Dr. Morgan earned a Ph.D. in Comparative and Experimental Medicine and a M.S.N. in the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration at the University of Tennessee. She earned a M.S. in Biology from Middle Tennessee State University and a B.A. in English literature from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. She is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) with board-certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC).
Dr. Morgan’s program of research explores associations between the human microbiome and neurodegenerative diseases. The human microbiome includes the bacteria, Archaea, viruses, and fungi living commensally in the human gut, skin, mouth, and many other niches. Framed by the developmental origin of health and diseases (DODaD) hypothesis, Dr. Morgan’s research investigates how the microbiome contributes to health maintenance or disease development. Microbiome research requires interdisciplinary team science. In the MeALS Study, Dr. Morgan, PI, and an interdisciplinary team of researchers are exploring associations between nutrition, the gut microbiome, and neurodegeneration, specifically in people diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She is also UT Site PI of the MIND consortium, an initiative that is exploring the microbiome of several neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS and Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Morgan also collaborates with colleagues who study the microbiomes of very low birth-weight infants in the neonatal intensive care environment and subsequent biobehavioral health outcomes. Other research interests include symptom science management in people with chronic and multiple chronic conditions, particularly in medically underserved populations.
Dr. Morgan was Lead Faculty on two funded Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) grants for Advanced Nursing Education, which integrated population health across the curriculum, built academic-community research partnerships, implemented interprofessional education and practice, and expanded access to care through telehealth in APRN nurse-managed clinics.
Dr. Morgan teaches in the BSN, DNP, and PhD programs including Population Health, APRN Practice Issues, Advanced Assessment, and Research. She welcomes prospective and current students to inquire about research opportunities in her lab. She mentors PhD and Honors BSN student research projects. Dr. Morgan is a UT Faculty Senator and serves on the Senate Research Council. She represents the College of Nursing on the University Laboratory Safety Committee and a working group steering interdisciplinary cluster hiring for Food and Nutrition Security. She serves on the College of Nursing, Graduate Curriculum Committee and chairs the Leadership Succession Committee for the local Gamma Chi chapter of Sigma, the International Honor Society of Nursing. Dr. Morgan also serves on the Pre-Health Advisory Board at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.