Andrew J. Morris, Ph.D.

Bio / Education: 
  • University of Bristol, B.Sc.,1981-84, Biochemistry
  • University of Birmingham, Ph.D., 1984-88, Biochemistry
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, Post Doctoral, 1988-9, Pharmacology
Research Description: 

Our laboratory studies the role of lipid metabolism and lipid signaling in mechanisms that determine environmental and heritable cardiovascular disease risk.  Current areas of interest include studies of integral membrane lipid phosphatases and bioactive lysophospholipid meditators and investigations into mechanisms linking diet induced obesity and exposure to environmental pollutants to human disease.  We are also invested in the development and application of mass spectrometry-based methods for structural analysis and quantitation of lipids and other biologically important molecules.

Selected Publications: 

Dr. Morris has published more than 220 peer reviewed research articles with a total of 12400 citations. Selected recent publications include:

1: Panchatcharam M, Salous AK, Brandon J, Miriyala S, Wheeler J, Patil P, Sunkara M, Morris AJ, Escalante-Alcalde D, Smyth SS. Mice with targeted inactivation of ppap2b in endothelial and hematopoietic cells display enhanced vascular inflammation and permeability. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Apr;34(4):837-45. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.302335. Epub 2014 Feb 6. PubMed PMID: 24504738; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4001868.

2: Wu T, Kooi CV, Shah P, Charnigo R, Huang C, Smyth SS, Morris AJ. Integrin-mediated cell surface recruitment of autotaxin promotes persistent directional cell migration. FASEB J. 2014 Feb;28(2):861-70. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-232868. Epub 2013 Nov 25. PubMed PMID: 24277575; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3898650.

3: Herzog BH, Fu J, Wilson SJ, Hess PR, Sen A, McDaniel JM, Pan Y, Sheng M, Yago T, Silasi-Mansat R, McGee S, May F, Nieswandt B, Morris AJ, Lupu F, Coughlin SR, McEver RP, Chen H, Kahn ML, Xia L. Podoplanin maintains high endothelial venule integrity by interacting with platelet CLEC-2. Nature. 2013 Oct 3;502(7469):105-9. doi: 10.1038/nature12501. Epub 2013 Sep 1. PubMed PMID: 23995678; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3791160.

4: Salous AK, Panchatcharam M, Sunkara M, Mueller P, Dong A, Wang Y, Graf GA, Smyth SS, Morris AJ. Mechanism of rapid elimination of lysophosphatidic acid and related lipids from the circulation of mice. J Lipid Res. 2013 Oct;54(10):2775-84. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M039685. Epub 2013 Aug 15. PubMed PMID: 23948545; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3770090.

5: Onono F, Subramanian T, Sunkara M, Subramanian KL, Spielmann HP, Morris AJ. Efficient use of exogenous isoprenols for protein isoprenylation by MDA-MB-231 cells is regulated independently of the mevalonate pathway. J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 20;288(38):27444-55. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.482307. Epub 2013 Aug 1. PubMed PMID: 23908355; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3779739.  

6: Mitra MS, Chen Z, Ren H, Harris TE, Chambers KT, Hall AM, Nadra K, Klein S, Chrast R, Su X, Morris AJ, Finck BN. Mice with an adipocyte-specific lipin 1 separation-of-function allele reveal unexpected roles for phosphatidic acid in metabolic regulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jan 8;110(2):642-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213493110. Epub 2012 Dec 24. PubMed PMID: 23267081; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3545773.

7: Bréart B, Ramos-Perez WD, Mendoza A, Salous AK, Gobert M, Huang Y, Adams RH, Lafaille JJ, Escalante-Alcalde D, Morris AJ, Schwab SR. Lipid phosphate phosphatase 3 enables efficient thymic egress. J Exp Med. 2011 Jun 6;208(6):1267-78. doi: 10.1084/jem.20102551. Epub 2011 May 16. PubMed PMID: 21576386; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3173249.

8: Huang H, Gao Q, Peng X, Choi SY, Sarma K, Ren H, Morris AJ, Frohman MA. piRNA-associated germline nuage formation and spermatogenesis require MitoPLD profusogenic mitochondrial-surface lipid signaling. Dev Cell. 2011 Mar 15;20(3):376-87. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.01.004. PubMed PMID: 21397848; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3061402. 

