In the News

sean_morrison_phd_20151-copyDr. Sean Morrison, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, received an Individual Investigator Award from CPRIT to study the mechanisms of melanoma metastasis. Dr. Morrison is one of five researchers at UT Southwestern to receive funding from CPRIT.

Dr. Morrison aims to better understand the complex molecular mechanisms that allow cancer cells to spread. This research will build on earlier work that found metastasis of human melanoma cells to be limited by oxidative stress, caused by the generation inside cancer cells of highly toxic reactive molecules known as reactive oxygen species. Most melanoma cells that enter the blood die from oxidative stress. Dr. Morrison believes the rare melanoma cells that survive during metastasis undergo specific metabolic adaptations that allow them to withstand the oxidative stress.

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cris-contribution-to-childhood-cancer-research-infographic-finalOctober 11, 2016 – According to statistics from the National Cancer Institute, 10,380 children in the U.S. under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Although advances in treatment have increased the five-year survival rate from 58 percent to 80 percent, cancer in children remains the leading cause of disease-related death among children and teenagers. But the outlook is improving thanks to cutting-edge biomedical research that contributes to the understanding of the disease and the discovery of new treatment options.

The interdisciplinary group of scientists and physicians at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have made significant strides in childhood cancer research.

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September 22, 2016 – Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Genetic and Metabolic Disease Program at ralph-deberardinis-m-d-ph-d-director-of-the-genetic-and-metabolic-disease-program-at-the-childrens-medical-center-research-institute-at-ut_southwesternthe Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI), was among 84 scientists from 43 U.S. institutions chosen as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar. The new grant program is a collaboration of HHMI, the Simons Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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May 10, 2016 — Dr. Bo Zhou, a postdoctoral researcher in the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute lab of Dr. Sean Morrison, has been named the winner of the 2016 Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The recognition is the highest annual award given to a UT Southwestern postdoctoral scholar participating in the graduate school’s Postdoctoral Certificate Training Program. Read the article.

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April 21, 2016 — Dr. Hao Zhu, an Assistant Professor at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, is one of 10 researchers in the nation to receive a Stand Up To Cancer grant to further his studies of a gene whose absence protects mice against liver cancer and promotes liver tissue regeneration in mammals. Read the news release.

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April 7, 2016 — Scientists at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern have identified a novel metabolic pathway that helps cancer cells thrive in conditions that are lethal to normal cells. Read the news release.

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March 29, 2016 — Scientists at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) report that dietary intake determines the balance between fat formation and bone formation in adult bone marrow. The team led by Dr. Sean Morrison, CRI Director and Professor of Pediatrics, found that leptin, a hormone secreted by fat cells in response to food consumption, acts directly on stem cells in the bone marrow to promote the formation of fat cells at the expense of bone.

“This discovery settles a longstanding controversy in this field over the mechanisms underlying the reciprocal relationship between fat and bone,” Dr. Morrison said.

Dr. Morrison is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics at UT Southwestern, the director of the Hamon Laboratory for Stem Cell and Cancer Biology, and a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research.

The research was supported by the Damon Runyan Cancer Research Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the American Heart Association, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, and donors to the Children’s Medical Center Foundation.

The study was published in Cell Stem Cell.

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March 25, 2016 — Scientists at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern report that inactivating a certain protein-coding gene promotes liver tissue regeneration in mammals. Read the news release.

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Feb. 26, 2016 — Because of the foresight and generosity of several of Dallas’ leading foundations, more than $30 million has recently been committed to Children’s Medical Center Foundation to catapult the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern into a leader in pediatric research. 


Feb. 4, 2016 — Scientists at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern have pioneered a new method for conducting in-depth research on malignant tumors in patients, in the process discovering new complexities underlying cancer biology and overturning a nearly century-old perception about cancer metabolism.

The findings, published in Cell, may pave the way for exploiting cancer metabolism to predict disease progression and treat cancer. Read the news release.

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