David L. Morse, PhD

Where You Are:
David L. Morse, PhD

Assistant Member

Office  (813) 745-8948

Education And Training
  • PhD, University of Arizona, 2004 - Molecular & Cellular Biology and Cancer Biology


Dr. Morse’s research projects are focused on the identification and validation of cell-surface markers for cancer, discovery of ligands or antibodies specific for binding validated markers, and the development of targeted molecular imaging probes and nanoagents for the detection and treatment of cancer. The ultimate goal of this work is to translate novel probes into the clinic for use in cancer diagnosis and staging, intraoperative margin detection and the targeted delivery of therapy.

  • Tafreshi NK, Lloyd MC, Bui MM, Gillies RJ, Morse DL. Carbonic Anhydrase IX as an Imaging and Therapeutic Target for Tumors and Metastases. Subcell Biochem. 2014;75:221-254. Pubmedid: 24146382.
  • Foroutan P, Kreahling JM, Morse DL, Grove O, Lloyd MC, Reed D, Raghavan M, Altiok S, Martinez GV, Gillies RJ. Diffusion MRI and novel texture analysis in osteosarcoma xenotransplants predicts response to anti-checkpoint therapy. PLoS One. 2013 Dec;8(12):e82875. Pubmedid: 24358232.
  • Cubitt CL, Menth J, Dawson J, Martinez GV, Foroutan P, Morse DL, Bui MM, Letson GD, Sullivan DM, Reed DR. Rapid screening of novel agents for combination therapy in sarcomas. Sarcoma. 2013 Nov;2013:365723. Pubmedid: 24282374. Pmcid: PMC3824404.
  • Barkey NM, Preihs C, Cornnell HH, Martinez GV, Carie A, Vagner J, Xu L, Lloyd MC, Lynch VM, Hruby VJ, Sessler JL, Sill KN, Gillies RJ, Morse DL. Development and in vivo quantitative magnetic resonance imaging of polymer micelles targeted to the melanocortin 1 receptor. J Med Chem. 2013 Aug;56(16):6330-6338. Pubmedid: 23863078. Pmcid: PMC3807968.
  • Tafreshi NK, Silva A, Estrella VC, McCardle TW, Chen T, Jeune-Smith Y, Lloyd MC, Enkemann SA, Smalley KS, Sondak VK, Vagner J, Morse DL. In vivo and in silico pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of a melanocortin receptor 1 targeted agent in preclinical models of melanoma. Mol Pharm. 2013 Aug;10(8):3175-3185. Pubmedid: 23763620.
  • Alleti R, Vagner J, Dehigaspitiya DC, Moberg VE, Elshan NG, Tafreshi NK, Brabez N, Weber CS, Lynch RM, Hruby VJ, Gillies RJ, Morse DL, Mash EA. Synthesis and Characterization of Time-resolved Fluorescence Probes for Evaluation of Competitive Binding to Melanocortin Receptors. BIOORGAN MED CHEM. 2013 Jul;21(17):5029-5038. Pubmedid: 23890524.
  • Rejniak KA, Estrella V, Chen T, Cohen AS, Lloyd MC, Morse DL. The role of tumor tissue architecture in treatment penetration and efficacy: an integrative study. Front Oncol. 2013 May;3:111. Pubmedid: 23717812. Pmcid: PMC3650652.
  • Martinez GV, Navath S, Sewda K, Rao V, Foroutan P, Alleti R, Moberg VE, Ahad AM, Coppola D, Lloyd MC, Gillies RJ, Morse DL, Mash EA. Demonstration of a sucrose-derived contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging of the GI tract. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2013 Apr;23(7):2061-2064. Pubmedid: 23481651. Pmcid: PMC3602218.
  • Tafreshi NK, Huang X, Moberg VE, Barkey NM, Sondak VK, Tian H, Morse DL, Vagner J. Synthesis and characterization of a melanoma-targeted fluorescence imaging probe by conjugation of a melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) specific ligand. Bioconjug Chem. 2012 Dec;23(12):2451-2459. Pubmedid: 23116461. Pmcid: PMC3563353.
