Morgan, Daniel

Daniel Morgan, PhD 
Associate Professor and Associate Vice Chair of Biomedical Sciences 
(304) 696-7298

Research Interest 

The primary focus of my laboratory is to understand the mechanisms responsible for endocannabinoid signaling in human health and disease including cannabinoid tolerance, drug addiction, and metabolic homeostasis. Currently my group is funded by NIDA to assess the mechanisms responsible for cannabinoid tolerance (DA044999). This work involves assessing the contribution and molecular mechanisms of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling in tolerance for different cannabinoid drugs. We are also actively engaged in work to understand the mechanisms responsible for sex differences between male and female mice in the response and tolerance to cannabinoids. This work involves using different strains of mutant mice that express either desensitization or internalization-resistant forms of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor. Members of my group commonly use methods in behavioral pharmacology to assess acute, inflammatory, and chronic pain in mice and molecular pharmacological approaches to assess cannabinoid receptor function and signaling. These pain testing approaches include the tail-flick and hotplate tests to measure acute pain, the formalin test to measure inflammatory pain, and the von Frey, Hargraeve's, and acetone tests to measure mechanical and thermal sensitivity in mice with chronic pain from chemotherapy exposure or nerve injury. We also use the elevated plus maze, forced swim test, conditioned place preference, and ultrasonic vocalizations to measure affective components of chronic pain. Lab members use molecular approaches such as qRT-PCR, Western Blotting, radioligand binding, and agonist-stimulated G protein activation to probe receptor expression and function. 

Angela Henderson Redmond - Research Assistant Professor 
Mary Piscura - Graduate Student 
LaTaijah Crawford - Graduate Student 
Courtney Lulek - Undergraduate Researcher