Kathleen G. Morgan, PhD

Kathleen G. Morgan, PhD

Professor, Department of Health Sciences
Director of Cytoskeleton & Signaling Lab
BS (Chemistry) College of Mt. St. Joseph
PhD (Pharmacology) University of Cincinnati
Website or Lab
Cytoskeleton & Signaling Laboratory
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Courses Taught

  • SAR HS750 Critical analysis of the Physiological Literature.

Scholarly Interests

Interactions between signaling proteins and cytoskeletal proteins, the differentiated smooth muscle cell; mechanisms of trafficking of signaling molecules; stroke, hypertension, pre-term labor.

Selected Publications from a total of 136

  • Saphirstein RJ, Gao YZ, Lin QQ, Morgan KG. Cortical actin regulation modulates vascular contractility and compliance in veins. J Physiol. 2015 Jun 19.
  • Gao YZ, Saphirstein RJ, Yamin R, Suki B, Morgan KG. Aging impairs smooth muscle-mediated regulation of aortic stiffness: a defect in shock absorption function? Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2014 Oct 15;307(8):H1252-61.
  • Saphirstein RJ, Morgan KG. The contribution of vascular smooth muscle to aortic stiffness across length scales. Microcirculation. 2014 Apr;21(3):201-7.
  • Jensen MH, Morris EJ, Gallant CM, Morgan KG, Weitz DA, Moore JR. Mechanism of calponin stabilization of cross-linked actin networks. Biophys J. 2014;106(4):793-800.
  • Morgan KG. The importance of the smooth muscle cytoskeleton to preterm labour. Exp Physiol. 2014 Mar;99(3):525-9.
  • Kim HR, Gallant C, Morgan KG. Regulation of PKC autophosphorylation by calponin in contractile vascular smooth muscle tissue. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:358643. Epub 2013. 
  • Vetterkind S, Poythress RH, Lin QQ, Morgan KGHierarchical scaffolding of an ERK1/2 activation pathway. Cell Commun Signal. 2013;11:65.
  • Poythress RH, Gallant C, Vetterkind S, Morgan KG. Vasoconstrictor-induced endocytic recycling regulates focal adhesion protein localization and function in vascular smooth muscle. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2013 Jul 15;305(2):C215-27. Epub 2013 May 22. 
  • Neering IR, Morgan KG. The use of aequorin to study excitation-contraction coupling in mammalian smooth muscle. Nature 1980; 288:585-587.
  • Katsuyama H, Wang C-L, Morgan KG. Regulation of vascular smooth muscle tone by caldesmon. J Biol Chem 1992;267:14555-14558.
  • Khalil RA, Menice CB, Wang C-L A, Morgan KG. Phosphotyrosine-dependent targeting of MAP kinase in differentiated contractile vascular cells. Circ Res 1995; 76: 1101-1108.
  • Tseng S, Kim R, Kim T, Morgan KG, Hai C-M. Actin filament disruption attenuates agonist-induced [Ca2+], myosin phosphorylation and force in smooth muscle. Am. J. Physiol. Cell. 1997; 41:C1960-C1967.
  • Menice CB, Hulvershorn J, Adam LP, Wang CLA, Morgan KG. Calponin and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling in differentiated vascular smooth muscle. J. Biol. Chem. 1997; 272:25157-25161.
  • Tang S, Morgan KG, Parker C, Ware JA. Requirement for protein kinase C (theta) for cell cycle progression and formation of actin stress fibers and filopodia in vascular endothelial cells. J. Biol. Chem. 1997; 242:28704.
  • Parker CA, Takahashi K, Tang JX, Tao T, Morgan KG. Cytoskeletal targeting of calponin in differentiated, contractile smooth muscle cells of the ferret. J. Physiol. (London). 1998; 508.1:187-98.
  • Leinweber BD, Leavis PC, Grabarek Z, Wang C-LA, Morgan KG. Extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) interaction with actin and the calponin homology (CH) domain of actin-binding proteins. Biochem J 1999; 344:117-123.