  • Xu L, Josan JS, Vagner J, Caplan MR, Hruby VJ, Mash EA, Lynch RM, Morse DL, Gillies RJ. Heterobivalent ligands target cell-surface receptor combinations in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Dec;109(52):21295-21300. Pubmedid: 23236171. Pmcid: PMC3535626.
  • Huynh AS, Chung WJ, Cho HI, Moberg VE, Celis E, Morse DL, Vagner J. Novel toll-like receptor 2 ligands for targeted pancreatic cancer imaging and immunotherapy. J Med Chem. 2012 Nov;55(22):9751-9762. Pubmedid: 23098072. Pmcid: PMC3861893.
  • Tafreshi NK, Gillies RJ, Morse DL. Molecular imaging of breast cancer lymph node metastasis. Eur J Radiol. 2012 Sep;81 Suppl 1:S160-S161. Pubmedid: 23083574.
  • Wang B, Zhao Q, Barkey NM, Morse DL, Jiang H. Photoacoustic tomography and fluorescence molecular tomography: a comparative study based on indocyanine green. Med Phys. 2012 May;39(5):2512-2517. Pubmedid: 22559621.
  • Tafreshi NK, Bui MM, Bishop K, Lloyd MC, Enkemann SA, Lopez AS, Abrahams D, Carter WB, Vagner J, Gobmyer SR, Gillies RJ, Morse DL. Noninvasive detection of breast cancer lymph node metastasis using carbonic anhydrases IX and XII targeted imaging probes. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Jan;18(1):207-219. Pubmedid: 22016510.
  • Martinez GV, Zhang X, García-Martín ML, Morse DL, Woods M, Sherry AD, Gillies RJ. Imaging the extracellular pH of tumors by MRI after injection of a single cocktail of T1 and T2 contrast agents. NMR Biomed. 2011 Dec;24(10):1380-1391. Pubmedid: 21604311. Pmcid: PMC3693774.
  • Barkey NM, Tafreshi NK, Josan JS, De Silva CR, Sill KN, Hruby VJ, Gillies RJ, Morse DL, Vagner J. Development of melanoma-targeted polymer micelles by conjugation of a melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) specific ligand. J Med Chem. 2011 Dec;54(23):8078-8084. Pubmedid: 22011200. Pmcid: PMC3302579.
  • Rao V, Alleti R, Xu L, Tafreshi NK, Morse DL, Gillies RJ, Mash EA. A sucrose-derived scaffold for multimerization of bioactive peptides. Bioorgan Med Chem. 2011 Nov;19(21):6474-6482. Pubmedid: 21940174. Pmcid: PMC3197697.
  • Huynh AS, Abrahams DF, Torres MS, Baldwin MK, Gillies RJ, Morse DL. Development of an orthotopic human pancreatic cancer xenograft model using ultrasound guided injection of cells. PLoS One. 2011 Sep;6(5):e20330. Pubmedid: 21647423. Pmcid: PMC3103544.
  • Grobmyer SR, Morse DL, Fletcher B, Gutwein LG, Sharma P, Krishna V, Frost SC, Moudgil BM, Brown SC. The promise of nanotechnology for solving clinical problems in breast cancer. J Surg Oncol. 2011 Mar;103(4):317-325. Pubmedid: 21337565.
  • Tafreshi NK, Enkemann SA, Bui MM, Lloyd MC, Abrahams D, Huynh AS, Kim J, Grobmyer SR, Carter WB, Vagner J, Gillies RJ, Morse DL. A mammaglobin-A targeting agent for noninvasive detection of breast cancer metastasis in lymph nodes. Cancer Res. 2011 Feb;71(3):1050-1059. Pubmedid: 21169406.
  • Morse DL, Balagurunathan Y, Hostetter G, Trissal M, Tafreshi NK, Burke N, Lloyd M, Enkemann S, Coppola D, Hruby VJ, Gillies RJ, Han H. Identification of novel pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell-surface targets by gene expression profiling and tissue microarray. Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Sep;80(5):748-754. Pubmedid: 20510208. Pmcid: PMC2914681.
