Kendall Morris, Ph.D.

Professor, College Of Medicine Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology

College Of Medicine Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology

Professor, Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida

Contact Info MDC Box 8
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33612

Academic Email:

Academic Phone: (813) 974-1549

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  • PHD, Medical Sciences/ Physiology, University Of South Florida, 1993
  • B.A., Mathematics, University of South Florida, 1973

Academic Philosophy

"To paraphrase one of our greatest teachers, Isaac Asimov, the contribution I can make in research is limited to the contribution of one, the contribution I make as a teacher is that of thousands."

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Cardiovascular Sciences
  • Neuroscience

Research Interests

  • Our research is focused on the function and plasticity of distributed, brainstem neural networks involved in cardiorespiratory control. Behaviors of interest include the production of airway protective reflexes such as cough as well as responses to hypoxia, hyper- and hypo-capnia, and lung inflation. Our methods include extracellular spike train recording in vivo, computer assisted data entry and analysis (statistical measurement of cardiorespiratory modulation, cycle triggered histograms, cross correlograms, spike triggered average histograms, and the gravity method) and computer simulations of neural networks inferred from in vivo data.


  • Sigma Xi (Member, 2004 - Present)
  • AAAS (Member, 1994 - Present)
  • American Physiological Society (Member, 1993 - Present)
  • Society for Neuroscience (Member, 1989 - Present)
  • Tampa Bay Area Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience (Secretary - Treasurer, 2007 - 2012)

