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Division of Infection and Immunity

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Professor Emma Morris

Professor of Clinical Cell and Gene Therapy

About

Research in the Morris and Stauss lab focusses on cell and gene therapy, T cell immunology and allogenic stem cell transplantation for haematological malignancies and primary immune deficiencies.

Research summary

My research group is interested in altering both the specificity and the function of gene-modified immune cells. These immune cells can then be used to treat cancer, infection or immune system disorders.

My research team investigates basic cellular and molecular mechanisms that influence how immune cells behave and how they recognise that cancer cells are different to normal cells, or why, in some cases, this does not occur. We are exploring ways to alter the genetic programming of these cells to improve their function and enhance their ability to kill cancer cells.

We also run a number of phase I ('first in human') clinical trials exploring the safety of these treatments in adult patients, where other treatments may have failed. These new approaches to cell therapy can be used in isolation or together with a stem cell (bone marrow) transplant procedure. We are particularly interested in TCR gene-modified T cells and genetically engineered stem cells.

I trained in Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge before specialising in Haemato-oncology and allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. I am currently a Transplant Consultant at University College London Hospital NHS FT and the Royal Free London NHS FT. In receive research funding from the Bloodwise, MRC, CRUK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and the Wellcome Trust.

I am director of the NIHR UCLH/UCL Biomedical Research Centre Inflammation, Immunity and Immunotherapeutics research programme and Co-Chair of the UCL Cell, Gene and Regenerative Medicine Therapeutic Innovation Network.

Selected publications