  • Morse DL, Gillies RJ. Molecular imaging and targeted therapies. Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Sep;80(5):731-738. Pubmedid: 20399197. Pmcid: PMC2925390.
  • Gillies RJ, Anderson AR, Gatenby RA, Morse DL. The biology underlying molecular imaging in oncology: from genome to anatome and back again. Clin Radiol. 2010 Jul;65(7):517-521. Pubmedid: 20541651. Pmcid: PMC4009364.
  • Tafreshi NK, Kumar V, Morse DL, Gatenby RA. Molecular and functional imaging of breast cancer. Cancer Control. 2010 Jul;17(3):143-155. Pubmedid: 20664511.
  • Xu L, Vagner J, Alleti R, Rao V, Jagadish B, Morse DL, Hruby VJ, Gillies RJ, Mash EA. Synthesis and characterization of a Eu-DTPA-PEGO-MSH(4) derivative for evaluation of binding of multivalent molecules to melanocortin receptors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2010 Apr;20(8):2489-2492. Pubmedid: 20304640. Pmcid: PMC2857964.
  • Morse DL, Hostetter G, Balagurunathan Y, Gillies RJ, Han H. Identification of pancreatic cancer-specific cell-surface markers for development of targeting ligands. Methods Mol Biol. 2010;624:195-210. Pubmedid: 20217597. Pmcid: PMC4010309.
  • Xu L, Vagner J, Josan J, Lynch RM, Morse DL, Baggett B, Han H, Mash EA, Hruby VJ, Gillies RJ. Enhanced targeting with heterobivalent ligands. Mol Cancer Ther. 2009 Aug;8(8):2356-2365. Pubmedid: 19671749. Pmcid: PMC3662534.
  • Josan JS, Morse DL, Xu L, Trissal M, Baggett B, Davis P, Vagner J, Gillies RJ, Hruby VJ. Solid-phase synthetic strategy and bioevaluation of a labeled delta-opioid receptor ligand Dmt-Tic-Lys for in vivo imaging. Org Lett. 2009 Jun;11(12):2479-2482. Pubmedid: 19445485. Pmcid: PMC2756606.
  • Robey IF, Baggett BK, Kirkpatrick ND, Roe DJ, Dosescu J, Sloane BF, Hashim AI, Morse DL, Raghunand N, Gatenby RA, Gillies RJ. Bicarbonate increases tumor pH and inhibits spontaneous metastases. Cancer Res. 2009 Mar;69(6):2260-2268. Pubmedid: 19276390. Pmcid: PMC2834485.
  • Morse DL, Carroll D, Day S, Gray H, Sadarangani P, Murthi S, Job C, Baggett B, Raghunand N, Gillies RJ. Characterization of breast cancers and therapy response by MRS and quantitative gene expression profiling in the choline pathway. Nmr Biomed. 2009 Jan;22(1):114-127. Pubmedid: 19016452.
  • Balagurunathan Y, Morse DL, Hostetter G, Shanmugam V, Stafford P, Shack S, Pearson J, Trissal M, Demeure MJ, Von Hoff DD, Hruby VJ, Gillies RJ, Han H. Gene expression profiling-based identification of cell-surface targets for developing multimeric ligands in pancreatic cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 2008 Sep;7(9):3071-3080. Pubmedid: 18765825. Pmcid: PMC2567866.
  • Vagner J, Xu L, Handl HL, Josan JS, Morse DL, Mash EA, Gillies RJ, Hruby VJ. Heterobivalent ligands crosslink multiple cell-surface receptors: the human melanocortin-4 and delta-opioid receptors. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2008;47(9):1685-1688. Pubmedid: 18205159. Pmcid: PMC2716288.
  • Morse D, Galons J, Payne C, Jennings D, Day S, Xia G, Gillies R. MRI-measured water mobility increases in response to chemotherapy via multiple cell-death mechanisms. Nmr Biomed. 2007 Oct;20(6):602-614. Pubmedid: 17265424.
