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Michael Morris

Professor of Chemistry, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Office Location(s): 4811 Chemistry
Phone: 734.764.7360
Research Group

  • About

    Our research group applies Raman spectroscopy and spectroscopically resolved two and three dimensional imaging to chemical and biomedical problems. It also specializes in high speed video microscopy. We are interested in problems at scales ranging from single molecules to tissue specimens.

    We are leaders in Raman microspectroscopy and microscopic imaging. We develop new spectroscopic instrumentation based on modern photonics technology and new chemometric and other image processing methods for generation of hyperspectral image contrast. A core interest is the chemistry that governs the properties of musculo-skeletal tissues. We use our unique Raman spectroscopic imaging and dynamic microspectroscopy capabilities to study normal and pathological development and failure mechanisms of these tissues at every stage of the life cycle from embryo through maturity. We study how these tissues change over time and how they respond to the imposition of normal and traumatic external loads. The work has led to new insights into the effects of skeletal birth defects such as craniosynotosis and osteogenesis imperfecta, into the tissue changes associated with metababolic diseases such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and into the biomechanics of bone tissue and cartilage. The same technology is also applied to characterization of biomaterials ranging from heart valve replacements to dental cements.

    Additionally we have unique capabilities and facilities for high frame rate fluorescence imaging at the single molecule level. The lab has used supra-video rate imaging to study dynamics of DNA and RNA electrophoretic migration and to study the statistics of electrophoretic dynamics.

    Our work is interdisciplinary and requires close collaboration with biomedical research groups in the medical and dental schools and in the engineering college. Uniquely within the chemistry department, we operate a core Raman spectroscopy facility that brings graduate students and postdoctoral fellows into contact with life scientists from across the university for short and long-term projects.


    Richard D. Sacks Collegiate Professor of Chemistry, 2010
    Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award, 2008
    Mann Award- Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies for achievements in applied Raman Spectroscopy, 2005
    Margaret and Herman Sokol Faculty Award in the Sciences, 2005
    Meggers Award - Society for Applied Spectroscopy, 2005
    Anachem Award, Association of Analytical Chemists    
    Award in Specrochemical Analysis, ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry    
    Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science    
    Gold Medal, Society for Applied Spectroscopy New York    
    Lester Strock Award, Society for Applied Spectroscopy    

    Representative Publications

    Smukler, Abigal R.; Crane, Nicole J.; Morris, Michael D.; McHugh, Jonathan B.; Säämänen, Anna-Marja; Vuorio, Eero I., Roessler, Blake J. Raman Spectroscopic Analysis of Femoral Articular Cartilage in Del 1 (+/-) Transgenic Mice, Appl. Spectrosc. 2006, 60 , 366-372.

    Schulmerich, Matthew V.; Finney, William F.; Fredericks, Richard A.; Morris, Michael D. Subsurface Raman Spectroscopy and Mapping using a Globally Illuminated non-Confocal Fiber Optic Array Probe in the Presence of Raman Photon Migration, Appl. Spectrosc. 2006, 60, 109-114.

    Wilson, Erin E; Awonusi, Ayorinde; Morris, Michael D; Kohn,David H; Tecklenburg, Mary MJ; Beck; Larry W. Three Structural Roles for Water in Bone Observed by Solid-State NMR, Biophys. J. 2006 , 90, 3722-3731.

    de Carmejane, O.; Morris, M.D.; Davis, M.K.; Stixrude, L.; Tecklenburg, M.; Rajachar, R. M. , Kohn, D.H., Bone chemical structure response to mechanical stress studied by high pressure Raman spectroscopy, Calcif. Tissue Int. 2005, 76, 207 - 213.

    Crane, Nicole; Morris, Michael D.; Ignelzi Jr., Michael A.; Yu, Gengeng, Early Chemical Changes in FGF2-induced Craniosynostosis, J. Biomed. Optics 2005, 10, 031119.

  • Education
    • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Research Areas of Interest
    • Analytical Chemistry
      Bioanalytical Chemistry
      Materials Chemistry
      Optics and Imaging
      Sensor Science
      Analytical Laser Spectroscopy and Imaging
      Electrophoretic Separations