UTHSCSA Faculty Profiles v1.0

Morris, James Larry Jr.

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Molecular Medicine
(210) 567-8389

My research over the past decade looking into the nutritional impacts of plant derived compounds in humans, has naturally lead me on a path towards the cancer field. The current focus of my research is determining the effects of small molecule natural product(s) (SMNP) such as, green tea polyphenols, alcoholic and supercritical CO2 extracts of fruits, bark and leaves of numerous plant on aerodigestive cancer development and progression. Using both human cell lines and animal models I am investigating how these extracts can slow tumor progression through decreasing promoter methylation of various genes and restore the protein activity. Along with protein level changes, I am researching how changes in the methylome due to treatment with these compounds or extracts, effects tumor progression in certain types of colon cancers (HNPCC ? hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) and oral cancers and what role these changes can be exploited by SNMP to create better clinical therapies. A new area of focus is determining how these compounds alter the gut microbiome and subsequent changes in risk to precancerous lesion in the gut. In addition, another project being research uses marine toxins to as possible new cancer therapeutics in a stand-alone fashion or in combination with standard therapies. My prior work with plants and plant derived compounds in animal models gives me a sound background with which to accomplish these projects and develop new research from the results.

11/2012 - Present Assistant Professor/Research The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Molecular Medicine, San Antonio, TX