  • Morse D, Raghunand N, Sadarangani P, Murthi S, Job C, Day S, Howison C, Gillies R. Response of choline metabolites to docetaxel therapy is quantified in vivo by localized (31)P MRS of human breast cancer xenografts and in vitro by high-resolution (31)P NMR spectroscopy of cell extracts. Magn Reson Med. 2007 Aug;58(2):270-280. Pubmedid: 17654590.
  • Morse D. Imaging protein-protein interactions in plants and single cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul;104(24):9917-9918. Pubmedid: 17551007. Pmcid: PMC1891236.
  • Kane RC, Farrell AT, Saber H, Tang S, Williams G, Jee JM, Liang C, Booth B, Chidambaram N, Morse D, Sridhara R, Garvey P, Justice R, Pazdur R. Sorafenib for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Dec;12(24):7271-7278. Pubmedid: 17189398.
  • Morse D, Gray H, Payne C, Gillies R. Docetaxel induces cell death through mitotic catastrophe in human breast cancer cells. Mol Cancer Ther. 2005 Oct;4(10):1495-1504. Pubmedid: 16227398.
  • Morse D, Carroll D, Weberg L, Borgstrom M, Ranger-Moore J, Gillies R. Determining suitable internal standards for mRNA quantification of increasing cancer progression in human breast cells by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Anal Biochem. 2005 Jul;342(1):69-77. Pubmedid: 15958182.
  • Gillies RJ, Morse DL. In vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy in cancer. Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2005;7:287-326. Pubmedid: 16004573.
  • Baggett B, Roy R, Momen S, Morgan S, Tisi L, Morse D, Gillies RJ. Thermostability of firefly luciferases affects efficiency of detection by in vivo bioluminescence. Mol Imaging. 2004 Oct;3(4):324-332. Pubmedid: 15802049.
  • Synnott M, Morse DL, Maguire H, Majid F, Plummer M, Leicester M, Threlfall EJ, Cowden J. An outbreak of Salmonella mikawasima associated with doner kebabs. Epidemiol Infect. 1993 Dec;111(3):473-481. Pubmedid: 8270007. Pmcid: PMC2271257.
  • Coles FB, Balzano GJ, Morse DL. An outbreak of influenza A (H3N2) in a well immunized nursing home population. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1992 Jun;40(6):589-592. Pubmedid: 1587976.
  • Smith PF, Stricof RL, Shayegani M, Morse DL. Cluster of Haemophilus influenzae type b infections in adults. Jama. 1988 Sep;260(10):1446-1449. Pubmedid: 3261351.
  • Halperin W, Landrigan PJ, Altman R, Iaci AW, Morse DL, Needham LL. Chemical fire at toxic waste disposal plant: epidemiologic study of exposure to smoke and fumes. J Med Soc N J. 1981 Aug;78(9):591-594. Pubmedid: 6790709.
  • Morse DL, Boros L, Findley PA. More on cyanide poisoning from Laetrile. N Engl J Med. 1979 Oct;301(16):892. Pubmedid: 481531.
  • Morse DL, Watson WN, Housworth J, Witherell LE, Landrigan PJ. Exposure of children to lead in drinking water. Am J Public Health. 1979 Jul;69(7):711-712. Pubmedid: 453400. Pmcid: PMC1619117.
  • Morse DL, Harrington JM, Housworth J, Landrigan PJ, Kelter A. Arsenic exposure in multiple environmental media in children near a smelter. Clin Toxicol. 1979 Apr;14(4):389-399. Pubmedid: 466981.
  • Morse DL, Baker EL, Kimbrough RD, Wisseman CL. Propanil-chloracne and methomyl toxicity in workers of a pesticide manufacturing plant. Clin Toxicol. 1979;15(1):13-21. Pubmedid: 159154.
  • Harrington JM, Middaugh JP, Morse DL, Housworth J. A survey of a population exposed to high concentrations of arsenic in well water in Fairbanks, Alaska. Am J Epidemiol. 1978 Nov;108(5):377-385. Pubmedid: 727207.
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