Biography

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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.

Morrison Laboratory

Education

Undergraduate
Dalhousie University - Canada (1991), Biology
Graduate School
Stanford University (1996)

Research Interest

  • Cancer stem cell biology
  • Melanoma cell proliferation and metastasis
  • Skeletal stem cells and osteogenesis
  • Stem cell aging
  • Stem cell niche
  • Stem cell self-renewal

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Cancer stem cells: impact, heterogeneity, and uncertainty.
Magee JA, Piskounova E, Morrison SJ Cancer Cell 2012 Mar 21 3 283-96
Tumorigenic cells are common in mouse MPNSTs but their frequency depends upon tumor genotype and assay conditions.
Buchstaller J, McKeever PE, Morrison SJ Cancer Cell 2012 Feb 21 2 240-52
Enteric glia are multipotent in culture but primarily form glia in the adult rodent gut.
Joseph NM, He S, Quintana E, Kim YG, Núñez G, Morrison SJ J. Clin. Invest. 2011 Sep 121 9
Sox17 expression confers self-renewal potential and fetal stem cell characteristics upon adult hematopoietic progenitors.
He S, Kim I, Lim MS, Morrison SJ Genes Dev. 2011 Aug 25 15
Integrating physiological regulation with stem cell and tissue homeostasis.
Nakada D, Levi BP, Morrison SJ Neuron 2011 May 70 4
HIV-1 utilizes the CXCR4 chemokine receptor to infect multipotent hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.
Carter CC, McNamara LA, Onafuwa-Nuga A, Shackleton M, Riddell J, Bixby D, Savona MR, Morrison SJ, Collins KL Cell Host Microbe 2011 Mar 9 3
Human and rhesus macaque hematopoietic stem cells cannot be purified based only on SLAM family markers.
Larochelle A, Savona M, Wiggins M, Anderson S, Ichwan B, Keyvanfar K, Morrison SJ, Dunbar CE Blood 2011 Feb 117 5
FIP200 is required for the cell-autonomous maintenance of fetal hematopoietic stem cells.
Liu F, Lee JY, Wei H, Tanabe O, Engel JD, Morrison SJ, Guan JL Blood 2010 Dec 116 23
Lkb1 regulates cell cycle and energy metabolism in haematopoietic stem cells.
Nakada D, Saunders TL, Morrison SJ Nature 2010 Dec 468 7324
Phenotypic heterogeneity among tumorigenic melanoma cells from patients that is reversible and not hierarchically organized.
Quintana E, Shackleton M, Foster HR, Fullen DR, Sabel MS, Johnson TM, Morrison SJ Cancer Cell 2010 Nov 18 5

Honors & Awards

  • National Academy of Medicine
    (2018)
  • President, International Society for Stem Cell Research
    (2015-2016)
  • MERIT Award, National Institute on Aging
    (2009)
  • Harland Winfield Mossman Award, American Association of Anatomists
    (2008)
  • McCulloch and Till Award, International Society for Hematology & Stem Cells
    (2007)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • President, International Society for Stem Cell Research (2015-2016)
  • Senior Editor, eLife (2014)
  • Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2000)