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Professor Angela Morgan
Prof. Angela Morgan is an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow and leads the Speech and Language group at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute. She is also Professor of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne. Angela has over 20 years of clinical-research experience. Her early career focused on predictors and prognosis for children with acquired brain injury including children with traumatic brain injury, stroke, hemispherectomy due to intractable epilepsy and childhood brain tumour.
In recent times, Angela's research focus has turned to speech and language phenotyping in genetic conditions. Angela and team have characterised speech and language in children with a number of genetic syndromes, single gene and copy number variant conditions, including, but not exclusive to: FOXP2-related speech and language disorders, Kabuki syndrome, Floating Harbor Syndrome, 16p11.2 deletion, Koolen de Vries Syndrome, GRIN2A-related speech disorder, Dravet Syndrome, Beckwith Weidemann Syndrome and Klinefelter Syndrome.
Angela currently leads the NHMRC CRE in Speech and Language which focuses on: (i) identification of new gene pathways leading to child speech and language disorders, (ii) conducting genotype- speech phenotype studies for rare genetic syndromes leading to more targeted therapies, and (iii) elucidating the neurobiology of speech and language disorders using quantitative brain imaging techniques. Increasingly, Angela is a consultant on speech outcomes for pharmacological trials in children with rare genetic conditions. Angela also currently holds an NHMRC development grant to develop a digital speech phenotyping tool. Finally, her current NHMRC project grants focus on identifying the genetic bases of differing speech and language pathologies including childhood apraxia of speech and stuttering.
Angela's research is published in well-respected cross-disciplinary journals including the British Medical Journal, Brain, Neurology, Molecular Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews. She also publishes in discipline specific journals to ensure her translational clinical work reaches the appropriate audience. She has also led development of a number of clinical guidelines including the NHMRC endorsed guideline for management of speech, language and swallowing in children with traumatic brain injury and the NIH affiliated Gene Review on FOXP2-related speech and language disorder.
2016-2021, National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellowship
2015-2017, German Humboldt Foundation Experienced Research Fellowship
2013, Murdoch Children's Research Rising Star (Early to Mid-Career Researcher Award)
2013, Australian Academy of Science Theo Murphy Travel Award
2012, Elizabeth Usher Speech Pathology Australia Award and Keynote presentation (peer recognition of original research contribution to the field)
2010, Victorian Young Tall Poppy Award, Australian Institute of Policy and Science, (awarded to 9 early career scientists in Victoria for early career research success)
2010, National Health and Medical Research Council Achievement Award
2009, National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Award
2008, Australian Academy of Science Theo Murphy Travel Award
2008, Harold Mitchell International Travelling Fellowship
*Significant career breaks 2010, 2013
Angela currently leads a 5 year NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on Speech and Language Neurobiology, which runs until the end of 2021. This NHMRC CRE is a partnership between the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Walter and Eliza Hall Institutes, Florey Neuroscience Institute, University College London, Griffith University and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen. This exciting cross-disciplinary Centre encompasses collaborations with neurologists, speech pathologists, paediatricians, neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, paediatric dentists, linguists, bioinformaticians, clinical and molecular geneticists, MR physicists and neuroimaging experts. The research involves core collaborators in the UK, Netherlands, Germany and the US. The CRE has a core focus on cross-disciplinary training of the next generation of researchers dedicated to unravelling the aetiology of child speech and language disorders. Research aims of the CRE include: (i) identification of new gene pathways leading to child speech and language disorders, (ii) conducting genotype-speech and language phenotype association studies for rare genetic syndromes and (iii) elucidating the neurobiology of speech and language disorders using quantitative brain imaging techniques.
This work is undertaken in collaboration with leading Australian and international scientists. Collaborators include: Prof. Ingrid Scheffer (child neurologist), Dr. Michael Hildebrand (molecular geneticist) at the Epilepsy Research Centre and University of Melbourne; Dr. Frederique Liegeois (developmental neuroscientist) at the University College London Institute of Child Health; Prof. Melanie Bahlo (bioinformatician) at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institutes; Prof. Alan Connelly (MR physicist and neuroimaging data acquisition and analysis expert) at the Florey Neuroscience and Mental Health Institutes; Prof. David Amor (clinical geneticist) at the University of Melbourne and Victorian Clinical Genetics Service; Prof. Simon Fisher (biologist) of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, co-founder of FOXP2; Dr. David Koolen (clinical geneticist), Radboud Medical Centre, Nijmegen, co-founder of Koolen de Vries Syndrome; and Dr. Evelina Federenko (cognitive neuroscient) at Harvard and MIT Boston.
- Understanding the brain basis of language development
- Elucidating the neural pathways and genetic basis of speech
Brignell A, Morgan AT, Woolfenden S, Jachno K, Klopper F, May T, Sarkozy V, Williams K. (2018). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prognosis of language outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Autism & Developmental Language Impairments , 3:1-19.
