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Kevin Morris, PhD

Associate Professor Adjunct
Department of Molecular Medicine
California Campus
Laboratory Website
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(858) 784-9949

Research Focus

The Morris lab is specifically interested in utilizing antisense non-coding RNAs to regulate transcription of HIV-1 and genes involved in cancer. The lab is also interested in the discerning the underlying mechanism whereby long antisense non-coding RNAs regulate gene transcription in human cells. Lentiviral derived vector systems and cell targeted aptamers are employed to deliver non-coding RNA based modalities to target cells as well as to investigate the mechanistic interactions involved in long antisense non-coding RNA mediated regulation of transcription.


Ph.D., Comparative Pathology, University of California, Davis, 2001
B.S., Molecular Biology, Humboldt State University, 1996

Professional Experience

2016-2017 Associate Professor Adjunct, Molecular and Experimental Medicine (MEM), The Scripps Research Institute
2011-2016 Associate Professor, Molecular and Experimental Medicine (MEM), The Scripps Research Institute
2005-2016 Faculty Member, Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences, The Scripps Research Institute
2005-2011 Assistant Professor, Molecular and Experimental Medicine (MEM), The Scripps Research Institute
2004-2005 Assistant Research Scientist, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope
2001-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Diego

Awards & Professional Activities

2004 - Present, Adjunct Professor, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope 2001 - 2004 Post-doctoral Fellow, University of California San Diego 2008 - Listed as one of 30 “Tomorrow PI’s” by Genome Technology 2009 - Astor Fellow, Oxford University, Oxford England 1996 - 2001 Research Assistant, University of California Davis

Selected References

All Publications

Han J, Kim D, Morris KV. Promoter-associated RNA is required for RNA-directed transcriptional gene silencing in human cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 24;104(30):12422-7. Epub 2007 Jul 17. PMID: 17640892/PMCID: 1924466

Turner AM, De La Cruz J, Morris KV. Mobilization-competent Lentiviral Vector-mediated Sustained Transcriptional Modulation of HIV-1 Expression.Mol Ther. 2008 Dec 9;. PMID: 19066594

Morris K.V, Santoso S, Turner A-M, Pastori C, Hawkins PG. Bidirectional transcription directs both transcriptional gene activation and suppression in human cells. PLoS Genet. 2008 Nov;4(11):e1000258. Epub 2008 Nov 14. PMID: 19008947/PMCID: 2576438

Hawkins PG, Santoso S, Adams C, Anest V, Morris KV. Promoter targeted small RNAs induce long-term transcriptional gene silencing in human cells. NAR. 2009 Mar 20,. PMID19304753

Morris KV. Long antisense non-coding RNAs function to direct epigenetic complexes that regulate transcription in human cells. Epigenetics. 2009 Jul 17;4(5). Perspective.  PMID: 19633414

Morris KV. RNA-Directed Transcriptional Gene Silencing and Activation in Human Cells. Oligonucleotides. 2009 Nov 29. PMID: 19943804.

Hawkins PG, and Morris KV. Transcriptional regulation of Oct4 by a long non-coding RNA antisense to Oct4-pseudogene 5. Transcription, 1(3), pp 165-175 December 2010. PMID: 21151833.

Hawkins PG, Taft RJ, Mattick JS, and Morris KV. The relationship between tiRNAs and CTCF localization. Epigenetics and Chromatin, 2011 Aug 3;4:13. PMID: 21813016.