Gerald Morris

TitleAssistant Professor In Residence
InstitutionUniversity of California San Diego
Address9500 Gilman Drive #0612
La Jolla CA 92093
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    Collapse Overview
    My laboratory studies T lymphocyte function and development in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). T cells have multiple important roles in determining clinical outcomes in HSCT. Donor T cells transferred with the hematopoietic stem cells are required for anti-tumor immunity to prevent relapse of malignant disease as well as for mediating protective immunity against infection. However, donor T cells are capable of generating robust immune responses to recipient alloantigens which causes graft versus host disease (GVHD), a multi-organ inflammatory condition that is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. We are interested in understanding the molecular events that define the recognition of alloantigens by T cells, and how that results in T cell activation and generation of effector mechanisms ultimately responsible for GVHD. We utilize transgenic animal models, human T cell culture systems, gene expression analyses, and flow cytometry to examine T cells from patients with GVHD in an attempt to define the mechanisms driving disease.

    A related area of study in the laboratory is the examination of T cell development after HSCT. While donor-derived T cells are important contributors to protective immunity after HSCT, de novo development of T cells in the recipient thymus is essential for establishing maximally effective immunity to pathogens as well as preventing the development of autoimmune diseases in the post-transplant setting. T cell development occurs in the thymus, which has stromal components specialized to support T cell development. Thymic function is compromised in HSCT patients, owing to toxicity of pre-transplant regimens, GVHD affecting the thymic stroma, and age-related thymic degeneration. We are investigating how these stimuli affect T cell development in the thymus and subsequent immune system function.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Investigation of the Molecular Basis of T Cell Alloreactivity
    NIH/NIAID K08AI085039Sep 29, 2010 - Jul 31, 2015
    Role: Principal Investigator

