May 31, 2012

In Memoriam: Dr. Edward L. Morgan

By Roberta Gottlieb and Sandy Liarakos

Dr. Ed Morgan sitting in labcoat

Edward L. Morgan, Ph.D, Research Professor of Biology and member of the Donald P. Shiley BioScience Center at San Diego State University passed away May 31, 2012 after a short illness. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Marilyn Thoman, their children Melinda, Joelle, and Brandon, his sister Beverly, and his 104 year-old father, Victor. Those who knew Ed were familiar with his fierce loyalty to his friends and family, and his love of entrepreneurial science— a source of inspiration to those around him.

Dr. Morgan's lifelong research focused on a peptide analog of the complement component C5a, which he and his longstanding collaborator Sam Sanderson at University of Nebraska have shown is a potent vaccine adjuvant and immunomodulator.

At SDSU, he collaborated with immunology colleagues; Marilyn Thoman, Libby Virts, Joy Phillips, and Phyllis Linton; and with microbiology faculty within the Department of Biology; Kelly Doran, Roland Wolkowicz, Scott Kelley, and Roberta Gottlieb. His collaborations with Kelly Doran and Roland Wolkowicz have opened the door to new and potentially important therapeutic applications for EP67.

His focus on moving a basic science discovery from bench-to-bedside, was an important characteristic of his approach to science.

He derived a great deal of satisfaction from mentoring students in which those he worked with throughout past few years have greatly enjoyed and admired him; and benefited from his enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity, frankness, irreverent humor, and personal warmth.

In recognition of his dedication to mentoring students, his colleagues at the Donald P. Shiley BioScience Center have established the Edward L. Morgan Mentorship Award which will annually recognize an outstanding faculty mentor.

To give to the Edward L. Morgan Mentorship Award in Ed's memory, please visit and leave the first and second sections blank. In the third section/box, please indicate "Shiley BioScience Visionary Fund - in memory of Ed Morgan." The donation is tax-deductible and The Campanile Foundation will be on the donation receipt.