Tasha A. Morrison, Ph.D., M.P.H., received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Temple University in 2005. Her interest in basic science research led her to start a summer internship in the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Henske at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It transitioned into a post-baccalaureate position funded by the NIH/NIDDK to study molecular mechanisms of renal malignancy in tuberous sclerosis.
In 2008, Dr. Morrison moved with Dr. Henske to Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a research assistant and changed her focus to the role of estrogen in the malignancy of lymphangioleiomyomatosis. While at Brigham, she received a master’s degree in public health at Boston University.
In 2012, Dr. Morrison started a molecular and translational medicine doctoral program at Boston University School of Medicine. She characterized a novel long non-coding RNA and determined its role in regulating hemoglobin expression in red blood cells. This research was partially funded by an F31 predoctoral fellowship grant awarded by the NIH/NHLBI.
After successfully defending her doctoral thesis in 2017, Dr. Morrison joined the laboratory of Dr. John O’Shea as a postdoctoral fellow at the NIAMS. Her research focuses on the role of genes found within super-enhancers specific to natural killer (NK) cells. In 2020, Dr. Morrison was selected to join the Independent Research Scholar Program. She holds a junior faculty position at the NIAMS and leads the Lymphocyte Signaling Unit.
Dr. Morrison’s research goal is to uncover novel molecular mechanisms that regulate the development and function of immune cells. Her current focus is to understand how newly recognized genes, including long non-coding RNAs, regulate the differentiation, activation, and response of natural killer (NK) cells to determine their impact on the innate immune response. Currently, Dr. Morrison is uncovering the importance of glycosphingolipids to signaling cascades required for the development and function of NK cells.