Sean J. Morrison is the director of the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He holds the Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics and the Kathryne and Gene Bishop Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Research. Dr. Morrison completed a B.Sc. in biology and chemistry at Dalhousie University (1991), a Ph.D. in immunology at Stanford University (1996), and a postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology at Caltech (1999). From 1999 to 2011, Dr. Morrison was a professor at the University of Michigan, where he directed their Center for Stem Cell Biology.
Among other awards, Dr. Morrison received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2003) and a MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging (2009). He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (2018) and the National Academy of Sciences (2020). Dr. Morrison served as the President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (2015-2016) and has been active in public policy issues surrounding stem cell research, testifying before the U.S. Congress, and serving as a leader in the successful “Proposal 2” campaign to protect and regulate stem cell research in Michigan’s state constitution.
The Morrison laboratory studies the mechanisms that maintain stem cell function in adult tissues and the ways in which cancer cells hijack these mechanisms to enable neoplastic proliferation. A better understanding of these mechanisms offers the potential to yield new regenerative medicine and cancer therapies.
- Dalhousie University - Canada (1991), Biology
- Graduate School
- Stanford University (1996)
- Cancer stem cell biology
- Melanoma cell proliferation and metastasis
- Skeletal stem cells and osteogenesis
- Stem cell aging
- Stem cell niche
- Stem cell self-renewal
- Lymph protects metastasizing melanoma cells from ferroptosis.
- Ubellacker JM, Tasdogan A, Ramesh V, Shen B, Mitchell EC, Martin-Sandoval MS, Gu Z, McCormick ML, Durham AB, Spitz DR, Zhao Z, Mathews TP, Morrison SJ, Nature 2020 Sep 585 7823 113-118
- Metabolic heterogeneity confers differences in melanoma metastatic potential.
- Tasdogan A, Faubert B, Ramesh V, Ubellacker JM, Shen B, Solmonson A, Murphy MM, Gu Z, Gu W, Martin M, Kasitinon SY, Vandergriff T, Mathews TP, Zhao Z, Schadendorf D, DeBerardinis RJ, Morrison SJ, Nature 2020 01 577 7788 115-120
- Ascorbate regulates haematopoietic stem cell function and leukaemogenesis.
- Agathocleous M, Meacham CE, Burgess RJ, Piskounova E, Zhao Z, Crane GM, Cowin BL, Bruner E, Murphy MM, Chen W, Spangrude GJ, Hu Z, DeBerardinis RJ, Morrison SJ Nature 2017 Aug
- A perisinusoidal niche for extramedullary haematopoiesis in the spleen.
- Inra CN, Zhou BO, Acar M, Murphy MM, Richardson J, Zhao Z, Morrison SJ Nature 2015 Nov 527 7579 466-71
- Oxidative stress inhibits distant metastasis by human melanoma cells.
- Piskounova E, Agathocleous M, Murphy MM, Hu Z, Huddlestun SE, Zhao Z, Leitch AM, Johnson TM, DeBerardinis RJ, Morrison SJ Nature 2015 Oct
- Deep imaging of bone marrow shows non-dividing stem cells are mainly perisinusoidal.
- Acar M, Kocherlakota KS, Murphy MM, Peyer JG, Oguro H, Inra CN, Jaiyeola C, Zhao Z, Luby-Phelps K, Morrison SJ Nature 2015 Sep
- Leptin-Receptor-Expressing Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Represent the Main Source of Bone Formed by Adult Bone Marrow.
- Zhou BO, Yue R, Murphy MM, Peyer JG, Morrison SJ Cell Stem Cell 2014 Jun
- Haematopoietic stem cells require a highly regulated protein synthesis rate.
- Signer RA, Magee JA, Salic A, Morrison SJ Nature 2014 Mar
- The bone marrow niche for haematopoietic stem cells.
- Morrison SJ, Scadden DT Nature 2014 Jan 505 7483 327-34
- Oncogenic Nras has bimodal effects on stem cells that sustainably increase competitiveness.
- Li Q, Bohin N, Wen T, Ng V, Magee J, Chen SC, Shannon K, Morrison SJ Nature 2013 Nov
Honors & Awards
- Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring from the Postdoctoral Association at UTSW
- National Academy of Sciences
- National Academy of Medicine
- MERIT Award, National Institute on Aging
- Harland Winfield Mossman Award, American Association of Anatomists
- McCulloch and Till Award, International Society for Hematology & Stem Cells
- National Academy of Sciences (2020)
- National Academy of Medicine (2018)
- President, International Society for Stem Cell Research (2015-2016)
- Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2000)