Dr. John Morrison Receives NIH Research Career Development Award

Posted on Apr 14, 2023

A photo of John Morrison, M.D., Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital
John Morrison, M.D., Ph.D.

More than 4,000 children each year undergo a tracheostomy, a small incision in the windpipe to help them breathe. In some cases, the child develops recurrent respiratory infections despite receiving antibiotic therapy.

John Morrison, M.D., Ph.D., seeks to better understand these infections and to develop the ability to better predict which patients are at risk. Morrison, a hospital medicine specialist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, recently received a five-year, $982,260 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Known in academic circles as a K23 award, the grant will support a portion of Morrison’s effort and research in an NIH pathway designed to support individuals with a clinical doctoral degree who have made a commitment to patient-oriented research.

“I’m ecstatic about this opportunity and the support I have received at Johns Hopkins All Children’s and through the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,” says Morrison, also an assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

An Academic Embodiment

When All Children’s Hospital integrated with the Johns Hopkins Health System in 2011, the vision was to train clinicians such as Morrison. Together, the organizations have started graduate medical education programs and invested in research on the Johns Hopkins All Children’s campus, including a $95 million Research and Education Building that opened in 2018.

Morrison was in the inaugural Johns Hopkins All Children’s Pediatric Residency program graduating class in 2017, winning the Allen W. Root, M.D., Award for Continuous Excellence in Residency. After that, he was the inaugural Pediatric Hospital Medicine fellow, winning the Janet G. Root Award for Outstanding Research by a Fellow and the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Patient Safety & Quality Award in 2019. Thereafter, he joined the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hospital Medicine in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, based full time on the Johns Hopkins All Children’s campus, where he presently serves as a pediatric hospitalist, the residency scholarship rotation director, and director of the Training, Education, Engagement and Mentorship (TEEM) Center in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Clinical & Translational Research.

“The receipt of this grant is the direct result of the generosity provided by the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation to first fund my Clinical and Translational Research Track project as a resident and fellow and then to fund my work as a faculty member,” Morrison says.

A Guiding Hand

K23 awards are intended to encourage mentorship and career development of junior faculty. Neil Goldenberg, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, associate dean for research at Johns Hopkins All Children’s and director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, has served as a primary research and career development mentor for Morrison since he was a resident, and now serves in this role under the K23 award.

“Today is my proudest day as a mentor, and it’s 100% credited to John’s talent and tenacity,” says Goldenberg, also the Perry Family Endowed Professor in Clinical and Translational Research.

Morrison’s K23 mentorship team is further strengthened by interinstitutional collaboration between Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles/University of Southern California, including Johns Hopkins All Children’s Ernest Amankwah, Ph.D.; Johns Hopkins Children’s Center’s Aaron Milstone, M.D., M.H.S.; and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Christopher Russell, M.D., M.S.

“This is incredible, long-awaited, and a key milestone for the history of Johns Hopkins All Children’s — the first K23 awarded to a Hopkins faculty member based on our campus, and one of many that will follow in the precedent set by Dr. Morrison,” says George Jallo, M.D., vice dean at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and David M. Goldenberg Family Endowed Chair in the Institute for Brain Protection Sciences. “The award is a testament to Dr. Morrison and the mentorship of Dr. Goldenberg. This NIH K23 award is the embodiment of our Johns Hopkins All Children’s research mission of improving health for all children, through research. The ultimate beneficiaries of the award are the children we will treat tomorrow.”

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