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John H. Morrison, PhD December 16, 2011, 12:00 pm WPIC Auditorium

 

Department of Psychiatry Lecture Series
Distinguished Scientist Lecture

Age-related Alterations in Cortical Neurons, Synapses, and Neuronal Plasticity: Implications for Cognitive Decline

John H. Morrison, PhD
Dean of Basic Sciences and the Graduate School of Biological Sciences and Professor of Neuroscience and the Willard T. C. Johnson Professor of Geriatrics and Adult Development in Neurobiology of Aging
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Dr. John H. Morrison is currently Dean of Basic Sciences and the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Professor of Neuroscience, and the Willard T.C. Johnson Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine (Neurobiology of Aging) at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He served as Chair of the Department of Neuroscience until 2006, when he stepped down to become Dean. Dr. Morrison earned his Bachelor’s Degree and PhD from Johns Hopkins University, and completed postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Dr. Floyd E. Bloom at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He then served as a faculty member at The Scripps Research Institute until he joined the faculty at Mount Sinai in 1989 to develop and lead a new Center for Neurobiology. Dr. Morrison’s research program focuses primarily on the neurobiology of aging and neurodegenerative disorders, particularly as they relate to cellular and synaptic organization of cerebral cortex. Within this broad arena, his lab works specifically on the interactions between endocrine factors (e.g., estrogen, stress steroids) and aging and the synaptic determinants of cognitive aging. His laboratory is particularly interested in age-related alterations in structural and molecular attributes of the synapse that compromise plasticity and lead to cognitive decline. These issues are addressed in mouse models, experimental analyses of rat and non-human primates, as well as the human brain. Since 1985 the NIH has funded Dr. Morrison’s research without interruption, and he currently directs a large NIH-funded program project on Estrogen and the Aging Brain, as well as one on the neurobiological basis of cognitive aging that has been designated as an NIH MERIT Award. Dr. Morrison has published over 290 articles on cortical organization, the cellular pathology of neurodegenerative disorders, the neurobiology of cognitive aging, and more recently the effects of stress on cortical circuitry. He has also edited five books on related topics. He is ranked among the most highly cited investigators in neuroscience (i.e. ISI Highly Cited/Neuroscience) and has served on numerous editorial boards. In 2010, He was elected to the Council of the Society for Neuroscience.

For more information regarding the Department of Psychiatry Lecture Series, please contact Jeanie Knox Houtsinger at knoxjv@upmc.edu.