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
- Bmi-1 dependence distinguishes neural stem cell self-renewal from progenitor proliferation.
- Molofsky AV, Pardal R, Iwashita T, Park IK, Clarke MF, Morrison SJ Nature 2003 Oct 425 6961
- Fusion of bone-marrow-derived cells with Purkinje neurons, cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes.
- Alvarez-Dolado M, Pardal R, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Fike JR, Lee HO, Pfeffer K, Lois C, Morrison SJ, Alvarez-Buylla A Nature 2003 Oct 425 6961
- Hirschsprung disease is linked to defects in neural crest stem cell function.
- Iwashita T, Kruger GM, Pardal R, Kiel MJ, Morrison SJ Science 2003 Aug 301 5635
- Bmi-1 is required for maintenance of adult self-renewing haematopoietic stem cells.
- Park IK, Qian D, Kiel M, Becker MW, Pihalja M, Weissman IL, Morrison SJ, Clarke MF Nature 2003 May 423 6937
- Prospective identification of tumorigenic breast cancer cells.
- Al-Hajj M, Wicha MS, Benito-Hernandez A, Morrison SJ, Clarke MF Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2003 Apr 100 7
- Neural crest stem cells persist in the adult gut but undergo changes in self-renewal, neuronal subtype potential, and factor responsiveness.
- Kruger GM, Mosher JT, Bixby S, Joseph N, Iwashita T, Morrison SJ Neuron 2002 Aug 35 4
- Cell-intrinsic differences between stem cells from different regions of the peripheral nervous system regulate the generation of neural diversity.
- Bixby S, Kruger GM, Mosher JT, Joseph NM, Morrison SJ Neuron 2002 Aug 35 4
- Brain repair by endogenous progenitors.
- Kruger GM, Morrison SJ Cell 2002 Aug 110 4
- Stem-cell competition.
- Orkin SH, Morrison SJ Nature 2002 Jul 418 6893
- Developmental changes in Notch1 and numb expression mediated by local cell-cell interactions underlie progressively increasing delta sensitivity in neural crest stem cells.
- Kubu CJ, Orimoto K, Morrison SJ, Weinmaster G, Anderson DJ, Verdi JM Dev. Biol. 2002 Apr 244 1
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)