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

Lgi4 promotes the proliferation and differentiation of glial lineage cells throughout the developing peripheral nervous system.
Nishino J, Saunders TL, Sagane K, Morrison SJ J. Neurosci. 2010 Nov 30 45
mTOR activation induces tumor suppressors that inhibit leukemogenesis and deplete hematopoietic stem cells after Pten deletion.
Lee JY, Nakada D, Yilmaz OH, Tothova Z, Joseph NM, Lim MS, Gilliland DG, Morrison SJ Cell Stem Cell 2010 Nov 7 5
Prdm16 promotes stem cell maintenance in multiple tissues, partly by regulating oxidative stress.
Chuikov S, Levi BP, Smith ML, Morrison SJ Nat. Cell Biol. 2010 Oct 12 10
Temporal specification of blood progenitors from mouse embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.
Irion S, Clarke RL, Luche H, Kim I, Morrison SJ, Fehling HJ, Keller GM Development 2010 Sep 137 17
An in vivo model to study and manipulate the hematopoietic stem cell niche.
Song J, Kiel MJ, Wang Z, Wang J, Taichman RS, Morrison SJ, Krebsbach PH Blood 2010 Apr 115 13
Lack of population diversity in commonly used human embryonic stem-cell lines.
Mosher JT, Pemberton TJ, Harter K, Wang C, Buzbas EO, Dvorak P, Simón C, Morrison SJ, Rosenberg NA N. Engl. J. Med. 2010 Jan 362 2
Persistence of leukemia-initiating cells in a conditional knockin model of an imatinib-responsive myeloproliferative disorder.
Oravecz-Wilson KI, Philips ST, Yilmaz OH, Ames HM, Li L, Crawford BD, Gauvin AM, Lucas PC, Sitwala K, Downing JR, Morrison SJ, Ross TS Cancer Cell 2009 Aug 16 2
Bmi-1 over-expression in neural stem/progenitor cells increases proliferation and neurogenesis in culture but has little effect on these functions in vivo.
He S, Iwashita T, Buchstaller J, Molofsky AV, Thomas D, Morrison SJ Dev. Biol. 2009 Apr 328 2
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1a1 is dispensable for stem cell function in the mouse hematopoietic and nervous systems.
Levi BP, Yilmaz OH, Duester G, Morrison SJ Blood 2009 Feb 113 8
Hematopoietic stem cells do not depend on N-cadherin to regulate their maintenance.
Kiel MJ, Acar M, Radice GL, Morrison SJ Cell Stem Cell 2009 Feb 4 2

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)