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Centre for Translational Cancer Research staff profile

Professor Ian Morison

PositionProfessor
DepartmentDepartment of Pathology (Dunedin)
QualificationsBMedSc MB ChB FRCPA PhD
Research summaryEpigenetics and genetics of blood disorders and development and laboratory haematology

Research

Ian is a research haematologist, combining careers in diagnostic haematology and basic haematology research. His research interests include childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (epigenetics), epigenetics of development (IVF and placental), genomic imprinting, genetics of blood disorders, and others.

Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

There is strong influence that environmental factors contribute to the incidence of childhood ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia). It is hypothesised that epigenetic events (DNA-methylation) contribute to the onset of ALL. Ian has used medium-throughput techniques to identify genes that are highly methylated leading to gene silencing in ALL. Functional studies are being performed to characterise candidate genes.

Epigenetics of Development

As a member of the National Research Centre for Growth and Development, Ian is determining the frequency with which epigenetic errors occur by children conceived by in vitro fertilisation.

The placenta appears to be more labile epigenetically than somatic tissues. The Centre is using high-throughput techniques to identify genes that are specifically methylated or unmethylated in the placenta and will determine the functional significance of this epigenetic change.

Genomic Imprinting

The Department of Pathology hosts and maintains the Catalogue of Parent of Origin Effects. This database is the most comprehensive database of parent of origin effects in animals. It includes documentation of all know imprinted genes in mammals.

Familial Thrombocytopenia

Linkage and mutation screening on a unique New Zealand family with thrombocytopenia, lead to the identification of the first reported mutation of human cytochrome c. This mutation enhances the activity of cytochrome c within the cell death pathway. By dysregulating platelet production in the bone marrow, the mutant protein causes premature release of platelets into the marrow space instead of into the circulation. In collaboration with Dr Liz Ledgerwood, Ian is characterising the biochemical mechanism of this pro-apoptotic cytochrome c.

Publications

Chai, K. Y., Boyke Berahmana, A. A., & Morison, I. M. (2019). Haematologists usually over-estimate the percentage of CD138+ plasma cells in marrow biopsies. Pathology, 51(6), 647-648. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2019.05.010

Sneyd, M. J., Cox, B., & Morison, I. M. (2019). Trends in myeloma incidence, mortality and survival in New Zealand (1985–2016). Cancer Epidemiology, 60, 55-59. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2019.03.006

Halliday, B. J., Fukuzawa, R., Markie, D. M., Grundy, R. G., Ludgate, J. L., Black, M. A., … Weeks, R. J., … Morison, I. M. (2018). Germline mutations and somatic inactivation of TRIM28 in Wilms tumour. PLoS Genetics, 14(6), e1007399. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007399

Ledgerwood, E. C., Dunstan-Harrison, C., Ong, L., & Morison, I. M. (2019). CYCS gene variants associated with thrombocytopenia. Platelets, 30(5), 672-674. doi: 10.1080/09537104.2018.1543866

Ong, L., Morison, I. M., & Ledgerwood, E. C. (2017). Megakaryocytes from CYCS mutation-associated thrombocytopenia release platelets by both proplatelet-dependent and -independent processes. British Journal of Haematology, 176(2), 268-279. doi: 10.1111/bjh.14421

Journal - Research Article

Sneyd, M. J., Cox, B., & Morison, I. M. (2019). Trends in myeloma incidence, mortality and survival in New Zealand (1985–2016). Cancer Epidemiology, 60, 55-59. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2019.03.006

Halliday, B. J., Fukuzawa, R., Markie, D. M., Grundy, R. G., Ludgate, J. L., Black, M. A., … Weeks, R. J., … Morison, I. M. (2018). Germline mutations and somatic inactivation of TRIM28 in Wilms tumour. PLoS Genetics, 14(6), e1007399. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007399

Fukuzawa, R., Anaka, M. R., Morison, I. M., & Reeve, A. E. (2017). The developmental programme for genesis of the entire kidney is recapitulated in Wilms tumour. PLoS ONE, 12(10), e0186333. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186333

Macaulay, E. C., Chatterjee, A., Cheng, X., Baguley, B. C., Eccles, M. R., & Morison, I. M. (2017). The genes of life and death: A potential role for placental-specific genes in cancer: Active retrotransposons in the placenta encode unique functional genes that may also be used by cancer cells to promote malignancy. BioEssays, 39(11), 1700091. doi: 10.1002/bies.201700091

Ong, L., Morison, I. M., & Ledgerwood, E. C. (2017). Megakaryocytes from CYCS mutation-associated thrombocytopenia release platelets by both proplatelet-dependent and -independent processes. British Journal of Haematology, 176(2), 268-279. doi: 10.1111/bjh.14421

Weeks, R. J., Ludgate, J. L., LeMée, G., & Morison, I. M. (2016). TESTIN induces rapid death and suppresses proliferation in childhood B acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cells. PLoS ONE, 11(3), e0151341. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151341

