• Developmental Neurobiology
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Developmental Neurobiology

Department of Developmental Neurobiology


James Morgan, PhD

Departmental Focus

Scientists in the Department of Developmental Neurobiology investigate the fundamental processes that govern normal brain development and function. We believe that this information will provide unique opportunities for understanding and treating a range of diseases afflicting the nervous system including tumors, defects in hearing and vision as well as neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. Our goal to enhance novel clinical therapies is facilitated by fostering an interactive environment where researchers investigating fundamental aspects of nervous system development and function are juxtaposed to those engaged in clinical and translational research. Indeed, faculty in the department hold key leadership positions in two of the institutional Comprehensive Cancer Center Programs: the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program and the Developmental Therapeutics for Solid Malignancies Program; each recognized for its basic, translational and clinical research into tumors afflicting children. To further strengthen translational interactions the department hosts two divisions, Brain Tumor Research and Developmental Biology whose research efforts are aligned with the goals of the two CCC Programs.

Current research includes studies of early cell fate decisions and control of brain growth, neuronal migration and synapse formation, analysis of the mechanisms responsible for synaptic plasticity, investigations of the control of cell death and regeneration, examination of mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases, identification of genes involved in the formation and function of the inner ear and retina, and elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying a range of tumors, including medulloblastoma, neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, ependymoma and glioma. These investigations are further leveraged by our use of multiple experimental platforms that range from comprehensive genomics and proteomics to advanced cellular and in vivo imaging and computational biology to derivation of novel genetic preclinical models of childhood diseases.

Contact Us

Department of Developmental Neurobiology
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Room D2025
Memphis, TN 38105-3678 USA

Email: jim.morgan@stjude.org
Phone: (901) 595-2258
FAX: (901) 595-3066

Preferred contact method: email


Suzanne J. Baker, PhD  Molecular pathogenesis of pediatric high-grade gliomas

Xinwei Cao, PhD  Growth control during neural tube development

Fabio Demontis, PhD  Mechanisms of skeletal muscle aging, protein homeostasis, and myokines

Michael A. Dyer, PhD  Retinal development and retinoblastoma

Richard J. Gilbertson, MD, PhD  The cellular and molecular origins of brain tumors

Young-Goo Han, PhD   Primary cilia in brain development and tumorigenesis

Myriam Labelle, PhD  Role of platelets in cancer metastasis

James I. Morgan, PhD  Control of neuronal death and differentiation

Paul A. Northcott, PhD Integrative genomics and molecular features of pediatric brain tumors

Jamy C. Peng, PhD  Epigenetic regulation of stem cell functions

Richard J. Smeyne, PhD  Models of CNS disease

David J. Solecki, PhD  Cell polarity in neuron precursor differentiation

Stanislav S. Zakharenko, MD, PhD  Synaptic and neuronal mechanisms of schizophrenia

Liqin Zhu, PhD  Stem cells in normal and malignant development

Jian Zuo, PhD  Auditory hair cell function and regeneration in mice