Sorana Morrissy

Dr. Sorana Morrissy



Assistant Professor

Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Full Member

Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Contact information

Web presence


Office: HMRB307

Preferred method of communication


Susana Escobedo



Educational Background

B.S. , Simon Fraser University, 2002

Doctor of Philosophy , University of British Columbia, 2011


Dr. Sorana Morrissy completed her PhD in Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, under the supervision of Dr. Marco Marra. She pursued post-doctoral research in translational genomics in Dr. Michael Taylor’s lab at the Hospital of Sick Children in Toronto, ON. Throughout her training she gained extensive experience with cutting-edge high-throughput sequencing technologies and computational analyses in the field of cancer research, with a particular focus on understanding tumor heterogeneity and recurrent disease.


Areas of Research

Area of Focus
  • Bioinformatics
  • Genomics
  • Tumor Evolution
Summary of Research

Tumor evolution is a continuing process of re-iterating genetic and epigenetic diversification followed by clonal expansion and selection occurring in the adaptive landscape of tumor microenvironments. These dynamics yield heterogeneous clonal lineages that underpin cancer’s ability to progress, metastasize, and ultimately become resistant to treatment. Intratumoral heterogeneity (ITH) is thus a formidable barrier to therapeutic success. Significant efforts are ongoing to understand the dynamics, constraints, and contingencies of this ongoing evolutionary process. This process is particularly relevant to brain tumors, both in adult and pediatric cases. My lab focuses on the extent and clinical implications of ITH, measuring and modeling tumor evolution, and approaches for therapeutic strategies that consider and incorporate this key aspect of tumor biology.

Participation in university strategic initiatives