Between 1949-1954, Morris Alex's research with Albert L. Lansing and T. B. Rosenthal at Washington University School of Medicine on arteriosclerosis documented that the rate of calcification in blood vessels was related to the concentration of elastase produced by the pancreas. This research led other researchers in the 1950s to discoveries on how cigarette smoke affects the lung's connective tissue.
After his death, Morris Alex's family established the Morris Alex, MD Prize Endowment at Washington University School of Medicine. The honorarium from the fund is awarded to the second-year student showing the "best bedside manner" in the Introduction to Clinical Medicine class. Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituary, November 26, 2011.