Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY
PhD, Neuroscience (2014)
Dissertation: Enduring Neurobiological Implications of Prenatal Exposure to Cannabis
University of Georgia in Athens, GA
BS, cum laude with High Honors in Genetics (2002)
Honors Thesis: Pneumocystis carinii Multigene Families
Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Epigenetics
Dr. Claudia Vargas Morris grew up in the beautiful Hudson Valley in New York State. It was during these early years, her love of science germinated. In middle and high school, she enrolled in every available science course, engaged in multiple science clubs and even partnered with a lab at SUNY New Paltz to learn about fruit fly genetics for a science fair project.
Dr. Morris began her undergraduate education at the University of Georgia as a Carter Fellow and honor student in 1998. As a junior, she had the privilege to join the lab of Dr. Jonathan Arnold and assist in sequencing the genome of Pneumocystis carinii, the number one killer of AIDS patients. Upon graduation, Dr. Morris worked as a Lead Research Specialist at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and then as a Lab Manager at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, GA.
In 2014, she embarked upon her doctorate in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY, where she conducted research on the epigenetic and behavioral effects of prenatal cannabis exposure. During these years in NYC, Dr. Morris was highly active in education outreach programs in East Harlem. In 2014, she defended her dissertation and in 2015 joined the faculty at Georgia State University at Perimeter College in Dunwoody, where she currently teaches courses in Neuroscience, Biology and Science Education.
In her free time, Dr. Morris enjoys raising her two children, cooking, practicing origami, playing the piano, walks in the park and serving in her community.
- Recognitions and Awards
Pre-Doctoral Fellowship F31 Diversity Training Grant (2010-2014)
National Institute of Drug Abuse
Neuroscience Departmental Training Grant (2009-2010)
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Academic Achievement Scholarship (2008)
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Travel Awards from Icahn School of Medicine Graduate School
Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC (2011)
Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA (2013)
Summer Internship Diversity Supplement (2005)
National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
Giuseppe Tortoriello, Claudia V Morris, Alan Alpar, Janos Fuzik, Sally L Shirran, Daniela Calvigioni, Erik Keimpema, Catherine H Botting, Kirstin Reinecke, Thomas Herdegen, Michael Courtney, Yasmin L Hurd, Tibor Harkany. “Miswiring the brain: 9-tetrahydrocannabinol disrupts cortical development by inducing an SCG10/stathmin-2 degradation pathway.” EMBO J. 33(7) (April 2014) pp. 668-685.
Claudia V Morris, Jennifer A Dinieri, Henrietta Szutorisz, Yasmin L Hurd. “Molecular mechanisms of maternal cannabis and cigarette use on human neurodevelopment.” Eur J Neurosci. 34(10) (November 2011) pp.1574-83.
Yanhua Ren, John Whittard, A Higuera-Mata, Claudia V Morris, Yasmin L Hurd. “Cannabidiol, a nonpsychotropic component of cannabis, inhibits cue-induced heroin seeking and normalizes discrete mesolimbic neuronal disturbances.” J Neurosci 29(47) (November 2009) pp.14764-14769.
Juliet S Chhay, Claudia A Vargas, TJ McCorvie, Judith L Fridovich-Keil, DJ Timson, “Analysis of UDP-galactose 4′-epimerase mutations associated with the intermediate form of type III galactosaemia,’ J Inherit Metab Dis. 31(1) (Febuary 2008) pp. 108-16.
Edson F Nogueira, Claudia A Vargas (co-first author), Me´lissa Otis, Nicole Gallo-Payet, Wendy B Bollag and William E Rainey, “Angiotensin-II acute regulation of rapid response genes in human, bovine, and rat adrenocortical cells,” JME 39 (October 2007) pp.365-374.
Kimberly K Openo, Jenny M Schulz, Claudia A Vargas, CS Orton, MP Epstein, RE Schnur, F Scglia, GT Berry, GS Gttesman, C Ficicioglu, SE Slonim, RJ Schroer, C Yu, VE Rangel, J Keenan, K Lamance, JL Fridovich-Keil. “Epimerase-deficiency galactosemia is not a binary condition,” American Journal of Human Genetics 78(1) (January 2005) pp. 89-102 .
Ai-min Li, Claudia Vargas, Melissa A Brykailo, Kimberly K Openo, Anita Corbett, and Judith Fridovich-Keil, “Both KH and non-KH domain sequences are required for polyribosome association of Scp160p in yeast,” Nucleic Acids 32 (September 2004) pp. 4768-4775.
Bryce Mendelsohn, Ai-min Li, Claudia Vargas, Kristen Reiman, Alice Watson and Judith Fridovich-Keil, “Genetic and biochemical interactions between SCP160 and EAP1 in yeast,” Nucleic Acids 31 (September 2003) pp. 5838-5847.
Zheng Xu, Britton Lance, Claudia Vargas, I. Budak Arpinar, Eileen Kraemer, Krys J. Kochut, John A. Miller, Jeff R. Wagner, Michael J. Weise, John K. Wunderlich, James Stringer, George Smilian, Melanie T. Cushion and Jonathan Arnold, “ODS3: A Tool for Mapping by Sequencing,” Genetics 163 (April 2002) pp. 1299-1313.