Rhea M. Sumpter, Jr, MD, PhD
Rhea M. Sumpter Jr, MD, PhD

Rhea M. Sumpter Jr, MD, PhD

Assistant Member, St. Jude Faculty



PhD – UT Southwestern, Dallas, Texas
MD – UT Southwestern, Dallas, Texas
BA – Rice University, Houston, Texas

Honors & Awards

  • 2013  Career Award for Medical Scientists, Career Award for Medical Scientists
  • 2013  Distinguished Researcher Award, President’s Research Council, UT Southwestern
  • 2012  Career Development Award, Association of American Physicians / American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • 2006  Hemphill-Gojer Award, Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern
  • 2006  Alpha Omega Alpha, UT Southwestern Medical School
  • 2004  S. Edward Sulkin Memorial Scholarship, Department of Microbiology, UT Southwestern
  • 1997  Fulbright Fellowship, US Department of State

Research Interests

  • Selective autophagy
  • Innate Immunity
  • Inflammation
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Leukemogenesis

Selected Publications

Wei Y, Chiang WC, Sumpter R Jr, Mishra P, Levine B. Prohibitin 2 Is an Inner Mitochondrial Membrane Mitophagy Receptor. Cell Jan 12;168(1-2):224-238, 2017. PMCID: PMC5235968

Lee M-Y, Zou Z, Sumpter Jr R, Wei Y, Crane D, Subramani S, Levine B. Peroxisomal protein PEX13 functions in selective virophagy and mitophagy. EMBO Rep Jan;18(1):48-60, 2017. PMCID: PMC5210156.

Sumpter Jr R, Sirasanagandla S, Fernández ÁF, Zou Z, Dong X, Wei Y, Marchal C, Lee M-Y, Clapp DW, Hanenberg H, Levine B. Fanconi anemia tumor suppressor genes function in selective autophagy, immunity and mitochondrial homeostasis Cell May 5;165(4):867-81, 2016. PMID: 27133164

Dong X, Cheng A, Zou Z, Yang Y-S, Sumpter Jr R, Huang C-L, Bhagat G, Virgin HW, Lira SA, Levine B. Endolysosomal trafficking of viral G protein-coupled receptor functions in innate immunity and control of viral oncogenesis. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA Feb 29;2994-2999, 2016. PMID: 26929373

Wei Y, An Z, Zou Z, Sumpter Jr R, Su M, Zang X, Sinha S, Gaestel M, Levine B. The stress-responsive kinases MAPKAPK2/MAPKAPK3 activate starvation-induced autophagy through Beclin 1 phosphorylation. Elife Feb 18;4, 2014. PubMed PMID: 25693418.

Liu Y, Shoji-Kawata S, Sumpter Jr R, Wei Y, Ginet V, Zhang L, Posner B, Tran  KA, Green DR, Xavier RJ, Shaw SY, Clarke PG, Puyal J, Levine B. Autosis is a Na+,K+-ATPase-regulated form of cell death triggered by autophagy-inducing peptides, starvation, and hypoxia-ischemia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A Dec 17;110(51):20364-71, 2013. PMCID: PMC3870705.

Wei Y, Zou Z, Becker N, Anderson M, Sumpter Jr R, Xiao G, Peyton M, Minna J, Bhagat G, Levine B.  EGFR-mediated phosphorylation of Beclin 1 in autophagy suppression, tumor progression and tumor chemoresistance. Cell Sep 12;154(6):1269-84, 2013. PMID: 24034250.

Benjamin J, Sumpter Jr R, Levine B, Hooper L. Intestinal epithelial autophagy is essential for host defense against invasive bacteria. Cell Host & Microbe Jun 12;13(6):723-34, 2013. PMID: 23768496.

Shoji-Kawata S, Sumpter Jr R, Leveno M, Zou Z, Kinch L, Wilkins A, Sun Q, Pallauf K, Huerta C, Helms B, Tooze SA, Xavier R, Lenschow DJ, Yamamoto A, Lichtarge NV, Kaloyanova DV, Levine B. Identification of a candidate therapeutic autophagy-inducing peptide. Nature 494:201-206, 2013. PMID: 23364696.

He C, Sumpter Jr R, Levine B. Exercise induces autophagy in peripheral tissues and in the brain. Autophagy 8:1548-1551, 2012. PMCID: PMC3463459

Orvedahl A, Sumpter Jr R (co-first author), Xiao G, Ng A, Zou Z, Tang Y, Narimatsu M, Gilpin C, Sun Q, Roth M, Forst CV, Wrana JL, Zhang YE, Luby-Phelps K, Xavier R, Xie Y, Levine B. Image-based genome-wide siRNA screen identifies selective autophagy factors. Nature 480:113-117, 2011. PMCID: PMC3229641

Orvedahl A*, MacPherson S*, Sumpter Jr R, Talloczy Z, Zou Z, Levine B. Autophagy protects against Sindbis virus infection of the central nervous system. Cell Host & Microbe 18:115-127, 2010. PMCID: PMC2860265. *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Foy E, Li K, Sumpter Jr R, Loo Y-M, Johnson CL, Wang C, Fish PM, Yoneyama M, Fujita T, Lemon SM, Gale M. Control of antiviral defenses through hepatitis C virus disruption of retinoic acid-inducible gene-I signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:2986-2991, 2005. PMCID: PMC549461

Sumpter Jr R, Loo Y-M, Foy E, Li K, Yoneyama M, Fujita T, Lemon SM, Gale M. Regulating intracellular antiviral defense and permissiveness to hepatitis C virus RNA replication through a cellular RNA helicase, RIG-I. J Virol 79:2689-2699, 2005. PMCID: PMC548482

Wang C, Pflugheber J, Sumpter Jr R, Sodora DL, Hui D, Sen GC, Gale M. Alpha interferon induces distinct translational control programs to suppress hepatitis C virus RNA replication. J Virol 77:3898-3912, 2003. PMCID: PMC150642

Sumpter Jr R, Wang C, Foy E, Loo Y-M, Gale M. Viral evolution and interferon resistance of hepatitis C virus RNA replication in a cell culture model. J Virol 78:11591-11604, 2004. PMCID: PMC523295

Ye J, Wang C, Sumpter Jr R, Brown MS, Goldstein JL, Gale M. Disruption of hepatitis C virus RNA replication through inhibition of host protein geranylgeranylation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:15865-15870, 2003. PMCID: PMC307659

Foy E, Li K, Wang C, Sumpter Jr R, Ikeda M, Lemon SM, Gale M. Regulation of interferon regulatory factor-3 by the hepatitis C virus serine protease. Science 300:1145-1148, 2003.

Pflugheber J, Fredericksen B, Sumpter Jr R, Wang C, Ware F, Sodora DL, Gale M. Regulation of PKR and IRF-1 during hepatitis C virus RNA replication. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:4650-4655, 2002.

Last update: February 2018