Recent Publications

  • Pitts, T.Rose, MJ.Mortensen, AN.Poliacek, I.Sapienza, CM.Lindsey, BG.Morris, KF.Davenport, PW.Bolser, DC. Coordination of cough and swallow: a meta-behavioral response to aspiration. Respiratory physiology & neurobiology. 189(3) : 543-51, 2013.
  • Bolser, DC.Gestreau, C.Morris, KF.Davenport, PW.Pitts, TE. Central neural circuits for coordination of swallowing, breathing, and coughing: predictions from computational modeling and simulation. Otolaryngologic clinics of North America. 46(6) : 957-64, 2013.
  • O'Connor, R.Segers, LS.Morris, KF.Nuding, SC.Pitts, T.Bolser, DC.Davenport, PW.Lindsey, BG. A joint computational respiratory neural network-biomechanical model for breathing and airway defensive behaviors. Frontiers in physiology. 3: 264, 2012.
  • Segers, LS.Nuding, SC.Vovk, A.Pitts, T.Baekey, DM.O'Connor, R.Morris, KF.Lindsey, BG.Shannon, R.Bolser, DC. Discharge Identity of Medullary Inspiratory Neurons is Altered during Repetitive Fictive Cough. Frontiers in physiology. 3: 223, 2012.
  • Ott, MM.Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.O'Connor, R.Morris, KF.Lindsey, BG. Central chemoreceptor modulation of breathing via multipath tuning in medullary ventrolateral respiratory column circuits. Journal of neurophysiology. 107(2) : 603-17, 2012.
  • Morris, KF.Schwaber, JS. The neuroscience-systems biology disconnect: towards the NeuroPhysiome. Experimental physiology. 97(4) : 452-4, 2012.
  • Davenport, PW.Bolser, DC.Morris, KF. Swallow remodeling of respiratory neural networks. Head & neck. 33 Suppl 1: S8-13, 2011.
  • Poliacek, I.Morris, KF.Lindsey, BG.Segers, LS.Rose, MJ.Corrie, LW.Wang, C.Pitts, TE.Davenport, PW.Bolser, DC. Blood pressure changes alter tracheobronchial cough: computational model of the respiratory-cough network and in vivo experiments in anesthetized cats. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). 111(3) : 861-73, 2011.
  • Bolser, DC.Pitts, TE.Morris, KF. The use of multiscale systems biology approaches to facilitate understanding of complex control systems for airway protection. Current opinion in pharmacology. 11(3) : 272-7, 2011.
  • Ott, MM.Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.Lindsey, BG.Morris, KF. Ventrolateral medullary functional connectivity and the respiratory and central chemoreceptor-evoked modulation of retrotrapezoid-parafacial neurons. Journal of neurophysiology. 105(6) : 2960-75, 2011.
  • Morris, KF.Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.Baekey, DM.Shannon, R.Lindsey, BG.Dick, TE. Respiratory and Mayer wave-related discharge patterns of raphé and pontine neurons change with vagotomy. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). 109(1) : 189-202, 2010.
  • Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.Baekey, DM.Dick, TE.Solomon, IC.Shannon, R.Morris, KF.Lindsey, BG. Pontine-ventral respiratory column interactions through raphe circuits detected using multi-array spike train recordings. Journal of neurophysiology. 101(6) : 2943-60, 2009.
  • Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.Shannon, R.O'Connor, R.Morris, KF.Lindsey, BG. Central and peripheral chemoreceptors evoke distinct responses in simultaneously recorded neurons of the raphé-pontomedullary respiratory network. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences. 364(1529) : 2501-16, 2009.
  • Dick, TE.Baekey, DM.Paton, JF.Lindsey, BG.Morris, KF. Cardio-respiratory coupling depends on the pons. Respiratory physiology & neurobiology. 168(1-2) : 76-85, 2009.
  • Rybak, IA.O'Connor, R.Ross, A.Shevtsova, NA.Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.Shannon, R.Dick, TE.Dunin-Barkowski, WL.Orem, JM.Solomon, IC.Morris, KF.Lindsey, BG. Reconfiguration of the pontomedullary respiratory network: a computational modeling study with coordinated in vivo experiments. Journal of neurophysiology. 100(4) : 1770-99, 2008.
  • Segers, LS.Nuding, SC.Dick, TE.Shannon, R.Baekey, DM.Solomon, IC.Morris, KF.Lindsey, BG. Functional connectivity in the pontomedullary respiratory network. Journal of neurophysiology. 100(4) : 1749-69, 2008.
  • Dick, TE.Shannon, R.Lindsey, BG.Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.Baekey, DM.Morris, KF. Pontine respiratory-modulated activity before and after vagotomy in decerebrate cats. The Journal of physiology. 586(Pt 17) : 4265-82, 2008.
  • Dick, TE.Shannon, R.Lindsey, BG.Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.Baekey, DM.Morris, KF. Arterial pulse modulated activity is expressed in respiratory neural output. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). 99(2) : 691-8, 2005.
  • Baekey, DM.Morris, KF.Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.Lindsey, BG.Shannon, R. Ventrolateral medullary respiratory network participation in the expiration reflex in the cat. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). 96(6) : 2057-72, 2004.
  • Dick, TE.Morris, KF. Quantitative analysis of cardiovascular modulation in respiratory neural activity. The Journal of physiology. 556(Pt 3) : 959-70, 2004.
  • Morris, KF.Gozal, D. Persistent respiratory changes following intermittent hypoxic stimulation in cats and human beings. Respiratory physiology & neurobiology. 140(1) : 1-8, 2004.
  • Shannon, R.Baekey, DM.Morris, KF.Nuding, SC.Segers, LS.Lindsey, BG. Production of reflex cough by brainstem respiratory networks. Pulmonary pharmacology & therapeutics. 17(6) : 369-76, 2004.
  • Morris, KF.Baekey, DM.Nuding, SC.Dick, TE.Shannon, R.Lindsey, BG. Invited review: Neural network plasticity in respiratory control. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). 94(3) : 1242-52, 2003.
  • Morris, KF.Shannon, R.Lindsey, BG. Changes in cat medullary neurone firing rates and synchrony following induction of respiratory long-term facilitation. The Journal of physiology. 532(Pt 2) : 483-97, 2001.
  • Morris, KF.Baekey, DM.Shannon, R.Lindsey, BG. Respiratory neural activity during long-term facilitation. Respiration physiology. 121(2-3) : 119-33, 2000.
  • Lindsey, BG.Morris, KF.Shannon, R.Gerstein, GL. Repeated patterns of distributed synchrony in neuronal assemblies. Journal of neurophysiology. 78(3) : 1714-9, 1997.
  • Morris, KF.Arata, A.Shannon, R.Lindsey, BG. Long-term facilitation of phrenic nerve activity in cats: responses and short time scale correlations of medullary neurones. The Journal of physiology. 490 ( Pt 2): 463-80, 1996.
  • Morris, KF.Arata, A.Shannon, R.Lindsey, BG. Inspiratory drive and phase duration during carotid chemoreceptor stimulation in the cat: medullary neurone correlations. The Journal of physiology. 491 ( Pt 1): 241-59, 1996.
  • Balis, UJ.Morris, KF.Koleski, J.Lindsey, BG. Simulations of a ventrolateral medullary neural network for respiratory rhythmogenesis inferred from spike train cross-correlation. Biological cybernetics. 70(4) : 311-27, 1994.

Positions Held

  • Associate Professor (Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida 2005 - 2010)
  • Assistant Professor (Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida 1997 - 2005)


  • Young Investigator Award (American Lung Association of Florida - 2001)
  • Research and Creative Scholarship Grant (USF - 1999)
  • Seed Grant (American Lung Association of Florida - 1999)