Patricia L. Morris is the director of biomedical research and acting executive director, R&D, in the Reproductive Health program at the Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research, The Rockefeller University, NY. She also heads the Laboratory for Mechanisms in Reproductive Biomedicine and directs the Cell Biology and Flow Cytometry (CellCore) facility. She received her master of science in biochemistry from Adelphi University, her doctorate in pharmacology and physiology from the School of Graduate Medical Sciences at New York University, and postdoctoral training as an Abby Mauzé Rockefeller fellow in medicine (endocrinology) at Cornell University College of Medicine. She joined the Population Council in 1983 as a research investigator. She is affiliated with the Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical College and The Rockefeller University.
Morris is the principal investigator of translational biomedical research projects funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), with continuous NIH funding since 1987. She is the co-director of a NICHD U54 Specialized Center for Contraceptive Development and a project leader. Her translational projects include studies to identify and characterize critical molecules that affect male germ cell development, sperm production (spermatogenesis), and fertility (or infertility) in humans. Infertility studies in men are conducted collaboratively with urologists. State-of-the-art molecular biology-based approaches in her research laboratory study human tissue and experimental cell modeling from diverse species to characterize the cellular signals and mechanisms that control genes in female and male reproductive tissues such as the breast, endometrium, testis, and prostate. Contraceptive research using clinical materials is conducted in collaboration with endocrinology and gynecology clinical colleagues. Her R&D efforts include the design of new contraceptives having potential for additional health benefits for women and men.
Morris was appointed by Alan E. Guttmacher, MD, NICHD director, to serve as a member of the Reproduction, Andrology and Gynecology advisory subcommittee (2012–16). She is an external scientific advisor for the NIDDK Urology Training Center at Baylor College of Medicine.
Morris serves as a member of the Board of FASEB, a society with more than 115,000 members from around the world, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations (2012–16). She serves as the chair of the Public Affairs Committees for both the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) and the American Society of Andrology (ASA). She is a member of the executive council of ASA and Secretary (2010–13) and served terms as the chair of its Diversity Committee and the President of “Women in Andrology.” She is a recent past member of the Research Affairs Core Committee (RACC) for the Endocrine Society (2009–12) and is currently on the editorial board of its journal Endocrinology.
On the basis of her biomedical expertise in hormone and growth factor regulation of development, growth, and function of reproductive tissues—in health, disease, or cancer—Morris has been invited to present the work of her laboratory and its collaborators at national and international basic research and clinical meetings and serve on numerous scientific panels. She has completed four-year terms as a standing member of NIH’s Reproductive Endocrinology Biology study section and the National Institute for Environmental Sciences (NIEHS) extramural centers program panel. She continues to serve frequently as an ad hoc peer review member and scientific consultant for biomedical and environmental health at NIH and congressionally directed Department of Defense breast and prostate research programs.