Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Student
B.S. in Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio.
My research is focused on the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses by host cell signaling pathways, and the mechanisms that pathogens use to evade and otherwise manipulate host immunity. I am currently studying the role of members of a conserved family of Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs) known as Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs) and their signaling adaptor proteins during the immune response to the intracellular bacterial pathogen Francisella tularensis, a gram-negative bacterium that causes the disease tularemia. I am working on defining a novel TLR signaling pathway that is required for appropriate innate immune responses to pulmonary F. tularensis infection, and on mechanisms by which F. tularensis evades innate immune responses.
- Segovia J, Sabbah A, Mgbemena V, Tsai SY, Chang TH, Berton MT, Morris IR, Allen IC, Ting JP, Bose S. TLR2/MyD88/NF-kB pathway, reactive oxygen species, potassium efflux activates NLRP3/ASC inflammasome during respiratory syncytial virus infection. PLoS One. (2012) 7(1):e29695
- Medina EA, Morris IR, Berton MT. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activation attenuates the TLR2- mediated macrophage proinflammatory cytokine response the Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain. Journal of Immunology. (2010) Dec 15; 185(12):7562-72
- Abplanalp AL, Morris IR, Parida BK, Teale JM, Berton MT. TLR-dependent control of Francisella tularensis infection and host inflammatory responses. PLoS One. (2009) Nov 20;4(11):e7920
March 2009 - Winner, first prize - Annual Terry Mikiten Graduate Student Research Forum poster presentation.
November 2011 - Winner, runner-up prize – San Antonio Infectious Disease Research Symposium poster presentation, San Antonio, TX.
May 2012 - Trainee abstract travel award – 99th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Immunologists, Boston, MA.
September 2012 - Presenter travel award (pending) - 7th International Conference on Tularemia, Breckenridge, CO.
September 2009 through August 2011 - NIH training grant T32-007271.
- POSTER: IR Morris, Medina EA and MT Berton. PI3-kinase attenuates the TLR2-mediated macrophage proinflammatory cytokine response to F. tularensis infection. Annual Terry Mikiten Graduate Student Research Forum, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. (March 2009) Winner, First Prize.
- POSTER: Morris IR, Berton MT. A Novel Role for the Toll-Like Receptor Adaptor Molecule TRAM in the Innate Immune Response to Francisella tularensis LVS Infection. Annual Terry Mikiten Graduate Student Research Forum, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. (March 2010)
- PRESENTATION: A Novel Toll-Like Receptor pathway is required for survival of pulmonary tularemia. University of Texas at San Antonio Colleges of Science Research Symposium, San Antonio, TX. (May 2010)
- POSTER: Morris IR, Linehan LA, Shen H, Bergman MA, Berton MT. A novel TLR4-independent signaling pathway for the Toll-Like Receptor adaptor molecule TRAM. San Antonio Infectious Disease Research Symposium, San Antonio, TX. (November 2011) Winner, runner-up.
- POSTER AND PRESENTATION: Morris IR, Linehan LA, Shen H, Medina EA, Bergman MA, Berton MT. A novel TRIF-independent role for the TLR adaptor molecule TRAM during infection with Francisella tularensis. 99th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Immunologists, Boston, MA (May 2012) Trainee abstract award.
- PRESENTATION (pending): A novel TRAM-dependent, TRIF-independent signaling pathway regulates innate immune responses during pulmonary infection with Francisella tularensis LVS. 7th International Conference on Tularemia, Breckenridge, CO. (September 2012) Presenter travel award.