Cynthia Morton, PhD

William Lambert Richardson Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

William Lambert Richardson Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology and Pathology, Harvard Medical School
Medical Geneticist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital


Cynthia Casson Morton received her Bachelor of Science degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and her PhD in Human Genetics from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. She is the William Lambert Richardson Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology and Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, Kenneth J. Ryan, MD Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of Cytogenetics and Past Director of the Biomedical Research Institute at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dr. Morton is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Manchester, UK, where she holds a position as Chair in Auditory Genetics. Dr. Morton is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics in PhD Medical Genetics, Clinical Cytogenetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics. Her research interests are in molecular cytogenetics, hereditary deafness, genetics of uterine leiomyomata and human developmental disorders. She has published over 300 original articles.

Dr. Morton is a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics where she served as Secretary, Treasurer and Chair of the Accreditation Committee. She was the Chair of the Molecular Genetic Pathology Policy and Exam Committees of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the American Board of Pathology. She served as Member and Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, as Member and Chair of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine, and as Member and Chair of the Veteran’s Administration Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee. Dr. Morton is currently a member of the Counsel of Scientific Trustees of the Hearing Health Foundation and a Member of the NIH National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council. Dr. Morton was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Human Genetics for 12 years and served as the 2014 President. She completed a six year tenure as Editor of The American Journal of Human Genetics and is currently Co-Editor of Human Genetics. Dr. Morton is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Highlights from the BRI Director (2008-2010)

The Brigham Research Institute conducted strategic planning exercises with the Research Oversight Committee, leading to the development of strategic themes and priorities for the BRI that included:

  • Shared Mechanisms of Disease
  • Personalized Medicine
  • Targeted Therapeutical
  • Health Disparities
  • Comparative Effectiveness

As part of the goal of increasing attendance at the BRI’s monthly forum, it was rebranded as part of the successful Research Connection E-Mail Series, which is distributed weekly to the research community. The BRI collaborated with the Center for Clinical Investigation (CCI), Office for Research Careers and Research Operations to thoroughly promote these monthly lunches, which attract standing-room only crowds.

Brigham Research Institute staff worked closely with the CCI and Harvard Catalyst to communicate significant grants and resources available to investigators, particularly junior investigators, when Catalyst launched and throughout the academic year.

A town hall meeting was organized to deliver up-to-the-minute information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).