The National Academy of Medicine selected UT Southwestern professor Dr. Sean Morrison, who directs the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute, to join its ranks this week.
Morrison, who is known for his work in stem cell biology and cancer, is one of 17 current UT Southwestern faculty members that have been inducted into the organization. NAM was founded in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, and is a private, nonprofit institutions that works to provide objective matters on medical questions.
“It is a milestone when people get elected to a National Academy. Like a lifetime achievement award for biomedical research geeks,” he said.
Morrison says that individuals must be nominated from within the organization, who then create a committee to vet the nominee before the members vote. When a legislative question that requires expertise comes up, NAM creates a committee to write a report and make it available to the legislature. “Sometimes they gather dust, and sometimes they are basis of laws in congress,” Morrison says.
Morrison holds the Kathryne and Gene Bishop Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Research at Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern and the Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics, and works at the interface of cell biology and cancer. Morrison discovered that aging stem cells induce the genes that suppress tumors, and how cancer hijacks the function of those cells. Morrison has been in his role at UT Southwestern since 2011.
“I am grateful for this recognition for my laboratory’s work, and particularly thankful for the support of my colleagues at UT Southwestern and Children’s Health,” he said via release. “This is a remarkable environment in which to do science, with many inspiring colleagues.”
Read more about Morrison’s work to cure cancer in our 2015 piece here.