Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Chair of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Professor of Neurology and Internal Medicine
Director, Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center
University of Iowa Carver
Elizabeth J. Ward Professor
Chair of the Center for Genetic Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Carl Morris, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Neuromuscular Disease Area Lead
Rare Diseases Research Unit, Pfizer
Carl Morris, Ph.D, is a Senior Director for Pfizer’s Rare Disease Research Unit, leading efforts in protein therapeutics and muscle biology programs. Currently, Dr. Morris is directing several programs, including one currently in Phase I, and also leads a research group focused on developing protein therapeutic approaches for neuromuscular and other rare diseases. Prior to joining Pfizer in 2007, Dr. Morris was an Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine following his Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. During his time in industry, Dr. Morris has directed drug development efforts as a project leader for small molecule and biotherapeutic research programs, as well as leading research groups responsible for supporting and advancing both preclinical and clinical programs in development. Dr. Morris holds a B.A. in Biology from Franklin Pierce College (NH) and a PhD in Physiology from UCLA.
Georgia Research Alliance Lars G. Ljungdahl Distinguished Investigator
Director of Graduate Affairs and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia
Dr. Rachelle Crosbie-Watson holds a joint appointment as a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology and the Department of Neurology at UCLA. She is Chair of the M.S. graduate program in Physiological Science and is a Faculty Advisor for the Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, Regents Scholars Program, and the Beckman Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. She served as Vice-Chair for Integrative Biology and Physiology (2009-2010). Dr. Crosbie-Watson has created a course at UCLA using a new teaching format that is focused entirely on mechanisms and therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In 2013, Dr. Crosbie-Watson received the “UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award”, which is a campus-wide recognition of her contributions to education. As Education Liaison, Dr. Crosbie-Watson is developing a graduate program focused on Muscle Cell Biology with an emphasis on translational research. Dr. Crosbie-Watson has expertise on structure and function of the dystrophin- and utrophin-glycoprotein complexes. Her research has revealed novel and unexpected targets in the disease pathway of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dr. Crosbie-Watson discovered that introduction of the sarcospan gene into muscles prevents disease in animal models of muscular dystrophy. She is currently translating these preclinical data using a gene therapy approach. She brings knowledge and experience in muscle cell biology to the Executive Committee, and she is a liaison between the graduate training programs on campus and Center activities.