Dr. Maureen A. Morrow

Associate Professor, Biology
Director, Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities

CSB 219
1 Hawk Dr.
New Paltz, New York 12561-2443
Phone: (845) 257-3776
Fax: (845) 257-3791
E-Mail Address:


Fall 2011 office hours
M 1:30-3p, T/W 1-1:30p, R10:30a-12p and by appointment

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Advanced registration advising sign up sheets will be posted (CSB 219)
2 weeks prior to the start of advanced registration each semester.
Course Offerings
Education and Awards
Web Sites of Interest


Academic Integrity Statement
Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It

Education and Awards

B.S. Microbiology Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
Ph.D.Microbiology Columbia University, New York, NY.
2002 Chancellor's Recognition of Researach in Science, Engineering and Medicine News Pulse story
2008 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service


The immune system is vital to the health of all humans. After space flight, astronauts demonstrate decreased T cell function, which might decrease the overall immune system function. One aspect of the decreased function is the decreased ability of the these cells to be activated and to produce IL-2, an important cytokine needed for the activity of the immune system. The mechanism of IL-2 production has been studied extensively and many details concerning the necessary interaction of molecules within these cells is now understood. My research examines the molecular events that take place in T cells subject to conditions of simulated microgravity. By understanding the molecular changes that take place, we can learn general information about T cells and possibly learn specific information about how to prevent or treat T cell dysfunction during long term space travel.

We have investigated transcription factor binding at the IL-2 promoter in activated T cells to examine the effect of modeled microgravity as achieved with clinorotation. We have definitively shown that modeled microgravity inhibits or decreases transcription factor binding of all transcription factors tested to date. This electrophoretic mobility shift analysis, with both Jurkat and purified human T cells, correlates with the previous data that has shown a loss of IL-2 transcription in response to modeled microgravity.

Most recently, we have been focusing our analysis on the NFAT transcription factor. Binding at the NFAT promoter site is blocked by modeled microgravity, but this binding is known to be dependent on the AP-1 transcription factor. Western analysis suggests that that modeled microgravity does not block the nuclear localization of this transcription factor in response to activation. These results are consistent with the theory that Ca++ dependent activation is not inhibited by modeled microgravity, whereas the MAP kinase pathway required to activate AP-1 may be targeted.


Morrow, M. (2006) Clinorotation Differentially Inhibits T-Lymphocyte Transcription Factor Activation. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Animal, 42:153-158.

Morrow, M. and Ruszczyk (2001) Modeled Microgravity Blocks a Subset of Signaling Pathways in Activated T cells. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 54(Sup1):18.

Morrow, M., Mayer, E. W., Perez, C. A. Adlman, M. and Siu, G. (1999) Overexpression of the Helix-Loop-Helix Protein Id2 Blocks T cell Development at Multiple Stages. Molecular Immunology, 36:491-503.

Oltz, E., Yancopoulos, G., Morrow, M., Rolink, A., Lee, G., Wong, F., Kaplan K., Gilles, S., Melchers, F. and Alt, F. (1992) A Novel Regulatory Myosin Light Chain Gene Distinguishes Pre-B Cell Subsets and is IL-7 Inducible. EMBO J., 11:2759-2767.

Morrow, M., Oltz, E., Yancopoulos, G., Lee, G., Kincade, P., Gilles, S., and Alt, F. (1992) IL-7 Induction of N-myc and c-myc Expression in Murine Precursor B Lymphocytes. Genes & Dev. 6:61-70.

Yancopoulos, G., Oltz, E., Rathbun, G., Berman, J., Smith, R., Lansford, R., Rothman, P., Okada, A., Lee, G., Morrow, M., Kaplan, K., Prockop, S., and Alt, F. (1990) Isolation of coordinately regulated genes that are expressed in discrete stages of B-cell development. PNAS, 87:5759-5763.

Ferrier, P., Covey., L., Li, S., Suh, H., Malynn, B., Blackwell, K., Morrow, M. and Alt, F. (1990) Normal recombination substrate VH to DJH rearrangements in pre-B cells lines from scid mice. J. Exp. Med. 171:1909-1918.

Alt, F., Rathbun, G., Berman, J., Malynn, B., Morrow, M., Logtenberg, T., and Yancopoulos, G. (1989) B Cell Differentiation: Development of Antibody Repertoires. Progress in Immunology, 7:351-360.

Alt, F., Ferrier, P., Malynn, B., Lutzker, S., Rothman, P., Berman, J., Blackwell, K., Mellis, S., Pollock, R., Furley, A., Rathbun, G., Yancopoulos, G., Logtenberg, T., Morrow, M., Cook, W., Heinke, B., and Suh, H. (1989) Control of Recombination Events During Lymphocyte Differentiation: Heavy Chain Variable Region Gene Assembly and Heavy Chain Class-switching. In: Molecular Basis of the Immune Response, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 546:9-24.

Newspapers: Opinion, "Genome Research Opens Possibilities" The Poughkeepsie Journal, July, 9, 2000.
Letter to the Editor, "The Basics at SUNY New Paltz", New York Daily News, January 15, 1999.

Newsletters: Morrow, M., 2000 "Professor Cures Students of the Writing Blues", Write to Learn Issue 3, Volume 1.
Morrow, M., 1997 "Importance of Writing-Intensive Courses", Write to Learn Issue 1, Volume 1 (Writing Board Newsletter).

Web Sites of Interest

Biology Department Home Page

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updated 8/25/11

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