Parent Page: Academic Departments id: 22945 Active Page: The Morris Labid:25541

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The Principal Investigator



Dr. Morris is an Associate Professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery with over 15 years of clinical practice as a surgical oncologist specializing in the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies. Through her work helping patients, she has been fortunate to accumulate a body of  clinical experience that has led to scientific questions regarding the interplay of inflammation and gastrointestinal cancers. The clinical experience of treating patients with complex, life-threatening diseases such as metastatic colorectal cancer provides strong motivation for her work which is aimed at increasing our understanding of the mechanisms underlying how solid tumors escape our immune systems. The current emphasis for her team is determining the role a pro-inflammatory protein called GCSF plays in shaping the tumor immune microenvironment in developing and metastatic colorectal cancer to learn whether inhibition of this protein could help cancer patients fight the disease. The Morris lab is also working to understand how the sex and age of the patient affects the immune response to cancers.
Motto: “I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach 10,000 stars how not to dance” e.e. cummings





The Mission

This Lab is investigating novel therapeutic targets aimed at reprogramming the tumor immune microenvironment in gastrointestinal malignancies

Lab Personnel


Lab Manager

Apryl Saunders, MS, Laboratory Research Manager – Ms. Saunders has research experience in cell biology, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, organometallic chemistry, and structural biology. She received her Master of Science degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 2018. She is currently working towards a Professional Science Masters in Bioinformatics at the University of Maine. LinkedIn profile:



Research Assistants


Megan Reidy, BS, Research Assistant II,  – Ms. Reidy has over 12 years of animal handling experience in either a veterinary or research setting. She has experience in cell culture, RNA/DNA extraction, PCR, qPCR, flow cytometry, cytokine analysis, and writing protocols for the lab including IACUC protocols. She is also known for being able to walk on her hands in a handstand position.



Alexander Yaganeh, Research Assistant II,  – 


Postdoctoral Fellows


Anita Ray, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow – Dr. Ray has been researching immune responses in gastrointestinal tumors since 2012. She is interested in transforming immune cells and the tumor environment to improve patient outcomes.  


Latest News

  • Click HERE to see publications from the Morris lab and collaborators


  • Work from our team led by Surgery Resident, Dr. Andrea Geddes, was recently selected as one of the Top 4 papers for the Western Surgical Association 2020 meeting  -- AN ANALYSIS OF SEXUAL DIMORPHISM IN THE TUMOR MICROENVIRONMENT OF COLORECTAL CANCER

AE Geddes, AL Ray, RA Nofchissey, A Esmaeili, A Saunders, M Khan, S Aravindan, JT Ahrendsen, M Li, MG Urdaneta, KM Fung, M Jayaraman, J Yang, KK Booth, GD Dunn, SN Carter, KT Morris University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center



Get in Touch

If you are a student, resident, or 

faculty member who wants to get 

involved please click HERE or

contact Asaleigh Cline at 

405.271.8001 EXT. 56021. 





If you have any other questions 

regarding the lab please 

click HERE or contact Megan Lerner 

at 405.271.2601 opt. 1.