9: Hausmann J, Kamtekar S, Christodoulou E, Day JE, Wu T, Fulkerson Z, Albers HM, van Meeteren LA, Houben AJ, van Zeijl L, Jansen S, Andries M, Hall T, Pegg LE, Benson TE, Kasiem M, Harlos K, Kooi CW, Smyth SS, Ovaa H, Bollen M, Morris AJ, Moolenaar WH, Perrakis A. Structural basis of substrate discrimination and integrin binding by autotaxin. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2011 Feb;18(2):198-204. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.1980. Epub 2011 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 21240271; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3064516.

PubMed Publications: 

  • Keune, W.J.;Potjewyd, F.;Heidebrecht, T.;Salgado-Polo, F.;Macdonald, S.J.;Chelvarajan, L.;Abdel Latif, A.;Soman, S.;Morris, A.J.;Watson, A.J.;Jamieson, C.;Perrakis, A. "Rational Design of Autotaxin Inhibitors by Structural Evolution of Endogenous Modulators." Journal of medicinal chemistry 60, 5 (2017): 2006-2017. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Song, E.S.;Jang, H.;Guo, H.F.;Juliano, M.A.;Juliano, L.;Morris, A.J.;Galperin, E.;Rodgers, D.W.;Hersh, L.B. "Inositol phosphates and phosphoinositides activate insulin-degrading enzyme, while phosphoinositides also mediate binding to endosomes." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2017): [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Zhang, J.;Hughes, R.R.;Saunders, M.A.;Elshahawi, S.I.;Ponomareva, L.V.;Zhang, Y.;Winchester, S.R.;Scott, S.A.;Sunkara, M.;Morris, A.J.;Prendergast, M.A.;Shaaban, K.A.;Thorson, J.S. "Identification of Neuroprotective Spoxazomicin and Oxachelin Glycosides via Chemoenzymatic Glycosyl-Scanning." Journal of natural products 80, 1 (2017): 12-18. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Jafari, N.;Kim, H.;Park, R.;Li, L.;Jang, M.;Morris, A.J.;Park, J.;Huang, C. "CRISPR-Cas9 Mediated NOX4 Knockout Inhibits Cell Proliferation and Invasion in HeLa Cells." PloS one 12, 1 (2017): e0170327. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Huber, T.D.;Wang, F.;Singh, S.;Johnson, B.R.;Zhang, J.;Sunkara, M.;Van Lanen, S.G.;Morris, A.J.;Phillips GN, J.;Thorson, J.S. "Functional AdoMet Isosteres Resistant to Classical AdoMet Degradation Pathways." ACS chemical biology 11, 9 (2016): 2484-91. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Liu, M.;Verma, N.;Peng, X.;Srodulski, S.;Morris, A.;Chow, M.;Hersh, L.B.;Chen, J.;Zhu, H.;Netea, M.G.;Margulies, K.B.;Despa, S.;Despa, F. "Hyperamylinemia Increases IL-1β Synthesis in the Heart via Peroxidative Sarcolemmal Injury." Diabetes 65, 9 (2016): 2772-83. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Wang, X.;Maruvada, R.;Morris, A.J.;Liu, J.O.;Wolfgang, M.J.;Baek, D.J.;Bittman, R.;Kim, K.S. "Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Activation of EGFR As a Novel Target for Meningitic Escherichia coli Penetration of the Blood-Brain Barrier." PLoS pathogens 12, 10 (2016): e1005926. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Morris, A.J.;Smyth, S.S. "Regulation of Lysophosphatidic Acid Metabolism and Signaling by Lipoproteins." Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology 36, 10 (2016): 2029-30. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Li, J.;Song, J.;Zaytseva, Y.Y.;Liu, Y.;Rychahou, P.;Jiang, K.;Starr, M.E.;Kim, J.T.;Harris, J.W.;Yiannikouris, F.B.;Katz, W.S.;Nilsson, P.M.;Orho-Melander, M.;Chen, J.;Zhu, H.;Fahrenholz, T.;Higashi, R.M.;Gao, T.;Morris, A.J.;Cassis, L.A.;Fan, T.W.;Weiss, H.L.;Dobner, P.R.;Melander, O.;Jia, J.;Evers, B.M. "An obligatory role for neurotensin in high-fat-diet-induced obesity." Nature 533, 7603 (2016): 411-5. