News from LSU Health Shreveport

Dr. Stephan W. Morris (Class of 1980)

Dr. Stephan W. Morris is the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Insight Genetics Scientific. Dr. Morris is an internationally recognized physician-scientist and translational investigator whose work focuses on molecular oncology. He was most recently a clinician and researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where his laboratory discovered and characterized a number of oncogenes including NPM-ALK and several other ALK fusion genes. Following the completion of his internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Health Science Center, Dr. Morris trained in medical oncology at Yale University School of Medicine.

Steve Morris is a board-certified internist (Univ. of Texas SW HSC, Dallas, TX) and medical oncologist (Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT). Following two years as a junior faculty member at Yale, Dr. Morris served on the staff at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis, TN) for 25 years. In addition to working as a clinician, Dr. Morris led a basic/translational research laboratory at St. Jude that discovered and characterized oncogenes that cause a variety of human cancers, most notably anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Dr. Morris’ discovery of ALK has led to the development of multiple ALK diagnostics and therapeutics (currently 5 FDA-approved ALK inhibitors for the treatment of lung and other cancers). Steve’s studies have been published in over 150 peer-reviewed publications in high-tier biomedical journals including Cell, Science, J Med Chem, Nature, Nature Immunology, and many others. 

Dr. Morris began transitioning from academia to industry in 2007, co-founding the molecular diagnostics company Insight Genetics (Nashville, TN;, followed by the founding of two additional diagnostics firms – HealthChart LLC (2012; Memphis, TN) and its Chinese sister company Jinlu Biotechnology (2015; Shaoxing, PRC; Dr. Morris left St. Jude in 2012 and has been working full-time in biotech since his exit from academic medicine. In addition to his work in the development of diagnostics, he also serves as a consultant or Chief Medical Officer for several biotech firms that are developing various therapies for cancer and other disease indications. Steve is a member of the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha (1977), an American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award winner (1987), and an inductee into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2001). 
Steve has been married to Patti since 1986, and they have two grown daughters, Carli and Taylor. Taylor is a 2017 graduate of LSU Health Shreveport, and is currently completing a radiology residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans; Carli will begin law school in Fall 2020. 

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