Morgan AT, Webster R. (2018). Aetiology of childhood apraxia of speech: A clinical practice update for paediatricians. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health , 54(10):1090-1095.
Dodd B, Reilly S, Ttoffari Eecen K, Morgan AT. (2018). Articulation or phonology? Evidence from longitudinal data. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics . 32(11):1027-1041.
Brignell A, St John M, Bruce A, Dinale C, Pigdon L, Hildebrand M, Amor D, Morgan AT. (2018). Characterization of speech and language phenotype in children with NRXN1 deletions. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B . E-pub 25 Oct 2018.
Sanchez K, Boyce J, Morgan A, Spittle A. (2018). Feeding behavior in three-year-old children born <30 weeks and term-born peers. Appetite. 130:117-122.
Boyce J, Kilpatrick N, Morgan A. (2018). Speech and language characteristics in individuals with non-syndromic submucous cleft palate – a systematic review. Child: Care, Health and Development. 44 (6), 818-831 .
Morgan AT, Murray E, Liegeois F. (2018). Interventions for childhood apraxia of speech. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Morgan AT, Su M, Reilly S, Conti-Ramsden G, Connelly A, Liegeois F. (2018). A brain marker for developmental speech disorder. Journal of Pediatrics . 198:234-239.
Brignell A, Williams K, Jachno K, Prior M, Reilly S, Morgan AT. (2018). Patterns and Predictors of Language Development from 4 to 7 Years in Verbal Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism& Developmental Disorders. 48(10):3282-3295.
Boyce J, Kilpatrick N, Reilly S, DaCosta A, Morgan A. (2018). Receptive and expressive language characteristics of school aged children with non-syndromic cleft lip and/or palate. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders . 55(5), 959-968.
Sanchez K, Morgan A. (2018). The ChOMPS, a new tool to measure oromotor and motor skills for eating and drinking. Acta Pædiatrica. 107(8):1304-1305.
Morgan A, Ttofari Eecen K, Pezic A, Brommeyer K, Mei C, Eadie P, Reilly S, Dodd B.
J Pediatr. 2017 Jun;185:200-204.e1. Who to Refer for Speech Therapy at 4 Years of Age Versus Who to "Watch and Wait"?
Brignell A, Williams K, Prior M, Donath S, Reilly S, Bavin EL, Eadie P, Morgan AT. Parent-reported patterns of loss and gain in communication in 1- to 2-year-old children are not unique to autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 2017 Apr;21(3):344-356.
Turner SJ, Brown A, Arpone M, Anderson V, Morgan AT*, Scheffer IE*. Dysarthria and broader motor speech deficits in Dravet syndrome. Neurology. 2017 Feb 21;88(8):743-749. *Joint senior.
Sanchez K, Spittle AJ, Slattery JM, Morgan AT. Oromotor Feeding in Children Born Before 30 Weeks' Gestation and Term-Born Peers at 12 Months' Corrected Age. J Pediatr. 2016 Nov;178:113-118.e1.
Liégeois FJ, Hildebrand MS, Bonthrone A, Turner SJ, Scheffer IE, Bahlo M, Connelly A, Morgan AT. Early neuroimaging markers of FOXP2 intragenic deltion. Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 13;6:35192.
In: Pagon RA, Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Wallace SE, Amemiya A, Bean LJH, Bird TD, Ledbetter N, Mefford HC, Smith RJH, Stephens K, editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2017. 2016 Jun 23 [updated 2017 Feb 2].
Fedorenko E,* Morgan A,* Murray E, Cardinaux A, Mei C, Tager-Flusberg H, Fisher SE, Kanwisher N. A highly penetrant form of childhood apraxia of speech due to deletion of 16p11.2. Eur J Hum Genet. 2016 Feb;24(2):310. *Authors contributed equally.
Turner SJ, Mayes AK, Verhoeven A, Mandelstam SA, Morgan AT,* Scheffer IE.* GRIN2A: an aptly named gene for speech dysfunction.Neurology. 2015 Feb 10;84(6):586-93. Joint senior.
Morgan A, Fisher SE, Scheffer I, Hildebrand M. FOXP2-Related Speech and Language Disorders.
- NHMRC Development Grant (Developing a digital speech phenotyping tool)
- NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (in Speech and Language Neurobiology)
- NHMRC Project grant (Genetics of child speech disorder)
- The Waterloo Foundation UK
- Simons Variation in Individuals Project US
- Humboldt Foundation Germany
- March of Dimes Foundation US
Recent past funding as Chief Investigator
- Australian Research Council Discovery grant
- NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (in Child Language)
- NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (in Psychosocial Rehabilitation after Traumatic Brain Injury)