health Sciences Campuses. He represented the University's research interests in Washington, D.C. He was Provost's liaison to the Schools of Dentistry, Gerontology, Pharmacy and the Independent Health Professions for strategic planning and budgeting. In 1999 he successfully led USC's effort to establish the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) focused on training that currently is supported by the DOD at $200M for 10 years. The ICT reported to Sullivan from 1999-2005 and he represented USC and the UARC to the U. S. Army Office of Science while serving as V.P. Research. Dr. Sullivan's research interests are in life and ocean sciences. His extensive polar research experiences have centered on understanding the structure and function of ice covered ocean ecosystems and, in paricular the relationships between biological and geophysical features of the Southern Ocean at scales that range from the microscopic to global. His work has elucidated aspects of the physiology and ecology of sea ice microbial communities, their adpations to this fascinating habitat and their role in providing seed for large blooms of phytoplankton in the marginal ice edge zone. Sullivan has led more than a dozen scientific expeditions to the Antarctic and Arctic Oceans including a six year, two ship multidisciplinary research program (AMERIEZ) in the Weddell Sea to investigate the influence of seasonal changes and sea ice dynamics on ecosystem structure and function. His earlier investigations were directed at understanding cellular regulation of bio-mineralization (diatom silicification), biogeochemical processes in ocean plankton and the reciprocal interactions of marine microorganisms and their environment. Specific approaches to address his research interests span biochemistry, cell biology, microbial physiology, ocean ecology, ecosystem modeling and satellite remote sensing. Dr. Sullivan is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Service Medal of the United States. "Sullivan Heights, Antarctica", a sixty square kilometer area including 8,000 foot mountain peaks and glaciers was named in his honor in 1997. He was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1994, a Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) in 1998 and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the CCST, in Sacramento, California. He has served as a member of the Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences NRC, NSF Directors Ploicy Group, Editorial Board of Polar Biology & J. Microbial Methods, Research Compliance & Administration Committee of Council on Governmment Relations (COGR) and corporate member of the Alfred E. Mann Institute Biomedical Engineering. Sullivan is holder of a U. S. patent for heat sensitive bacterial alkaline phosphatase (commercial product "The Antarctic AP'ase"). Sullivan has trained eleven Ph.D's, mentored eight Post-doctoral scholars and published more than 120 articles in refereed scientific journals. He earned his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of California, San Diego in 1971 and spent three years in La Jolla as a Post doctoral scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His M.S. and B. S. Degrees in Microbiology and Biochemistry, respectively, were awarded from the Pennsylvania State University in 1967 & 1965.

Updated 3/31/14

Senior Fellows Roster