  • Lee Y-H, Gallant C, Guo H, Li Y, Wang C-LA, Morgan KG. Regulation of vascular smooth muscle tone by N-terminal region of caldesmon: Possible role of tethering actin to myosin. J. Biol. Chem. 2000; 275(5):3213-20.
  • Kim I, Leinweber BD, Morgalla M, Butler WE, Seto M, Sasaki Y, Peterson JW, Morgan KG. Thin and thick filament regulation of contractility in experimental cerebral vasospasm. Neurosurgery 2000; 46:440-7.
  • Kim I, Je H-D, Gallant C, Zhan Q, Van Riper D, Morgan KG. Ca/CaM protein kinase II dependent activation of contractility in ferret aorta. J Physiol (Lond) 2000; 526.2:367-374.
  • Taggart MJ, Leavis P, Feron O, Morgan KG. Inhibition of PKCα and rhoA translocation in differentiated smooth muscle by a caveolin scaffolding domain peptide. Exp Cell Res 2000; 258:72-81.
  • Dessy C, Matsuda N, Hulvershorn J, Sougnez CL, Sellke FW, Morgan KG. Evidence for involvement of the PKC-alpha isoform in myogenic contractions of the coronary microcirculation. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2000; 279(3):H916-H923.
  • Leinweber B, Parissenti AM, Gallant C, Gangopadhyay S, Kirwan-Rhude A, Leavis PC, Morgan KG. Regulation of PKC by the cytoskeletal protein calponin. J Biol Chem 2000; 275:40329-40336.
  • Hulvershorn J, Gallant C, Wang C-LA, Dessy C, Morgan KG. Calmodulin levels are dynamically regulated in living vascular smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2001; 280:H1422-H1426.
  • Lee YH, Hwang MK, Morgan KG, Taggart MJ. Receptor-coupled contractility of uterine smooth muscle: from membrane to myofilaments. Exp Physiol 2001; 86.2:283-288.
  • Je H-D, Gangopadhyay SS, Ashworth TD, Morgan KG. Calponin is required for agonist-induced transduction-evidence from an antisense approach in ferret smooth muscle. J Physiol (London) 2001; 537.2:567-577.
  • Yeon DS, Kim JS, Ahn DS, Kwon SC, Kang BS, Morgan KG, Lee YH. Role of protein kinase C-or RhoA-induced Ca2+ sensitization in stretch-induced myogenic tone. Cardiovasc Res 2002; 53(2):431-438.
  • Shin HM, Je HD, Gallant C, Tao TC, Hartshorne DJ, Ito M, Morgan KG. Differential Association and localization of myosin phosphatase subunits during agonist-induced signal transduction in smooth muscle. Circ Res 2002; 90(5):546-553.
  • Li Y, Je HD, Malek S, Morgan KG. ERK1/2-mediated phosphorylation of myometrial caldesmon during pregnancy and labor. Am J Physiol 2003; 284:R192-R199.
  • Gangopadhyay SS, Barber AL, Gallant C, Grabarek Z, Smith JL, Morgan KG. Differential functional properties of calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIgamma variants variants isolated from smooth muscle. Biochem J, 2003; 372(Pt 2):347-357.
  • Shin HM, Morgan KG. Vasodilation by Banhabackchulchunmatang, a Chinese medicine, is associated with negative modulation of PKCα activation and NO production. Life Sciences 2003; 74:723-732.
  • Je HD, Gallant C, Leavis PC, Morgan KG. Caveolin-1 regulates contractility in differentiated vascular smooth muscle. Am J Physiol 2004; 286:H91-H98.
  • Li Y, Je HD, Malek S, Morgan KG. Role of ERK1/2 in uterine contractility and preterm labor in rats. Am J Physiol. 2004; 287(2):R328-35.
  • Gangopadhyay SS, Takizawa N, Gallant C, Barber AL, Je HD, Smith TC, Luna EJ, Morgan KG. Smooth muscle archvillin a novel regulator of signaling and contractility in vascular smooth muscle. J Cell Sci 2004; 117(Pt 21):5043-57.
  • Gallant C, You JY, Sasaki Y, Grabarek Z, Morgan KG. MARCKS is a major PKC-dependent regulator of calmodulin targeting in smooth muscle. J Cell Sci. 2005, 118(Pt 16):3595-605.