Chatterjee, A., Macaulay, E. C., Rodger, E. J., Stockwell, P. A., Parry, M. F., Roberts, H. E., Slatter, T. L., Hung, N. A., Devenish, C. J., & Morison, I. M. (2016). Placental hypomethylation is more pronounced in genomic loci devoid of retroelements. Genes Genomes Genetics, 6(7), 1911-1921. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.030379

Chatterjee, A., Stockwell, P. A., Rodger, E. J., Duncan, E. J., Parry, M. F., Weeks, R. J., & Morison, I. M. (2015). Genome-wide DNA methylation map of human neutrophils reveals widespread inter-individual epigenetic variation. Scientific Reports, 5, 17328. doi: 10.1038/srep17328

Hodgson, T. O., Ruskova, A., Shugg, C. J., McCallum, V. J., & Morison, I. M. (2015). Green neutrophil and monocyte inclusions: Time to acknowledge and report. British Journal of Haematology, 170, 229-235. doi: 10.1111/bjh.13434

Josephs, T. M., Morison, I. M., Day, C. L., Wilbanks, S. M., & Ledgerwood, E. C. (2014). Enhancing the peroxidase activity of cytochrome c by mutation of residue 41: Implications for the peroxidase mechanism and cytochrome c release. Biochemical Journal, 458(2), 259-265. doi: 10.1042/BJ20131386

Stockwell, P. A., Chatterjee, A., Rodger, E. J., & Morison, I. M. (2014). DMAP: Differential methylation analysis package for RRBS and WGBS data. Bioinformatics, 30(13), 1814-1822. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu126

Rodger, E. J., Chatterjee, A., & Morison, I. M. (2014). 5-hydroxymethylcytosine: A potential therapeutic target in cancer. Epigenomics, 6(5), 503-514. doi: 10.2217/epi.14.39

Macaulay, E. C., Roberts, H. E., Cheng, X., Jeffs, A. R., Baguley, B. C., & Morison, I. M. (2014). Retrotransposon hypomethylation in melanoma and expression of a placenta-specific gene. PLoS ONE, 9(4), e95840. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095840

Chatterjee, A., Ozaki, Y., Stockwell, P. A., Horsfield, J. A., Morison, I. M., & Nakagawa, S. (2013). Mapping the zebrafish brain methylome using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing. Epigenetics, 8(9), 979-989. doi: 10.4161/epi.25797

Rodger, E. J., & Morison, I. M. (2012). Myelodysplastic syndrome in New Zealand and Australia. Internal Medicine Journal, 42(11), 1235-1242. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02619.x

Chatterjee, A., Stockwell, P. A., Rodger, E. J., & Morison, I. M. (2012). Comparison of alignment software for genome-wide bisulphite sequence data. Nucleic Acids Research, 40(10), e79. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks150

Chatterjee, A., Rodger, E. J., Stockwell, P. A., Weeks, R. J., & Morison, I. M. (2012). Technical considerations for reduced representation bisulfite sequencing with multiplexed libraries. Journal of Biomedicine & Biotechnology, 2012, 741542. doi: 10.1155/2012/741542

Macaulay, E. C., Weeks, R. J., Andrews, S., & Morison, I. M. (2011). Hypomethylation of functional retrotransposon-derived genes in the human placenta. Mammalian Genome, 22, 722-735. doi: 10.1007/s00335-011-9355-1

Weeks, R. J., Kees, U. R., Song, S., & Morison, I. M. (2010). Silencing of TESTIN by dense biallelic promoter methylation is the most common molecular event in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Molecular Cancer, 9, 163. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-163

Morison, I. M., Cramer Bordé, E. M., Cheesman, E. J., Cheong, P. L., Holyoake, A. J., Fichelson, S., Weeks, R. J., Lo, A., Davies, S. M. K., Wilbanks, S. M., Fagerlund, R. D., Ludgate, M. W., da Silva Tatley, F. M., Coker, M. S. A., Bockett, N. A., Hughes, G., Pippig, D. A., Smith, M. P., … Ledgerwood, E. C. (2008). A mutation of human cytochrome c enhances the intrinsic apoptotic pathway but causes only thrombocytopenia. Nature Genetics, 40(4), 387-389. doi: 10.1038/ng.103

Morison, I. M., Ramsay, J. P., & Spencer, H. G. (2005). A census of mammalian imprinting. Trends in Genetics, 21(8), 457-465.

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Journal - Research Other

Chai, K. Y., Boyke Berahmana, A. A., & Morison, I. M. (2019). Haematologists usually over-estimate the percentage of CD138+ plasma cells in marrow biopsies. Pathology, 51(6), 647-648. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2019.05.010

Ledgerwood, E. C., Dunstan-Harrison, C., Ong, L., & Morison, I. M. (2019). CYCS gene variants associated with thrombocytopenia. Platelets, 30(5), 672-674. doi: 10.1080/09537104.2018.1543866

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