Professor Emeritus Brian J. Morris
Brian Morris was appointed to the academic staff of the Department (now Discipline) of Physiology in 1978 after 3 years of postdoctoral studies in the USA as a CJ Martin Fellow, then an Advanced Fellow of the American Heart Association, firstly at the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1975-1976, then at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1976-1978. He has been a Professor since 1999. In Sep 2013 the University of Sydney Senate appointed him as Professor Emeritus. His research has been mostly in the realm of molecular biology and molecular genetics, with a particular interest in hypertension. He won the Edgeworth David Medal in 1985 from the Royal Society of New South Wales, the 2006 Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision, a Scroll of Honour Australia Day Award for community service from The Waverley Council in 2007. In 2010 Brian Morris was conferred the Lewis K. Dahl Memorial Award and Lecture by the American Heart Association's Council for High Blood Pressure Research, presenting his Lecture on his lifetime hypertension discoveries at HBPR2010 in Washington, DC. He has served the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia as a member of the Executive Committee for 3 six-year terms, being Treasurer from 2005-2010 and is currently Editor for 2014-2019. He was a foundation member of the editorial board of Hypertension from 1979-1981, and has been a board member in recent years since 2002. He was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Hypertension from 2003-2007. Brian Morris has over 344 academic publications. His publications have been cited over 6,400 times to early 2014. His H-index is 43.
Brian Morris is involved in research in several different fields. His long-term interest has been the molecular genetics of hypertension, over recent years having a particular focus on genome-wide alterations in gene and microRNA expression in human essential hypertension and rodent models of this condition. He is a co-CI on a NHMRC grant for 2013-2015 with Eugenie Lumbers and colleagues at University of Newcastle on the expression of the various components of the (pro)renin-angiotensin system and other genes in fetal and maternal tissues to determine whether these have a role in premature labour. A major current research involvement is the molecular genetics of longevity. This followed a sabbatical (Special Studies Program) in the Department of Geriatric Medicine, Kuakini Medical Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu for 2 months in 2012-13 leading to multiple first-author publications. This adds to his long-term interest and publications on molecular mechanisms of ageing, longevity and the influences of dietary factors on health. Other work includes the publication of completed work from his Lab on the molecular biology of factors involved in alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs, a process that results in the generation of multiple proteins from most of the genes in the genome. Brian was the first in the world to patent the use of PCR for cervical screening (priority date Feb 1987). This test was devised to detect the cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus. His work in the cervical cancer field led him to become interested in promoting the health and medical benefits of male circumcision (www.circinfo.net and www.circumcisionaustralia.org), a field in which he has developed a strong international reputation, with over 60 academic publications.