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    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Balakrishnan A, Gloude N, Sasik R, Ball ED, Morris G. Proinflammatory Dual Receptor T Cells in Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2017 Nov; 23(11):1852-1860. PMID: 28750779.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Morris G, Hedrick SM. A rheostat tuning thymic selection. Nat Immunol. 2017 Jun 20; 18(7):713-714. PMID: 28632719.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Jani V, Ingulli E, Mekeel K, Morris G. Root cause analysis of limitations of virtual crossmatch for kidney allocation to highly-sensitized patients. Hum Immunol. 2017 Feb; 78(2):72-79. PMID: 27864154.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Balakrishnan A, Morris G. The highly alloreactive nature of dual TCR T cells. Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2016 Feb; 21(1):22-8. PMID: 26555233; PMCID: PMC4701647 [Available on 02/01/17].
    5. Jama BP, Morris G. Generation of human alloantigen-specific T cells from peripheral blood. J Vis Exp. 2014 Nov 21; (93):e52257. PMID: 25490283.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Ni PP, Solomon B, Hsieh CS, Allen PM, Morris G. The ability to rearrange dual TCRs enhances positive selection, leading to increased Allo- and Autoreactive T cell repertoires. J Immunol. 2014 Aug 15; 193(4):1778-86. PMID: 25015825; PMCID: PMC4119549.
    7. Morris G, Uy GL, Donermeyer D, Dipersio JF, Allen PM. Dual receptor T cells mediate pathologic alloreactivity in patients with acute graft-versus-host disease. Sci Transl Med. 2013 Jun 05; 5(188):188ra74. PMID: 23740900; PMCID: PMC3859344.
    8. Jackups R, Canter C, Sweet SC, Mohanakumar T, Morris G. Measurement of donor-specific HLA antibodies following plasma exchange therapy predicts clinical outcome in pediatric heart and lung transplant recipients with antibody-mediated rejection. J Clin Apher. 2013 Aug; 28(4):301-8. PMID: 23426730.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Liu C, Wetter L, Pang S, Phelan DL, Mohanakumar T, Morris G. Cutoff values and data handling for solid-phase testing for antibodies to HLA: effects on listing unacceptable antigens for thoracic organ transplantation. Hum Immunol. 2012 Jun; 73(6):597-604. PMID: 22537756.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Morris G, Allen PM. How the TCR balances sensitivity and specificity for the recognition of self and pathogens. Nat Immunol. 2012 Jan 19; 13(2):121-8. PMID: 22261968.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Kong YC, Brown NK, Flynn JC, McCormick DJ, Brusic V, Morris G, David CS. Efficacy of HLA-DRB1*03:01 and H2E transgenic mouse strains to correlate pathogenic thyroglobulin epitopes for autoimmune thyroiditis. J Autoimmun. 2011 Sep; 37(2):63-70. PMID: 21683551; PMCID: PMC3173590.
    12. Morris G, Ni PP, Allen PM. Alloreactivity is limited by the endogenous peptide repertoire. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Mar 01; 108(9):3695-700. PMID: 21321209; PMCID: PMC3048116.
    13. Lawrence KL, White PH, Morris G, Jennemann J, Phelan DL, Hotchkiss RS, Kollef MH. CD4+ lymphocyte adenosine triphosphate determination in sepsis: a cohort study. Crit Care. 2010; 14(3):R110. PMID: 20540723; PMCID: PMC2911756.
    14. Morris G, Phelan DL, Jendrisak MD, Mohanakumar T. Virtual crossmatch by identification of donor-specific anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies by solid-phase immunoassay: a 30-month analysis in living donor kidney transplantation. Hum Immunol. 2010 Mar; 71(3):268-73. PMID: 20074605.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Kong YC, Morris G, Brown NK, Yan Y, Flynn JC, David CS. Autoimmune thyroiditis: a model uniquely suited to probe regulatory T cell function. J Autoimmun. 2009 Nov-Dec; 33(3-4):239-46. PMID: 19822405; PMCID: PMC2783453.
    16. Morris G, Allen PM. Cutting edge: Highly alloreactive dual TCR T cells play a dominant role in graft-versus-host disease. J Immunol. 2009 Jun 01; 182(11):6639-43. PMID: 19454656; PMCID: PMC3196624.
    17. Morris G, Brown NK, Kong YC. Naturally-existing CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells are required for tolerance to experimental autoimmune thyroiditis induced by either exogenous or endogenous autoantigen. J Autoimmun. 2009 Aug; 33(1):68-76. PMID: 19375891; PMCID: PMC2706097.
    18. Morris G, Kong YC. Tolerance to autoimmune thyroiditis: (CD4+)CD25+ regulatory T cells influence susceptibility but do not supersede MHC class II restriction. Front Biosci. 2006 May 01; 11:1234-43. PMID: 16368509.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Morris G, Kong YC. Interference with CD4+CD25+ T-cell-mediated tolerance to experimental autoimmune thyroiditis by glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor monoclonal antibody. J Autoimmun. 2006 Feb; 26(1):24-31. PMID: 16253477.
      View in: PubMed
    20. White RJ, Morris G, Cooke K, Paterson WG. Morphology and glycoconjugate content of opossum esophageal epithelium and glands: regional heterogeneity and effects of acid-induced mucosal injury and recovery. Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Sep; 50(9):1591-604. PMID: 16133956.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Morris G, Yan Y, David CS, Kong YC. H2A- and H2E-derived CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells: a potential role in reciprocal inhibition by class II genes in autoimmune thyroiditis. J Immunol. 2005 Mar 01; 174(5):3111-6. PMID: 15728527.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Wei WZ, Morris G, Kong YC. Anti-tumor immunity and autoimmunity: a balancing act of regulatory T cells. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2004 Feb; 53(2):73-8. PMID: 14610619.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Morris G, Chen L, Kong YC. CD137 signaling interferes with activation and function of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in induced tolerance to experimental autoimmune thyroiditis. Cell Immunol. 2003 Nov; 226(1):20-9. PMID: 14746804.
      View in: PubMed
    24. White RJ, Morris G, Moyes CD, Blennerhassett MG, Hill CE, Pringle GC, Paterson WG. Analysis of mucosal stress response in acid-induced esophagitis in opossum. Dig Dis Sci. 2002 Aug; 47(8):1873-85. PMID: 12184545.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Miceli P, Morris G, MacNaughton WK, Vanner S. Alterations in capsaicin-evoked electrolyte transport during the evolution of guinea pig TNBS ileitis. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2002 Jun; 282(6):G972-80. PMID: 12016122.
      View in: PubMed