Cynthia Morton , Ph.D.

Cynthia Morton is an institute member of the Broad Institute, and a member of the Broad’s Program in Medical and Population Genetics (MPG). At the Broad, she serves on the Collaboration Coordination Committee representing Brigham and Women's Hospital, and she co-chaired the MPG subgroup of Broadnext10 Scientific Frontiers workstream and was a member of the Faculty & Structures subcommittee.

An overall theme of the Morton Laboratory is to apply evolving techniques in molecular cytogenetics to address problems in human cytogenetics, with interests including chromosomal rearrangements in constitutional and acquired cytogenetic disorders. A major research endeavor underway is to identify genes that predispose women to develop uterine leiomyomata, common benign pelvic tumors that are the most frequent indication for hysterectomy in the United States. The FibroGENE consortium has been organized to perform genome-wide association studies to expand identification of risk alleles. Another effort is to identify genes involved in human development, known as DGAP (Developmental Genome Anatomy Project), which uses naturally occurring human chromosomal rearrangements in association with major congenital anomalies as the biological reagents for gene discovery. Characterization of balanced chromosomal rearrangements at the nucleotide level has led to translation of the methods into the clinic in the setting of prenatal diagnosis and to the development of a suggested next-gen cytogenetic nomenclature. Yet another primary interest is in the genetics of hearing and deafness disorders using mouse models of human deafness disorders and genome-wide association studies in age-related hearing impairment. A new project is being developed to implement genomic sequencing into newborn screening of babies who are referred for confirmatory testing following their functional newborn hearing screening tests.

Morton is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics in Ph.D. Medical Genetics, Clinical Cytogenetics, and Clinical Molecular Genetics. She is a member of the Counsel of Scientific Trustees of the Hearing Health Foundation, and chair of the Veteran's Administration Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee. She serves on the board of directors of the American Society of Human Genetics as past president and was the previous editor of The American Journal of Human Genetics. Morton is the co-editor of Human Genetics.

Morton received her B.S. from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and her Ph.D. in human genetics from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.

June 2015