Skip to main content

Jason Z. Morris

Ph.D.

Professor of Biology
Office: Lincoln Center 813A
Email: cjamorris@fordham.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Education

BA, Biology - Yale University, Summa cum laude
PhD, Genetics - Harvard University
Post-doctoral Fellowship - Lehmann Laboratory, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine
Fellowship Funding - American Cancer Society, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Research

Genetics of Development research

I have spent my career studying the genetic control of development. As a graduate, student, I earned my Ph.D. studying the genetic control of the dauer fate decision in C. elegans, which led me to my work on cloning the dauer developemt/life span regulator, age-1. As a post-doc, I worked on genes required for oogenesis in Drosophila., and I followed up on several of those genes in my own lab, along with my undergraduate collaborators, at Fordham College at Lincoln Center. My lab is currently focused on the gene fried, which encodes a HEAT Repeat protein. fried mutants wander off their food source precociously and die as larvae. We have used CRISPR to insert a tag into the endogenous fried gene and we are currently determining the expression pattern and subcellular localization of the protein fried encodes.

Ethics research

I have worked on two ethics projects. The first is pair of papers discussing why substance ontology cannot be used to assign moral status to the early stages of human development. The second is a pair of publications I coauthored with my wife, Marilyn Morris, on how Internal Review Boards might better function if they were organized according to Virtue Ethics principles.

Awards

Teaching Award

2011 Fordham University Teaching Award in the Natural and Life Sciences

Research Award

2011 Fordham-Funded Research Scholar Award

Fellowships and Grants

National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Health and Medicine R15 Award GM090173-01 for Molecular Identification and Functional Characterization of fried, a Gene Required for Growth and Fertility in Drosophila 2010-2013

Faculty Research Grant: May 2009-March 2010 Identification Characterization of fried.

Faculty Research Grant: May 2008-March 2009: Mapping and Characterization of fried

National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Health and Medicine R15 Award GM074735-01 for Characterization and Molecular Identification of Benedict, a regulator of Drosophila Endoreplication: 2005-2008

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Post-Doctoral Fellowship: 2000-2003.

American Cancer Society Fellowship: 1998-2000.

Faculty Research Grant: May 2004-May 2005: Mapping and Characterization of benedict

Faculty Challenge Grant: September 2004-May 2005: Science Honors Seminar Series

Courses Taught

Teaching in the core:

  • Honors Natural Science I: Matter/Energy interactions
  • Honors Natural Sciences 2: Logic and Information
  • Diverse Biology/Shared Humanity

Teaching upper level science electives:

  • Genetics
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Selected Genetics and Bioethics Papers

Morris, JZ. 2012. Substance ontology cannot determine the moral status of embryos. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: doi: 10.1093/jmp/jhs026.

Morris, JZ, Kruyer, A, Bergman L, Moffitt O, Siletti K, McCord ,Persky R. Drosophila gatA mutants mistranslate the mitochondrial genome, up-regulate AMPK, and down-regulate S6 Kinase to arrest larval growth. In Preparation.

Morris, JZ, Bergman L, Kruyer A, Guigova A, Gertsberg M, Arias R, Pogorzelska M. 2008. Mutations in the Drosophila mitochondrial tRNA aminotransferase, bene/gatA, cause growth defects in mitotic and endoreplicating tissues . Genetics 178: 979-987.

Morris JZ, Hong, A, Lilly, M, and Lehmann R. 2005. twin, a CCR4 homolog, regulates cyclin poly(A) tail length to permit Drosophila oogenesis. Development:132: 1165-1174.

Selected Presentations

Morris, JZ. “Arrested Development and Bad Eggs: genetics of growth and development in Drosophila.” Fordham University Faculty Day Talk, Bronx, NY, February 2012

Kimberly Seoane, Henrique Valim, Jason Morris. “Identification of CG31320 as the gene disrupted in fried mutants. 52nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference, Chicago, Il, March 2012

Morris, JZ. “Identification and analysis of genes required for Drosophila oogenesis and growth.” Fordham College at Rose Hill Biology Lecture, Bronx, NY, March 2011

Carlisdania Mendoza, Guarav Saharia, Lillian Chiu, Alison E. Lindsay, Jason Morris. “Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of the Drosophila mutant, fried.” 51st Annual Drosophila Research Conference, San Diego, CA, March 2011

Jason Z. Morris and Jennifer Ma. “fried mutants exhibit defects in oogenesis and larval and pupal development.” Cell Cycle Meeting, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, May 2010.

Kimberly Siletti, Thomas McCord, Anna Kruyer, Leah Bergman, Olivia Moffitt, Christopher O’Connor, Jane Mueller, Joseph Carnevale, Rebecca Persky and

Morris, JZ. “Analysis of the biochemical and cellular defects caused of gatA loss-of-function mutants in Drosophila larvae.” 49th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2009.

Thomas McCord, Kimberly Siletti, Rebecca Persky and Morris, JZ. “Mapping and analysis of fried, a gene required for egg chamber maturation, larval growth and puparial development.” 49th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2009.

Fiction

Learn about my novel, Thicker Than Mud which will be published in 2019.

Explore my novel’s Facebook page.