  • Marganski W, Gangopadhyay SS, Je HD, Gallant C, Morgan KG. Targeting of a novel Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II is essential for extracellular signal-regulated kinase-mediated signaling in differentiated smooth muscle cells. Circ Res 2005, 97(6):541-9.
  • Jang, G. J., Ahn, D. S., Cho, Y. E., Morgan, K. G. & Lee, Y. H. C(2)-ceramide induces vasodilation in phenylephrine-induced pre-contracted rat thoracic aorta: role of RhoA/Rho-kinase and intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 2005, 372, 242-50.
  • Ryu SK, Ahn DS, Cho YE, Choi SK, Kim YH, Morgan KG, Lee YH. Augmented sphingosylphosphorylcholine-induced Ca(2+)-sensitization of mesenteric artery contraction in spontaneously hypertensive rat. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 2006 Apr;373(1):30-6.
  • Deng L, Trepat X, Butler JP, Millet E, Morgan KG, Weitz DA, Fredberg JJ. Fast and slow dynamics of the cytoskeleton. Nature Materials, 2006, 5(8):636-40.
  • Li Y, Gallant C, Malek S, Morgan KG. Focal adhesion signaling is required for myometrial ERK activation and contractile phenotype switch before labor. J Cell Biochem, 2007, 100:129-40.
  • Ahn DS, Choi SK, Kim YH, Cho, YE, Shin HM, Morgan KG, Lee YH. Enhanced stretch- induced myogenic tone in the basilar artery of spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Vasc Res, 2007; 44:182-191.
  • Munevar S, Gangopadhyay SS, Gallant C, Colombo B, Sellkee FW, Morgan KG. CaMKII T287 and T305 regulate history-dependent increases in alpha agonist-induced vascular tone. JCMM 2008; 12:219-26.
  • Gangopadhyay SS, Gallant C, Sundberg EJ, Lane WS, Morgan KG. Regulation of CaM kinase II by a small CTD phosphatase Biochemical Jl, 2008; 412:507-16.
  • Wu X, Morgan KG, Jones CJ, Tribe RM, Taggart MJ. Myometrial mechanoadaptation during pregnancy:implications for smooth muscle plasticity and remodelling. JCMM 2008; 12:1360-73.
  • Vetterkind S, Morgan KG. The pro-apoptotic protein Par-4 facilitates vascular contractility by cytoskeletal targeting of ZIPK. J Cell Mol Med 2008 in press.
  • Kim HR, Appel S, Vetterkind S, Gangopadhyay SS, Morgan KG. Smooth muscle signaling pathways in health and disease. J Cell Mol Med 2008; 12:2165-80.
  • Kim HR, Gallant C, Leavis PC, Gunst SJ, Morgan KG. Cytoskeletal Remodeling in Differentiated Vascular Smooth Muscle is Actin Isoform-Dependent and Stimulus-Dependent. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2008; 295:C768-78.

Current Research Funding

2007-2012 NIH 1P01 HL86655 (1-5), Pincipal Investigator of P01, Project 1 and Core A “Dynamics of the Vascular Smooth Muscle Cytoskeleton”
2006-2011 NIH 1R01 HL080003(1-5), Principal Investigator “Subcellular Organization of Signaling in Smooth Muscle”
2005-2010 NIH 2R01 HL31704 (21-25), Principal Investigator “Regulation of Contraction and Growth of Blood Vessels”
2003-2009 NIH 1 R01 HD043054 (1-6), Principal Investigator “Signaling and Uterine Contractility during Pregnancy”

Current Editorial Responsibilities

2002- Editorial Board of American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology
2005- Editorial Board of Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
2008- Guest Editor for Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
2008- Editorial Board of Cell Health and Cytoskeleton

Awards and Honors

1975-1976 Ryan Fellow
1984-1989 American Heart Association Established Investigator
1992-1993 Wellcome Visiting Professor in the Basic Medical Sciences
1998- Fellow, Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society
2006-2011 Honorary Faculty Fellow, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK