Morgan Research Laboratory

My primary research mission is to determine how uteroplacental vascular remodeling during pregnancy affects blood flow to the placenta leading 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 Obstetrics & Gynecology, OHSU
Principal Investigator

Mayu Morita: Senior Research Associate
Laboratory Technician

Nicole Marek: Masters of Public Health Student
Research Associate

Recent publications

Irreversible alteration of extracellular vesicle and cell-free messenger RNA profiles in human plasma associated with blood processing and storage
Kim, H. J., Rames, M. J., Tassi Yunga, S., Armstrong, R., Morita, M., Ngo, A. T. P., McCarty, O. J. T., Civitci, F., Morgan, T. K. & Ngo, T. T. M., Dec 2022, In: Scientific Reports. 12, 1, 2099.

Placental pathology is necessary to understand common pregnancy complications and achieve an improved taxonomy of obstetrical disease
Redline, R. W., Roberts, D. J., Parast, M. M., Ernst, L. M., Morgan, T. K., Greene, M. F., Gyamfi-Bannerman, C., Louis, J. M., Maltepe, E., Mestan, K. K., Romero, R. & Stone, J., Feb 2023, In: American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 228, 2, p. 187-202 16 p.

Cessation of chronic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol use partially reverses impacts on male fertility and the sperm epigenome in rhesus macaques
Hedges, J. C., Hanna, C. B., Shorey-Kendrick, L. E., Boniface, E. R., Bash, J. C., Rice-Stitt, T. L., Burch, F. C., D'Mello, R., Morgan, T. K., Lima, A. C., Terrobias, J. J. D., Graham, J. A., Mishler, E. C., Jensen, J. V., Hagen, O. L., Urian, J. W., Spindel, E. R., Easley, C. A., Murphy, S. K. & Lo, J. O., Jul 2023, In: Fertility and sterility. 120, 1, p. 163-174 12 p.

Deletion of the mRNA stability factor ELAVL1 (HuR) in pancreatic cancer cells disrupts the tumor microenvironment integrity
McCarthy, G. A., Di Niro, R., Finan, J. M., Jain, A., Guo, Y., Wyatt, C. R., Guimaraes, A. R., Waugh, T. A., Keith, D., Morgan, T. K., Sears, R. C. & Brody, J. R., Jun 1 2023, In: NAR Cancer. 5, 2, zcad016.

Infection of the maternal-fetal interface and vertical transmission following low-dose inoculation of pregnant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with an African-lineage Zika virus
Koenig, M. R., Mitzey, A. M., Morgan, T. K., Zeng, X., Simmons, H. A., Mejia, A., Jaimes, F. L., Keding, L. T., Crooks, C. M., Weiler, A. M., Bohm, E. K., Aliota, M. T., Friedrich, T. C., Mohr, E. L. & Golos, T. G., May 2023, In: PloS one. 18, 5 May, e0284964.

Morgan lab personnel standing next to totem sculpture
Morgan lab personnel standing next to presentation board
Nicole Marek, Morgan Lab Research Associate