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Liu, C.T.;Raghavan, S.;Maruthur, N.;Kabagambe, E.K.;Hong, J.;Ng, M.C.;Hivert, M.F.;Lu, Y.;An, P.;Bentley, A.R.;Drolet, A.M.;Gaulton, K.J.;Guo, X.;Armstrong, L.L.;Irvin, M.R.;Li, M.;Lipovich, L.;Rybin, D.V.;Taylor, K.D.;Agyemang, C.;Palmer, N.D.;Cade, B.E.;Chen, W.M.;Dauriz, M.;Delaney, J.A.;Edwards, T.L.;Evans, D.S.;Evans, M.K.;Lange, L.A.;Leong, A.;Liu, J.;Liu, Y.;Nayak, U.;Patel, S.R.;Porneala, B.C.;Rasmussen-Torvik, L.J.;Snijder, M.B.;Stallings, S.C.;Tanaka, T.;Yanek, L.R.;Zhao, W.;Becker, D.M.;Bielak, L.F.;Biggs, M.L.;Bottinger, E.P.;Bowden, D.W.;Chen, G.;Correa, A.;Couper, D.J.;Crawford, D.C.;Cushman, M.;Eicher, J.D.;Fornage, M.;Franceschini, N.;Fu, Y.P.;Goodarzi, M.O.;Gottesman, O.;Hara, K.;Harris, T.B.;Jensen, R.A.;Johnson, A.D.;Jhun, M.A.;Karter, A.J.;Keller, M.F.;Kho, A.N.;Kizer, J.R.;Krauss, R.M.;Langefeld, C.D.;Li, X.;Liang, J.;Liu, S.;Lowe WL, J.;Mosley, T.H.;North, K.E.;Pacheco, J.A.;Peyser, P.A.;Patrick, A.L.;Rice, K.M.;Selvin, E.;Sims, M.;Smith, J.A.;Tajuddin, S.M.;Vaidya, D.;Wren, M.P.;Yao, J.;Zhu, X.;Ziegler, J.T.;Zmuda, J.M.;Zonderman, A.B.;Zwinderman, A.H.;AAAG, C.;CARe, C.;COGENT-BP, C.;, C.;MEDIA, C.;Adeyemo, A.;Boerwinkle, E.;Ferrucci, L.;Hayes, M.G.;Kardia, S.L.;Miljkovic, I.;Pankow, J.S.;Rotimi, C.N.;Sale, M.M.;Wagenknecht, L.E.;Arnett, D.K.;Chen, Y.D.;Nalls, M.A.;MAGIC, C.;Province, M.A.;Kao, W.H.;Siscovick, D.S.;Psaty, B.M.;Wilson, J.G.;Loos, R.J.;Dupuis, J.;Rich, S.S.;Florez, J.C.;Rotter, J.I.;Morris, A.P.;Meigs, J.B. "Trans-ethnic Meta-analysis and Functional Annotation Illuminates the Genetic Architecture of Fasting Glucose and Insulin." American journal of human genetics 99, 1 (2016): 56-75. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Petriello, M.C.;Hoffman, J.B.;Sunkara, M.;Wahlang, B.;Perkins, J.T.;Morris, A.J.;Hennig, B. "Dioxin-like pollutants increase hepatic flavin containing monooxygenase (FMO3) expression to promote synthesis of the pro-atherogenic nutrient biomarker trimethylamine N-oxide from dietary precursors." The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 33, (2016): 145-53. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Vogt, J.;Yang, J.W.;Mobascher, A.;Cheng, J.;Li, Y.;Liu, X.;Baumgart, J.;Thalman, C.;Kirischuk, S.;Unichenko, P.;Horta, G.;Radyushkin, K.;Stroh, A.;Richers, S.;Sahragard, N.;Distler, U.;Tenzer, S.;Qiao, L.;Lieb, K.;Tüscher, O.;Binder, H.;Ferreiros, N.;Tegeder, I.;Morris, A.J.;Gropa, S.;Nürnberg, P.;Toliat, M.R.;Winterer, G.;Luhmann, H.J.;Huai, J.;Nitsch, R. "Molecular cause and functional impact of altered synaptic lipid signaling due to a prg-1 gene SNP." EMBO molecular medicine 8, 1 (2016): 25-38. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Murphy, M.O.;Petriello, M.C.;Han, S.G.;Sunkara, M.;Morris, A.J.;Esser, K.;Hennig, B. "Exercise protects against PCB-induced inflammation and associated cardiovascular risk factors." Environmental science and pollution research international 23, 3 (2016): 2201-11. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Keune, W.J.;Hausmann, J.;Bolier, R.;Tolenaars, D.;Kremer, A.;Heidebrecht, T.;Joosten, R.P.;Sunkara, M.;Morris, A.J.;Matas-Rico, E.;Moolenaar, W.H.;Oude Elferink, R.P.;Perrakis, A. "Steroid binding to Autotaxin links bile salts and lysophosphatidic acid signalling." Nature communications 7, (2016): 11248. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]