Christopher Morrison, Ph.D.



(225) 763-3145
(225) 763-0260
Send E-mail 


Ph.D., University of Missouri - Columbia, MO, 2001, Animal Science, Reproductive Physiology and Neuroendocrinology
B.S., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 1997, Animal Science, Science and Technology Focus


Dr. Morrison has a general research interest in whole animal neuroendocrinology and physiology, especially as applied to the neuronal regulation of feeding behavior, body weight homeostasis, reproduction, growth, and metabolism. Dr. Morrison’s work has recently focused on dietary protein content and its effects on food intake and body weight. Dietary protein restriction significantly alters body composition, metabolism and food intake, but the mechanisms through which protein intake is detected and regulated are largely unknown. Recent work in the Morrison lab has discovered novel pathways contributing to the detection of protein restriction, and in particular has identified the circulating hormone FGF21 as the first known endocrine signal of protein restriction. Ongoing work is focusing on both the mechanism through which dietary protein regulates FGF21 and the mechanisms through which FGF21 coordinates adaptive changes in food intake and metabolism in response to protein restriction. In addition, separate experiments seek to identify novel pathways connecting dietary protein intake to metabolism, feeding behavior and longevity.


Hill CM, Laeger T, Albarado DC, McDougal DH, Berthoud HR, Münzberg H, Morrison CD. Low protein-induced increases in FGF21 drive UCP1-dependent metabolic but not thermoregulatory endpoints. Scientific Reports 7:8209, 2017.

Berthoud HR, Münzberg H, Morrison CD. Blaming the Brain for Obesity:Integration of Hedonic and Homeostatic Mechanisms. Gastroenterology 152:1728-1738, 2017.

CD Morrison, Z Hao, MB. Mumphrey, RL Townsend, He Münzberg, J Ye, HR Berthoud. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is effective in fibroblast growth factor-21 deficient mice. Molecular Metabolism 5:1006-14, 2016.

SM Solon-Biet, VC Cogger, M Heblinski, T Pulpitel, D Wahl, AC McMahon, A Warren, J Durrant-Whyte, KA Walters, F Ponton, K Ruohonen, A Conigrave, D James, D Raubenheimer, CD Morrison, DG Le Couteur, SJ Simpson. Defining the nutritional and metabolic context of FGF21 using the Geometric Framework. Cell Metabolism 24:555-565, 2016.

T Laeger, DC Albarado, SJ Burke, L Trosclair, JW Hedgepeth, HR Berthoud, TW Gettys, JJ Collier, H Münzberg, and CD Morrison. Metabolic responses to dietary protein restriction require an increase in FGF21 that is delayed by the absence of GCN2. Cell Reports 16:707-716, 2016.

TM Henagan, T Laeger, AM Navard, D Albarado, RC Noland, K Stadler, CM Elks, D Burke, CD Morrison. Hepatic autophagy contributes to the metabolic response to dietary protein restriction. Metabolism 65:805-815, 2016.

AK Gosby, NS Lau, CS Tam, MA Iglesias, CD Morrison, ID Caterson, J Brand-Miller, AD Conigrave, D Raubenheimer, SJ Simpson. Raised FGF-21 and triglycerides accompany increased energy intake driven by protein leverage in lean, healthy individuals: a randomised trial. PLoS One 11:e0161003, 2016.

CD Morrison and T Laeger. Protein-dependent regulation of feeding and metabolism. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 26:256-62, 2015.

H Münzberg and CD Morrison. Structure, production and signaling of leptin. Metabolism. 64:13-23, 2015.

T Laeger, TM Henagan, DC Albarado, LM Redman, GA Bray, RC Noland, H Münzberg, SM Hutson, TW Gettys, MW Schwartz and CD Morrison. FGF21 is an endocrine signal of protein restriction. Journal of Clinical Investigation 124:3913-22, 2014.

T Laeger, SD Reed, TM Henagan, DH Fernandez, M Tagahavi, A Addington, H Münzberg, RJ. Martin, SM Hutson, CD Morrison. Leucine acts in the brain to suppress food intake but does not function as a physiological signal of low dietary protein. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 307:R310-320, 2014.

TG Anthony, CD Morrison, TW Gettys. Remodeling of lipid metabolism by dietary restriction of essential amino acids. Diabetes. 62:2635-44, 2013.

HR Berthoud, H Münzberg, BK Richards, CD Morrison. Neural and metabolic regulation of macronutrient intake and selection. Proc Nutr Soc. 3:390-400, 2012.

CD Morrison, SD Reed, TM Henagan. Homeostatic Regulation of Protein Intake: In Search of a Mechanism. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 302:R917-28, 2012.

MN Purpera, L Shen, M Taghavi, H Münzberg, RJ Martin, SM Hutson, CD Morrison.Impaired branched chain amino acid metabolism alters feeding behavior and increases orexigenic neuropeptide expression in the hypothalamus. J Endocrinol. 212:85-94, 2012.

HR Berthoud and C Morrison. The brain, appetite, and obesity. Annual Reviews of Psychology 59:55-92, 2008.

CD Morrison, X Xi, CL White, J Ye, RJ Martin. Amino acids inhibit Agrp gene expression via an mTOR-dependent mechanism. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 293:E165-71, 2007

For a complete list of publications, visit ResearcherID ^ top