Dr. May C. Morris

CNRS Research Director


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M.C.Morris obtained her PhD in Biology and Health Sciences at the University of Montpellier, France in 1997 and completed her postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA. In 2000, she was hired by the CNRS and returned to the Centre of Research on Macromolecular Biochemistry in Montpellier as a junior tenured scientist. In 2005 she established her own research group and in 2010 she was promoted CNRS Research Director. In 2014 she moved to the Institute of Biomolecules Max Mousseron, where she is currently in charge of the “Kinase Biosensors and Inhibitors” group within the Cellular Pharmacology team.

She holds a strong background in cell cycle biology and cancer with longstanding interest in the biological functions and molecular mechanisms of regulation of protein kinases, and a strong interest in therapeutic targeting of kinase dysregulation in cancer. She has established experience in peptide and protein biochemistry, in fluorescence approaches to study protein/protein interactions, in cell biology and fluorescence imaging technologies. Her group has strong expertise in protein kinase expression and purification, in the design and development of fluorescent kinase activity biosensors, peptide and small molecule kinase inhibitors and peptide-based delivery systems. Over the five past years, her group has pioneered the development of a family of environmentally-sensitive fluorescent polypeptide biosensors that report on CDK/Cyclin kinase activities and further developed conformational biosensors implemented to high-throughput screening assays for identification of allosteric inhibitors.

She was awarded the CNRS Bronze Medal in 2006, the « Chercheuse d’Avenir » (Scientist of the Future) Award from Languedoc-Roussillon Region in 2009 and the MATWIN Award for the Best Academic Project in Oncology in 2019.

She has published 87 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 18 contributions to scientific volumes, 8 PCT patents, and has edited a volume on Fluorescent Biosensors (Elsevier Press) in 2013 and a special issue on Fluorescent Biosensors in Biotechnology Journal in 2014. H-factor 31 ISI Web of Science, Total citations : 5167 / Orcid N° 0000-0001-8106-9728/ Researcher ID J-5940-2016 : https://publons.com/researcher/2247612/may-c-morris/metrics/

Editorial Board Member of ChemBioChem since 2010 and Frontiers in Chemistry since 2015. Member of ASBMB and the French Fluorescent Biosensor Workgroup (GDR2588). Coordinator of the BIOCCI Network (Biocapteurs & Biosenseurs en Occitanie) since 2017.

Active member of French Women in Science since 2008, and Council Board Member since 2013. She pioneered the first Mentoring Programme for Female Doctoral students in France, at the University of Montpellier, which became fully recognized in 2015, and integrated in the EumentNet European Mentoring Network in 2019.