Steve Morris is a board-certified internist (Univ. of Texas SW HSC) and medical oncologist (Yale University School of Medicine). Dr. Morris served on the staff at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for 25 years. In addition to working as a clinician, Dr. Morris led a basic/translational research laboratory at St. Jude that discovered and characterized oncogenes that cause a variety of human cancers, most notably anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK).
Dr. Morris collaborated with Vysis in the development of the LSI® ALK Dual Color, Break Apart Rearrangement FISH Probe, marketed by Abbott Diagnostics and approved in 2011 by the FDA as the companion diagnostic for XALKORI® (the ALK small-molecule inhibitor, crizotinib, upon which the Morris lab collaborated with Pfizer during the compound’s preclinical development). There are now 5 FDA-approved ALK inhibitors, the development of which was based on Dr. Morris’ ground-breaking work.
Dr. Morris began transitioning from academia to industry in 2007, co-founding the molecular diagnostics company Insight Genetics (Nashville, TN; www.insightgenetics.com), followed by founding two additional diagnostics firms – HealthChart LLC (2012; Memphis, TN) and its Chinese sister company Jinlu Biotechnology (2015; Shaoxing, PRC; http://jinlubiotechnology.com/en/). Dr. Morris served as a consultant or CMO for oncology-focused biotech startups since leaving academic medicine in 2012. He is a member of the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha (1977), an American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award winner (1987), and an inductee into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2001).