John H. Morrison
- PROFESSOR Neuroscience
- PROFESSOR Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
- DEAN OF BASIC SCIENCES AND THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Glutamate (NMDA & AMPA) Receptors
- Membrane Proteins/Channels
- Motor Neuron
- Neural Networks
- Protein Trafficking & Sorting
- RNA Transport & Localization
- Reproductive Biology
- Signal Transduction
- Synaptic Plasticity
- Systems Neuroscience
- Transgenic Mice
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
- In October, 2006, Dr. Morrison stepped down as Chair of Neuroscience to assume the position of Dean of Basic Sciences and the Graduate School of Biological Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Dr. Morrison is also Professor of Neuroscience and the Willard T. C. Johnson Professor of Geriatrics and Adult Development in Neurobiology of Aging.
Visit Dr. John Morrison's Lab for more information.
In the News
Please read Dr. John Morrison's Op ED - Science and Medicine in the Service of Society for more information.
Graduate Education in "Accelerating Science, Advancing Medicine"
Please read the message from Dr Morrison regarding Graduate Education in Volume III of "Accelerating Science, Advancing Medicine".
View the PDF.
Winter 2013 Dean's Report
2007 - 2017
Merit Award on Glutamate Receptors in Aging Cortical Circuits
2000 - 2016
Program Project Grant on Estrogen and the Aging Brain
ResearchSpecific Clinical/Research Interest: Neurobiology of cognitive aging. Cortical organization, synaptic plasticity, and synaptic alterations with aging. Steroid effects on cortical circuitry, synaptic organization, and function. Neurodegeneration.
PhD: Erik Bloss, Megan Bailey. MD/PhD: Dani Dumitriu, Kimberly Kwei.
Athena Wang and Yuko Hara.
Lab Manager: Bill Janssen; Research Assistants: Dan Ohm, Rishi Puri, Frank Yuk.
Neurobiology of Aging, Cellular and Synaptic Organization of Cerebral Cortex, Estrogen and the Aging Brain, Cognitive Aging, and Neurodegenerative Disorders
Our research program includes several related components, with the three primary areas being the cellular and synaptic organization of cerebral cortex, selective vulnerability in neurodegenerative disorders, and age-related alterations in glutamate receptor-mediated cortical circuits. These efforts involve cellular neuropathologic analyses of human brain, experimental and neuropathologic analyses of non-human primate and rat cortex, and detailed analyses of genetically manipulated mice. In both neocortex and hippocampus, we are particularly interested in determining the molecular and structural nature of age-related alterations in synaptic plasticity that lead to compromised cognitive function. We are particularly interested in age-related synaptic alterations and how the mechanism of such alterations differs from the degenerative cascade of Alzheimer’s disease. Virtually all of our microscopic analyses are quantitative in nature and through collaborations with cognitive neuroscientists, we are able to link quantitative cellular and synaptic measurements with cognitive performance in the same subjects.
Our studies on glutamate receptor-mediated circuits have focused on both neocortex and hippocampus of primates and rodents. Recently, we have been particularly interested in the cellular and molecular events underlying the functional decrements often seen in normal aging, particularly age-related memory impairment. In contrast to Alzheimer's Disease, cell loss is not likely to be a significant contributor to functional decline in normal aging. Shifts in expression and distribution of key molecules (i.e., glutamate receptors) in otherwise intact circuits, however, do appear to be occurring in aging, and in a manner that would have profound effects on synaptic transmission in key hippocampal and neocortical circuits. These alterations in the molecular constituents of the synapse occur against a background of structural alterations of the spines and synapses that also impact function. Our interests in aging and synaptic plasticity have been expanded over the years to include research programs on the effects of stress on cortical function and plasticity, as well as the links between neuronal aging and endocrine senescence. These studies have revealed synaptic attributes in prefrontal cortex that are altered with aging yet rescued by estrogen treatment, thereby protecting against cognitive decline in aged female monkeys. We are continuing to pursue the mechanistic links between age-related decreases in estrogen levels (i.e., menopause), glutamate receptors, and cortical circuits in behaviorally and hormonally characterized aged non-human primates, with a particular focus on prefrontal cortex and related cognitive functions.
Ohm DT, Bloss EB, Janssen WG, Dietz KC, Wadsworth S, Lou W, Gee NA, Lasley BL, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Clinically Relevant Hormone Treatments Fail to Induce Spinogenesis in Prefrontal Cortex of Aged Female Rhesus Monkeys. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2012 Aug; 32(34).
Dumitriu D, Berger SI, Hamo C, Hara Y, Bailey M, Hamo A, Grossman YS, Janssen WG, Morrison JH. Vamping: stereology-based automated quantification of fluorescent puncta size and density. Journal of neuroscience methods 2012 Jul; 209(1).
Bloss EB, Puri R, Yuk F, Punsoni M, Hara Y, Janssen WG, McEwen BS, Morrison JH. Morphological and molecular changes in aging rat prelimbic prefrontal cortical synapses. Neurobiology of aging 2012 Jun;.
Hara Y, Punsoni M, Yuk F, Park CS, Janssen WG, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Synaptic distributions of GluA2 and PKMζ in the monkey dentate gyrus and their relationships with aging and memory. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2012 May; 32(21).
