May 1, 2007

Fulbright Research/Teaching Scholarship Awarded to Wright State Professor

Mariana Morris, Ph.D.DAYTON, OHIO - Mariana Morris, Ph.D., chair and professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, has received the prestigious Fulbright Research/Teaching Scholarship from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. This is a competitive program which sends American scholars to lecture and or conduct research in more than 130 countries.

The award will provide an opportunity for Morris to conduct a research and teaching program in Porto Alegre, Brazil, a city located on the southern border of the country. She will work at the University Cardiology Foundation, Federal Foundation of Medical Sciences of Porto Alegre and Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul along with Brazilian clinical and basic scientists, Drs. Renato Kalil, Katya Rigatto, Maria Claudia Irigoyen, Beatriz Schaan and Adriane Bello-Klein.

The focus of her work is on translational sciences, the interface between clinical and basic science. In this project she will study the role of diet in diabetes and insulin sensitivity, major worldwide health problems. She will also teach translational physiology in a small group setting with a focus on animal models for human diseases. The research will be conducted in collaboration with other Brazilian scientists and medical and graduate students.
Morris has a long-standing interest in international research and teaching exchange, particularly with South America. She was the director of an international exchange program which was supported in the U.S. by the Department of Education (Fund Improvement of Post Secondary Education) and in Brazil by CAPES. The Brazil consortium provided for the interchange of students between Brazil and the US. She has trained numerous international students/fellows and she was the director of a course for medical students, " Translational Physiology: From Bench to Bedside," which was held at the University of São Paulo in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.

Morris received a B.A. degree in biology and chemistry at the University of Colorado and holds a Ph.D. degree in physiology from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. Her postgraduate training was at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and the National Institutes of Health. Morris was chosen as a member of the inaugural class of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM). She has been active in science and leadership training for women and underrepresented minorities. Her internationally recognized research centers on hypertension and cardiovascular complications of diabetes. She has served on numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) review panels, has been active in the American Heart Association and the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and has served on the editorial board of prominent journals in her field. She received the Wright State University Mentor's award for her work with faculty and students.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946, by Senator J. William Fulbright with support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. The Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, and to exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world. The Brazilian Fulbright exchange program accepted 15 scholars for 2007/2008 and is also supported by the Foundation for the Support of Research in Rio Grande do Sul.