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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 career has been focused on better understanding predictors, prognostic factors and causation for childhood speech and language disorders. Her early career focused on these challenges in children with acquired brain injury, including in children with traumatic brain injury, stroke and brain tumour.
In recent times, Angela's research focus has turned to better understanding biological causation for these conditions. 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 genetic-based speech and language disorders using quantitative brain imaging techniques. Angela and team have identified a number of single genes causative for childhood apraxia of speech. Her team have also characterised speech and language in children with a number of known genetic syndromes, single gene and copy number variant conditions, including: 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. As a result of her expertise in speech outcomes in these children, Angela is increasingly leading trials, or consulting on speech outcome measures for pharmacological trials in children with rare genetic conditions. At a population level, Angela leads the phenotyping arm of a large genome wide association study examining biological contributions to 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
Hildebrand, M.S., Jackson, V.E., Scerri, T.S., Van Reyk, O., Coleman, M., Braden, R.O., Turner, S., Rigbye, K.A., Boys, A., Barton, S., Webster, R., Fahey, M., Saunders, K., Parry-Fielder, B., Paxton, G., Hayman, M., Coman, D., Goel, H., Baxter, A., Ma, A., Davis, N., Reilly, S., Delatycki, M., Liégeois, F.J., Connelly, A., Gecz, J., Fisher, S.E., Amor, D.J., Scheffer, I.E., Bahlo, M., Morgan, A.T. (2020). Severe childhood speech disorder: Gene discovery highlights transcriptional dysregulation. Neurology.
Johnson, J.L., Stoica, L., Liu, Y., Zhu, P.J., Bhattacharya, A., Buffington, S., Huq, R., Eissa, N.T., Larsson, O., Porse, B.T., Domingo, D., Nawaz, U., Carroll, R., Jolly, L., Scerri, T.S., Yyung-GooK., Brignell, A., Coleman, M., Braden, R., Kini, U., Baxter, A., Bahlo, M., Scheffer, I.E., Amor, D., Hildebrand, M.S., Bonnen, P.E., Beeton, C., Gecz, J., Morgan, A.T., & Costa-Mattioli,M. (2019). Inhibition of Upf2-dependent nonsense-mediated decay leads to behavioral and neurophysiological abnormalities by activating the immune response. Neuron.
Eising, E., Carrion-Castillo, A., Vino, A., Strand, E.A., Jakielski, K.J., Scerri, T.S., Hildebrand, M.S., Webster, R., Ma, A., Mazoyer, B., Frankcs, C., Bahlo, M., Scheffer, I.E., Morgan, A.T., Shriberg, L.D., & Fisher, S.E. (2019). A set of regulatory genes co-expressed in embryonic human brain is implicated in disrupted speech development. Molecular Psychiatry, 24(7), 1065-1078.
Koolen, D.A., Morgan, A.T., & de Vries, B.B.A. (2019). Koolen-de Vries Syndrome. Gene Reviews.
Khan, K., Zech, M., Morgan, A.T., Amor, D.J., Skorvanek, M., Khan, T.N., Hildebrand, M.S., Jackson, V.E., Scerri, T.S., Coleman, M., Rigbye, K.A., Scheffer, I.E., Bahlo, M., Wagner, M., Lam, D.D., Berutti, R., Havránková, P., Fecíková, A., Strom, T.M., Han, V., Dosekova, P., Gdovinova, Z., Laccone, F., Jameel, M., Mooney, M.R., Baig, S.M., Jech, R., Davis, E.E., Katsanis, N., & Winkelmann, J. (2019). Recessive variants in ZNF142 cause a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with intellectual disability, speech impairment, seizures, and dystonia. Genetics in Medicine.
Liegeois, F., Turner, S.J., Mayes, A., Bonthrone, A., Boys, A., Parry-Fielder, B., Mandelstam, S., Spencer-Smith, M., Connelly, A., & Morgan, A.T. (2019). Dorsal language stream anomalies in an inherited speech disorder. Brain, 142(4), 966-977.
Morgan, A.T., van Haaften, L., van Hulst, K., Edley, C., Mei, C., Tan, T., Amor, D., Fisher, S., & Koolen, D.A. (2018). Early speech development in Koolen de Vries Syndrome limited by oral praxis and hypotonia. European Journal of Human Genetics, 26, 75-84.
Mei, C., Fedorenko, E., Amor, D., Boys, A., Hoeflin, C., Carew, P., Burgess, T., Fisher, S., & Morgan, A.T. (2018). Deep phenotyping of speech and language skills in individuals with 16p11.2 deletion. European Journal of Human Genetics, 26(5), 676-686.
Morgan, A.T., Murray, E., & Liegeois, F. (2018). Interventions for childhood apraxia of speech. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Morgan, A.T., 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.
Morgan, A.T., Ttofari Eecen, K., Pezic, A., Brommeyer, K., Mei, C., Eadie, P., Reilly, S., & Dodd, S. (2017). Who to refer for speech therapy at 4 years versus who to 'watch and wait'? Journal of Pediatrics, 185, 200-204.
Turner, S., Brown, A., Arpone, M., Anderson, V., Morgan, A.*, & Scheffer, I.E.* (2017). Dysarthria and broader motor speech deficits in Dravet syndrome. Neurology, 88(8), 743-749. *Joint senior.
Morgan, A.T., Scheffer, I., Fisher, S., & Hildebrand, M. (2017). FOXP2 related speech and language disorder. NIH Gene Reviews.
Reilly, S., McKean, C., Morgan, A., & Wake, M. (2015) Identifying and managing common childhood language and speech impairments. BMJ, 350(h2318).
- 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)