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Patrick J. Murphy, Ph.D.

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Faculty Appointments



The Murphy lab investigates the mechanisms that activate or silence genes as cells transition from one state to another. In very early embryos, stem cells begin to divide and change. Through this process, called differentiation, tissues start to form, and all the cell types of the organism begin to arise. Differentiation relies on a highly coordinated series of gene activation and silencing events. As cells divide during differentiation, changes in gene expression provide each cell type with a specific identity and function. In a similar sense, when the gene expression patterns of normal adult cells change inappropriately, the cell identity also changes, and this can lead to carcinogenesis. Presently, it is unknown what molecular machinery allows a cell to transition from one gene expression state to another.


Journal Articles

Meng FW, Murphy PJ. "Rolling uphill: in vivo reacquisition of pluripotency during cranial neural crest differentiation." Communications biology.. 2021 May 20; 4(1):626. Epub 2021 May 20.

Murphy KE, Meng FW, Makowski CE, Murphy PJ. "Genome-wide chromatin accessibility is restricted by ANP32E." Nature communications.. 2020 Oct 8; 11(1):5063. Epub 2020 Oct 08.

Murphy PJ, Guo J, Jenkins TG, James ER, Hoidal JR, Huecksteadt T, Broberg DS, Hotaling JM, Alonso DF, Carrell DT, