Sean J. Morrison is the director of the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute (CRI) 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), a MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging (2009), and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (2018). 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
- Tumour heterogeneity and cancer cell plasticity.
- Meacham CE, Morrison SJ Nature 2013 Sep 501 7467 328-37
- Haematopoietic stem cells and early lymphoid progenitors occupy distinct bone marrow niches.
- Ding L, Morrison SJ Nature 2013 Feb
- Endothelial and perivascular cells maintain haematopoietic stem cells.
- Ding L, Saunders TL, Enikolopov G, Morrison SJ Nature 2012 Jan 481 7382 457-62
- Heterogeneity in cancer: cancer stem cells versus clonal evolution.
- Shackleton M, Quintana E, Fearon ER, Morrison SJ Cell 2009 Sep 138 5
- Mechanisms of stem cell self-renewal.
- He S, Nakada D, Morrison SJ Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. 2009 25
- Efficient tumour formation by single human melanoma cells.
- Quintana E, Shackleton M, Sabel MS, Fullen DR, Johnson TM, Morrison SJ Nature 2008 Dec 456 7222
- Increasing p16INK4a expression decreases forebrain progenitors and neurogenesis during ageing.
- Molofsky AV, Slutsky SG, Joseph NM, He S, Pardal R, Krishnamurthy J, Sharpless NE, Morrison SJ Nature 2006 Sep 443 7110
- Pten dependence distinguishes haematopoietic stem cells from leukaemia-initiating cells.
- Yilmaz OH, Valdez R, Theisen BK, Guo W, Ferguson DO, Wu H, Morrison SJ Nature 2006 May 441 7092
- SLAM family receptors distinguish hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and reveal endothelial niches for stem cells.
- Kiel MJ, Yilmaz OH, Iwashita T, Yilmaz OH, Terhorst C, Morrison SJ Cell 2005 Jul 121 7
- Cellular Differences in Protein Synthesis Regulate Tissue Homeostasis.
- Buszczak M, Signer RA, Morrison SJ Cell 2014 Oct 159 2 242-251
Honors & Awards
- National Academy of Medicine
- President, International Society for Stem Cell Research
- MERIT Award, National Institute on Aging
- Harland Winfield Mossman Award, American Association of Anatomists
- McCulloch and Till Award, International Society for Hematology & Stem Cells
- President, International Society for Stem Cell Research (2015-2016)
- Senior Editor, eLife (2014)
- Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2000)