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

Kelleher M, Lee J, Roberts V, Novak C, Baschat A, Morgan T, Novy M, Rasanen J, Frias A, Burd I. Maternal axithromycin therapy for Ureplasma parvum intra-amniotic infection improves fetal hemodynamics in a non-human primate model. Am J Ob Gyn. Doi. 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.04.015.

Steinbach R, Haese N, Smith J, et al. Morgan T, et al. Streblow D (2020). A neonatal nonhuman primate model of gestational Zika virus infection with evidence of microencephaly, seizures and cardiomyopathy. PLOS ONE. 15(1):e0227676.

Alharbi M, Sharma S, Guanzon D, Morgan T, Hooper J, Salomon C (2020). miRNA signature in small extracellular vesicles and their association with platinum resistance and cancer recurrence in ovarian cancer nanomedicine. Nanomedicine (in press).

Clemente L, Boeldt D, Grummer M, Morita M, Morgan T, Wiepz G, Bertics P, Bird I. (2020) Adenoviral transduction of EGFR into pregnancy-adapted uterine artery endothelial cells remaps growth factor induction of endothelial dysfunction.  Mol & Cell Endocrinol 499:110590.

Dupriest E, Hebert J, Morita M, Marek N, Andeen N, Houseman E, Qi Y, Alswasel S, Nyengaard J, Morgan T. (2020). Fetal renal DNA methylation and developmental programming of stress-induced hypertension in growth restricted male mice. Reproductive Sciences 27(5): 1110-1120.

Roberts V, Gaffney J, Lewandowski K, Schabel M, Morgan T, Frias A. (2019).  A standardized method for collection of human placenta samples in the age of functional MRI. Biotechniques. 67(2): 45-9.

Michaelis K, et. al. Morgan T, Marks D (2019). The TLR7/8 agonist R848 remodels tumor and host immune responses to promote survival in pancreatic cancer. Nature Communications 10(1):5257.

Kuo K , Roberts V, Gaffney J, Takahashi D, Morgan T, Lo J, Stouffer R, Frias A (2019). Maternal high-fat diet consumption and chronic hyperandrogenemia are associated with altered placental vasculature and nutrient transport in female rhesus macaques. Endocrinology  160(8): 1937-49. 

Zhu X, Burfeind K, Michaelis K, Braun T, Olson B, Pelz K, Morgan T, Marks D (2019). MyD88 signaling is critical in the development of pancreatic cancer cachexia. JCSM  10(2):378-90. 

Mitrugno A, Tunga S, Sylman J, et al. Morgan T, McCarty O. (2019). The role of coagulation and platelets in colon cancer-associated thrombosis. AJP-Cell Phys. 316:C264-273.


Mayu Morita