Dumitriu D, Laplant Q, Grossman YS, Dias C, Janssen WG, Russo SJ, Morrison JH, Nestler EJ. Subregional, dendritic compartment, and spine subtype specificity in cocaine regulation of dendritic spines in the nucleus accumbens. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2012 May; 32(20).
Miller MM, Morrison JH. Basal anxiety-like behavior predicts differences in dendritic morphology in the medial prefrontal cortex in two strains of rats. . Behav Brain Res. 2012 April; 229(1): 280-8.
Morrison JH, Baxter MG. The ageing cortical synapse: hallmarks and implications for cognitive decline.. Nat Rev Neurosci 2012; 13(4): 240-50.
Karatsoreos IN, Bhagat S, Bloss EB, Morrison JH, McEwen BS. Disruption of circadian clocks has ramifications for metabolism, brain, and behavior. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2011; 108(4): 1657-62.
Hara Y, Park CS, Janssen WG, Punsoni M, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Synaptic characteristics of dentate gyrus axonal boutons and their relationships with aging, menopause, and memory in female rhesus monkeys. J Neurosci 2011; 31(21): 7737-7744.
Christoffel DJ, Golden SA, Dumitriu D, Robison AJ, Janssen WG, Ahn HF, Krishnan V, Reyes CM, Han MH, Ables JL, Eisch AJ, Dietz DM, Ferguson D, Neve RL, Greengard P, Kim Y, Morrison JH, Russo SJ. IkappaB kinase regulates social defeat stress-induced synaptic and behavioral plasticity. J Neurosci 2011; 31(1): 314-21.
Bloss EB, Janssen WG, Ohm DT, Yuk FJ, Wadsworth S, Saardi KM, McEwen BS, Morrison JH. Evidence for reduced experience-dependent dendritic spine plasticity in the aging prefrontal cortex. J Neurosci 2011; 31(21): 7831-7839.
Dumitriu D, Rodriguez A, Morrison JH. High throughput, detailed, cell-specific neuroanatomy of dendritic spines using microinjection and confocal microscopy. Nature Protocols 2011; 6(9): 1391- 1411 .
Dumitriu D, Hao J, Hara Y, Kaufmann J, Janssen WG, Lou W, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Selective changes in thin spine density and morphology in monkey prefrontal cortex correlate with aging-related cognitive impairment. J. Neurosci 2010; 30(22): 7507-15.
Bloss EB, Janssen WG, McEwen BS, Morrison JH. Interactive effects of stress and aging on structural plasticity in the prefrontal cortex. J. Neurosci 2010; 30(19): 6726-31.
Shansky RM, Hamo C, Hof PR, Lou W, McEwen BS, Morrison JH. Estrogen Promotes Stress Sensitivity in a Prefrontal Cortex-Amygdala Pathway. Cerebral Cortex. Epub 2010 Feb;.
Goldwater DS, Pavlides C, Hunter RG, Bloss EB, Hof PR, McEwen BS, Morrison JH. Structural and functional alterations to rat medial prefrontal cortex following chronic restraint stress and recovery. Neuroscience 2009; 164: 798-808.
Radley JJ, Rocher AB, Rodriguez A, Ehlenberger DB, Dammann M, McEwen BS, Morrison JH, Wearne SL, Hof PR. Repeated stress alters dendritic spine morphology in the rat medial prefrontal cortex. J. Comp. Neurol 2008; 507(1): 1141-1150.
Yildirim M, Janssen WM, Tabori NE, Adams MM, Yuen GS, Akama KT, McEwen BS, Milner TA, Morrison JH. Estrogen and aging affect synaptic distribution of phosphorylated LIM kinase (pLIMK) in CA1 region of female rat hippocampus. Neuroscience 2008; 152(2): 360-370.
Hao J, Rapp PR, Janssen WM, Morrison JH, Lasley BL, Hof PR, Lou W. Interactive effects of age and estrogen on cognition and pyramidal neurons in monkey prefrontal cortex. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2007; 104: 11465-11470.
Morrison JH, Brinton RD, Schmidt PJ, Gore AC. Estrogen, menopause, and the aging brain: How basic neuroscience can inform hormone therapy in women. J. Neurosci 2006; 26(41): 10332-48.
Hao J, Rapp PR, Leffler AE, Leffler SR, Janssen WG, Lou W, Mc Kay H, Roberts JA, Wearne SL, Hof PR, Morrison JH. Estrogen alters spine number and morphology in prefrontal cortex of aged female rhesus monkeys. J Neurosci 2006; 26(9): 2571-2578.
Moga DE, Morrison JH, Shapiro ML. Bidirectional redistribution of AMPA but not NMDA receptors after perforant path stimulation in the adult rat hippocampus in vivo. Hippocampus 2006; 16(11): 990-1003.
Jacobsen JS, Wu CC, Redwine JM, Comery TA, Arias R, Bowlby M, Martone R, Morrison JH, Pangalos MN, Reinhart PH, Bloom FE. Early-onset behavioral and synaptic deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2006; 103(13): 5161-5166.
Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.
Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Morrison during 2012 and/or 2013. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.
Other Activities: Examples include, but are not limited to, committee participation, data safety monitoring board (DSMB) membership.
- BD Pharmingen; Chemicon (Millipore); Zymed Laboratories
- BD Biosciences; Life Technologies Corporation; Millipore
Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website at http://icahn.mssm.edu/about-us/services-and-resources/faculty-resources/handbooks-and-policies/faculty-handbook. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.
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