faculty bio photo

William Morgan

Theron L. Peterson and Dorothy R. Peterson Professor of Biology

Department/Affiliation: BCMB, Biology
Phone: 330-263-2026
Office Address: Rubbermaid 115


  • B.S., Cornell 1982
  • Ph.D., Yale 1988

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 111: Foundations in Biology
  • BIOL 201: Gateway to Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BIOL 306: Genes and Genomes 
  • BIOL 307: Development
  • BCMB 303: Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • IDPT 101: First Year Seminar 
  • IDPT 200: Introduction to Bioinformatics


I continue my molecular investigations of Phytophthora infestans, the plant pathogen responsible for the Irish Potato Famine. In recent years my students and I have established an accessible system using brewer's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to investigate the function of Phytopthora proteins during the infection process. This past year, summer research and I.S. students were able to express nearly 50 pathogen proteins in yeast for phenotypic analysis. Using a growth assay we identified several pathogen proteins that inhibit cell growth. We are now using gene microarrays, to examine the expression level of yeast genes to determine the target of each pathogen protein. In addition, we have been developing assays that allow us to detect pathogen proteins that target common eukaryotic pathways, including the MAPK signaling and the programmed cell death pathways.


  • Dinsdale E, Elgin SCR, Grandgenett N, Morgan W, Rosenwald A, Tapprich W, Triplett EW, and Pauley MA. 2015. NIBLSE: A Network for Integrating Bioinformatics into Life Sciences Education. CBE Life Sci Educ 14:le3.
  • Morgan W, Fraga D, Macauley, WJ. 2011. An Integrated Approach to Improve the Scientific Writing of Introductory Biology Students. American Biology Teacher 73(3): 146-150.
  • Morgan, W, Fraga, D. 2011. ‘Not Exactly’: The Complexity of A Human Genetic Disease, Case Collection of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
  • Haas BJ et al. 2009. Genome sequence and analysis of the Irish potato famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Nature 461:393-398.
  • Oh SK, Young C, Lee M, Oliva R, Bozkurt TO, Cano LM, Win J, Bos JI, Liu HY, van Damme M, Morgan W, Choi D, Van der Vossen EA, Vleeshouwers VG, Kamoun S. 2009. In Planta Expression Screens of Phytophthora infestans RXLR Effectors Reveal Diverse Phenotypes, Including Activation of the Solanum bulbocastanum Disease Resistance Protein Rpi-blb2. Plant Cell 21:2928-2947.
  • Morgan, W., Bos, J., Bruce, C., Lee, M., Liu, H.-Y., Oh, S.-K., Song, J., Win, J., Young, C., and Kamoun, S. 2008. Structure and function of RXLR effectors of plant pathogenic oomycetes. In Genomics of Disease, J.P. Gustafson, ed. Springer.
  • Win, J., Morgan, W., Bos, J., Krasileva, K., Cano, L., Chaparro-Garcia, A., Ammar, R., Staskawicz, B., and Kamoun, S. 2007. Adaptive Evolution Has Targeted the C-Terminal Domain of the RXLR Effectors of Plant Pathogenic Oomycetes. Plant Cell 19: 2349-2369
  • Morgan, W. and Kamoun, S. 2007. RXLR effectors of plant pathogenic oomycetes. Curr, Opin, Microb. 10: 332-338.