Department of Neuroscience
Dave-Morgan is Chief Executive Officer of the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer Institute, Distinguished Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology for the Morsani College of Medicine and at the University of South Florida. Dr. Morgan's research interests are aging and brain function, focusing on drugs to treat Alzheimer's dementia. His doctoral research at Northwestern investigated the neurochemistry of memory and his postdoctoral studies addressed aging-related changes in rodent and human brain. Morgan became a faculty member at the University of Southern California in 1986 where his research projects focused on astrocytes and microglia in aged brain, including Alzheimer's tissues. After moving to South Florida in 1992, Morgan participated in the development of a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (APP+PS1). He has developed methods to measure the damage that occurs in the brains of these mice and studied how this damage causes memory deficits in the mice. His work focuses largely on the neuro-immune interactions associated with the Alzheimer phenotype, and the role of astrocytes and microglia in the disease process. He is presently testing safer NSAID drugs, amyloid dissolving agents, amyloid immunotherapy and gene therapy to treat the Alzheimer-like changes in transgenic mouse models of the disease. This work is supported by multiple grants from the NIH, private foundations and contracts from industrial partners. Morgan regularly sits on review panels for NIH and other agencies evaluating grants to develop new drugs to treat Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to his research activities, Morgan has consulted with major pharmaceutical companies and small biotechnology companies regarding the development of therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease. He has also advised capital investment organizations regarding the most promising therapeutic approaches to curing Alzheimer's disease.