UTHSCSA Faculty Profiles v1.0

Morris, James Larry Jr.

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

With a background in animal models, nutrient absorption, and an intense interest in using plant-based nutrients and phytochemicals to reduce health burdens in humans, my research is focused on cancer chemoprevention. The current focus of my research is determining the effects of small molecule natural product(s) (SMNP), such as green tea polyphenols ? primarily EGCG, alcoholic and supercritical CO2 extracts of fruits, bark, and leaves of numerous plants on colon and oral cancer development and progression. Using both human cell lines and pre-clinical animal models, I am investigating how these extracts can slow tumor progression through down regulations of inflammatory cytokines, molecular inflammatory components and how they modulate the inflammasome. I also evaluate how changes in circulating and salivary cytokines in response to SMNPs, effects tumor progression in certain cancer types including oral squamous cell carcinoma, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and how these changes can be exploited by SNMP in vitro and in vivo to create novel modalities of chemoprevention and improved clinical outcomes.

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