Morgan Research Laboratory

My primary research mission is to determine how uteroplacental vascular remodeling during pregnancy affects blood flow to the placenta leads to common maternal pregnancy complications and fetal programming of adult onset disease in their progeny.  In summary, the human placenta invades the maternal uterus to be bathed in blood during gestation.  This fetal organ acts as the growing baby's lungs, kidneys, and hormonal signaling system to regulate fetal nutrition, waste regulation, and mediate adequate blood flow from mom to baby.  In about 10% of pregnancies, this complex regulation does not work properly leading to small babies, early labor, and pregnancy-induced hypertension in mom.  Small babies have an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, essential hypertension, and perhaps cancer later in life as adults.  We think that the developmental origins of adult onset heart disease may begin with abnormal blood flow to the developing placenta.  Understanding the placenta's ability to regulate and compensate for abnormal maternal blood flow may lead to clinically significant insights into an important cause of common diseases.  My research interests are also directed towards developing and validating new methods to screen patient blood samples for cell- and size-specific extracellular vesicles (EVs) for diagnostics and sorting of EVs for further biomarker development.  I am a leader of our multidisciplinary EV Science Group to develop a new approach to EV imaging, quantitation, and isolation.


Terry K. Morgan, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Pathology and Obsetrics & Gynecology, OHSU
Principal Investigator

Mayu Morita: Senior Research Associate
Laboratory Technician

Nicole Marek: Masters of Public Health Student
Research Associate

Recent publications

Hirsch A, Roberts V, Grigsby P, et al. Morgan T, Frias A, Streblow D. Zika virus infection in pregnant rhesus macaque causes placental dysfunction and immunopathology. Nature Commun. 2018;9(1):263.

Lo J, Roberts V, Schabel M, Wang X, Morgan T, Liu Z, Studholme C, Kroenke C, Frias A. Novel detection of placental insufficiency by MRI in the non-human primate. Reproductive Sciences. 2018;25(1):64-73.

Collins S, Chantraine F, Morgan T, Jauniaux E. Abnormally adherent and invasive placenta: A spectrum disorder in need of an inclusive name. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol2018;51(2):165-166.

Mohr E, Block L, Newman C, et al. Morgan T, et al. Ocular and uteroplacental pathology in a macaque pregnancy with congenital Zika virus infection. PLOS ONE.2018;13(1):e0190617.

DuPriest E, Kupfer P, Bhusari A, Quackenbush A, Morgan T, Purnell J, Bagby S. Effects of Postweaning Calorie Restriction on Accelerated Growth and Adiponectin in Nutritionally Programmed Microswine Offspring. AJP-Reg, Integ and Comp Physiol. (in press)

Morgan T, Roberts V, Bednarek P, Morita M, Burton G, Lo J, Frias A. Early first trimester uteroplacental blood flow and the progressive disintegration of spiral artery plugs: New insights from contrast-enhanced ultrasound and tissue histopathology. Hum Reprod. 2017;32(12):2382-93.

Michaelis K, Xhu X, Burfeind K, Krasnow S, Levasseur P, Morgan T, Marks D. Establishment and characterization of a novel murine model of pancreatic cancer cachexia. JCSM . 2017;8(5):824-838.

Morgan T and Beristain A. Uteroplacental mingling: Who's kissing uNK? J Leuk Biol. 2016;100(4):637-639 [Review].

Morgan T. Role of the placenta in preterm birth: A review. Am J Perinatol. 2016;33(3):258-266 [Review].

Morgan T., Allen-Brady K, Monson M, Leclair C, Sharp H, Cannon-Albright L. Familiality analysis of provoked vestibulodynia treated by vestibulectomy supports genetic predisposition. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016;214(5):609.e1-7.


Mayu Morita