The Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) is addressing fundamental scientific questions related to the biological basis of disease. Through transformative biomedical research, we seek breakthroughs that change scientific fields and yield new strategies for treating disease.

Groundbreaking research and medicine require commitment, vision and a relentless determination to push the boundaries of knowledge. At CRI, we are making discoveries that have the potential to improve the treatment of disease and are delivering the benefits of that work to patients. Our ultimate goal is to cure somebody who would not be cured otherwise.” – Sean Morrison, Ph.D.

Our History

CRI was established in 2011 as a joint venture built on the clinical expertise of Children’s Health System of Texas and the scientific excellence of UT Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center. Led by Sean J. Morrison, Ph.D., the Institute is home to an interdisciplinary group of scientists and physicians who focus on translational biomedical research.

Our Research

Groundbreaking research and medicine require commitment, vision and a relentless determination to push the boundaries of knowledge. Our scientists and physicians are pursuing research at the interface of regenerative medicine, cancer biology and metabolism.


CRI Director 

Sean J. Morrison is the director of the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute (CRI) at UT Southwestern, the Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics, the Kathryne and Gene Bishop Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Research, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Dr. Morrison obtained his B.Sc. in biology and chemistry from Dalhousie University (1991), his Ph.D. in immunology at Stanford University (1996) and his postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology at Caltech (1999). From 1999 to 2011, Dr. Morrison was a professor at the University of Michigan, where he directed their Center for Stem Cell Biology. His laboratory studies the mechanisms that regulate stem cell function in adult tissues and the ways in which those mechanisms get hijacked by cancer cells to enable tumor formation.

Dr. Morrison was a Searle Scholar (2000-2003) and received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2003), the International Society for Hematology and Stem Cell’s McCulloch and Till Award (2007), the American Association of Anatomists Harland Winfield Mossman Award (2008) and a MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging (2009). He recently served as President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (2015). Dr. Morrison has also been active in public policy issues surrounding stem cells. He twice testified before Congress and was a leader in the successful “Proposal 2” campaign to protect and regulate stem cell research in Michigan’s state constitution.

Board of Directors

Christopher J. Durovich

Chairman, President and CEO, Children’s Medical Center Dallas

David W. Biegler

Chairman, Southcross Energy Partners

Robert A. Chereck

Executive Chairman, Southwest Securities, FSB

Arnim E. Dontes

Executive Vice President for Business Affairs, UTSW Medical Center

Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D.

President, UTSW Medical Center

David Russell, Ph.D.

Vice Provost and Dean of Basic Research, UTSW Medical Center

Steve Gruber

Chairman of the Board, Children’s Medical Center Foundation and Partner at Blumenthal & Gruber

Sean Morrison, Ph.D.

Director, Children’s Research Institute

Julio Perez-Fontan, M.D.

Physician-in-chief, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas

Dwain Thiele, M.D.

Interim Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, and Dean of UT Southwestern Medical School

Scientific Advisory Boards

Michael Brown, M.D.

Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine, UTSW Medical Center; Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1985

Eric N. Olson, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Molecular Biology UTSW Medical Center; Member, National Academy of Sciences

Julio Perez-Fontan, M.D.

Physician-in-Chief, Children’s Medical Center; Robert L. Moore Chair, Pediatrics, UTSW Medical Center

Helen H. Hobbs, M.D.

Chief, Division of Medical Genetics UTSW Medical Center; Member, National Academy of Sciences

David Russell, Ph.D.

Vice Provost and Dean of Basic Research UTSW Medical Center; Member, National Academy of Sciences

Stuart H. Orkin, M.D.

Chair, Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Member, National Academy of Sciences.

Charles L. Sawyers, M.D.

Chair, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Member, National Academy of Sciences

Gail Mandel, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Vollum Institute at Oregon Health and Science University; Member, National Academy of Sciences

Owen N. Witte, M.D.

Director, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, National Academy of Sciences.

Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D.

Meyer Director and Professor of Cancer Biology, Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine


Teresa Hui, M.B.A., M.S.

CRI Operations

Katie Regan, M.A.

Scientific Communications Manager

Stephanie Bates

Grants, Financial & Budget Management

Laura Clarke

Procurement and Faculty Support

Misti Wheat

Office of the Director

Nick Ng

Grants Management Support

Adiba Mobin

Faculty Support

Teeaira O. Collins

Faculty Support