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Treatment Team


“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”  E.e. cummings

Gastrointestinal Cancers

Katherine Morris, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Surgery

After completing a mathematics degree at the University of Washington, Dr. Morris studied medicine at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), where her interest was drawn to surgery.  During her training she was particularly affected by her rotations in cancer surgery, where her patients’ stories, concerns, triumphs, and heartbreak inspired her. During her seven years of general surgery residency at OHSU Dr. Morris completed two years of research in Surgical Oncology (cancer surgery).

After completing her general surgery residency, Dr. Morris completed a two-year Surgical Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, one of the world's leading cancer centers. Here she worked with masters in the field while helping patients with complex pancreas, liver, and metastatic colon cancers. This training emphasized multidisciplinary treatment of cancer, where close coordination between sub-specialists produces the best possible outcomes.

She then practiced in Portland, Oregon, for five years before taking a position at the University of New Mexico in 2010. There she expanded her efforts in laboratory based cancer research and was awarded an American Cancer Society grant to further her work. She joined the University of Oklahoma and Stephenson Cancer Center as an Associate Professor of Surgery and the G. Rainey Williams Chair for Surgical Research in the Fall of 2016.

Dr. Morris greatly enjoys her time caring for her patients, and considers it an honor to develop patient relationships that often last years. In addition, she continues to seek new treatments for cancer in the lab and finds great satisfaction in teaching the next generation of medical students and residents.


Fellowship: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, NY
Residency: Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR
Medical School: Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR

Research Interests:

Dr. Morris studies how chronic and acute inflammation may lead to progression gastrointestinal cancers as well as working to understand how we can predict which colon and rectal cancers will spread (metastasize).

Specifically, her research focuses on the immunobiology of tumor-stroma interactions in gastrointestinal cancers with the goal of developing novel treatment strategies for these malignancies. Dr. Morris is currently examinging the role of the CSF3/R axis in colon and gastric cancer as well as investigating sex dependent differences in metastatic homing associated with changes in the systemic and tumor immune microenvironment.

Honors and Awards:

 Educational Excellence Award for Faculty, Academic Year 2014-2015, UME Phase II Teaching Category, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, 2015
Elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, 2015
Albuquerque The Magazine, Top Doctors, 2012 - 2016
Gold Humanism Honor Society Induction, 2012
Erwin W. Lewis Khatali Award for Clinical Teaching, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, 2012
Teaching Award from Residents and Medical Students, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico (six awards total), 2011 - 2016
Portland Business Journal Forty Under Forty, 2009
Portland Monthly Magazine Top Doctors, Surgical Oncology, 2009