CONTACT INFORMATIONCREDENTIALSAWARDSPUBLICATIONSShawn P. Murphy, Ph.D.Contact InformationLocationsUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterSchool of Medicine and Dentistry601 Elmwood Ave, Box 668Rochester, NY 14642Faculty AppointmentsAssociate Professor - Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (SMD) Associate Professor - Department of Microbiology and Immunology (SMD) - JointBiographyResearchOne of the long term goals of our research is to determine why the maternal immune system does not reject the genetically disparate fetus during pregnancy. Our studies are focused primarily on the immunoregulatory properties of trophoblast cells, which are the first cells to differentiate from the embryo, and ultimately form the fetal component of the placenta. Trophoblast cells are the only cells derived from the blastocyst that are in direct contact with maternal blood, and therefore play an essential role in protecting the fetus from attack from the maternal immune system. Trophoblast cells are relatively unique in that they do not express major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigens, either constitutively, or after exposure to IFN-gamma. The absence of MHC class II antigen expression on trophoblast cells is thought to be critical for prevention of deleterious maternal immune responses against the fetus. Thus, successful reproduction of mammals may require that MHC class II gene expression be stringently repressed in trophoblast cells. We previously demonstrated that the inability of human and rodent trophoblast cells to transcribe MHC class II genes following IFN-gamma treatment results from silencing of expression of the class II transactivator (CIITA), a transacting transcription factor essential for constitutive and IFN-gamma-inducible transcription in other cell types. We have therefore been investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying transcriptional silencing of CIITA in trophoblast cells. Our studies to date suggest that silencing of CIITA expression in trophoblast cells exposed to IFN-gamma is due to at least two overlapping mechanisms: 1) hyporesponsiveness to IFN-gamma, and 2) a repressive chromatin structure at the CIITA promoter. Our recent studies demonstrated that responses of both human and mouse trophoblast cells to IFN-gamma are significantly reduced relative to other cell types, which correspond with both the inability to express MHC class II molecules, and resistance of trophoblast cells to IFN-gamma-mediated apoptosis and inhibition of cell proliferation. Based on the fact that a wide range of pathogens, including multiple viruses, bacteria and mycobacteria have evolved mechanisms for inhibiting cellular responses to IFN-gamma as an important mechanism of immunoevasion, we have proposed that trophoblastic suppression of IFN-gamma signaling is essential for successful pregnancy. Thus, we have been investigating how trophoblast cells inhibit IFN-gamma signaling. Our laboratory is also examining the mechanisms accounting for loss of MHC class II antigen expression in human diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBLCL). Downregulation of MHC class II expression on DLBLCL is associated with significant decreases in patient survival. Our recent studies in collaboration with Dr. Lisa Rimsza's group demonstrate that the most common mechanism underlying MHC class II loss in DLBCL is silencing of CIITA expression. Thus, we are currently examining the molecular mechanisms responsible for silencing CIITA in DLBCL.CredentialsEducation1983BA | New CollegeBiology1989PhD | Duke UniversityMicrobiologyPost-doctoral Training & Residency1989 - 1993Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, ILAwards20083rd Annual Human Placenta Workshop Lecturer2008Guest editor, special edition of Immunological Investigations on Reproductive Immunology20072nd Annual Human Placenta Workshop Lecturer20061st Annual Human Placenta Workshop Lecturer2002Semi-finalist, Western New York Inventor of the Year1999Olympus Award for New Investigators, European Placenta Group Meeting, Schladming, Austria1984Best Student Poster Presentation, 17th Annual Southeastern Development Biology Conference, Columbia, SCVIEW ALL expand_morePublicationsJournal Articles5/15/2021Agbayani G, Clark K, Sandhu JK, Hewitt M, Sad S, Murphy SP, Krishnan L. "IFN-alpha receptor deficiency enhances host resistance to oral Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection during murine pregnancy." American journal of reproductive immunology : AJRI.. 2021 May 15; :e13454. Epub 2021 May 15. 8/2019Perry ID, Nguyen T, Sherina V, Love TMT, Miller RK, Krishnan L, Murphy SP. "Analysis of the capacity of Salmonella enterica Typhimurium to infect the human Placenta." Placenta.. 2019 Aug 0; 83:43-52. Epub 2019 Jun 26. 1/2019Perry ID, Krishnan L, Murphy SP. "SLC11A1 is expressed in the human placenta across multiple gestational ages." Placenta.. 2019 Jan 0; 75:23-26. Epub 2018 Nov 22. VIEW ALL PUBLICATIONSClose WindowSchedule an appointment with Shawn P. Murphy, Ph.D.Please answer the following questions to help us find the right appointment for you.Important: If you believe that you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. This website is not intended for emergency care.Have you seen this provider in the last 2 years?YesNoExisting Patient Schedule or request a follow up appointment online through MyChart. If you do not have a MyChart account, please close this window and call the appointment phone number. Shawn P. Murphy, Ph.D. is currently scheduling for the following appointment type(s): Our policy does not permit patients to establish care with multiple providers within the same practice or specialty without prior approval. If you choose a new provider in the same office, we will cancel the appointment. Please contact the office directly with questions on this policy.