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

Hmga2 promotes neural stem cell self-renewal in young but not old mice by reducing p16Ink4a and p19Arf Expression.
Nishino J, Kim I, Chada K, Morrison SJ Cell 2008 Oct 135 2
The PI-3kinase pathway in hematopoietic stem cells and leukemia-initiating cells: a mechanistic difference between normal and cancer stem cells.
Yilmaz OH, Morrison SJ Blood Cells Mol. Dis. 2008 Jul-Aug 41 1
CD150- cells are transiently reconstituting multipotent progenitors with little or no stem cell activity.
Kiel MJ, Yilmaz OH, Morrison SJ Blood 2008 Apr 111 8
Uncertainty in the niches that maintain haematopoietic stem cells.
Kiel MJ, Morrison SJ Nat. Rev. Immunol. 2008 Apr 8 4
Stem cells and niches: mechanisms that promote stem cell maintenance throughout life.
Morrison SJ, Spradling AC Cell 2008 Feb 132 4
The loss of Nf1 transiently promotes self-renewal but not tumorigenesis by neural crest stem cells.
Joseph NM, Mosher JT, Buchstaller J, Snider P, McKeever PE, Lim M, Conway SJ, Parada LF, Zhu Y, Morrison SJ Cancer Cell 2008 Feb 13 2 129-40
Stem cells use distinct self-renewal programs at different ages.
Levi BP, Morrison SJ Cold Spring Harb. Symp. Quant. Biol. 2008 73
Loss of Vac14, a regulator of the signaling lipid phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate, results in neurodegeneration in mice.
Zhang Y, Zolov SN, Chow CY, Slutsky SG, Richardson SC, Piper RC, Yang B, Nau JJ, Westrick RJ, Morrison SJ, Meisler MH, Weisman LS Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2007 Oct 104 44
Haematopoietic stem cells do not asymmetrically segregate chromosomes or retain BrdU.
Kiel MJ, He S, Ashkenazi R, Gentry SN, Teta M, Kushner JA, Jackson TL, Morrison SJ Nature 2007 Sep 449 7159
Lack of evidence that hematopoietic stem cells depend on N-cadherin-mediated adhesion to osteoblasts for their maintenance.
Kiel MJ, Radice GL, Morrison SJ Cell Stem Cell 2007 Aug 1 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)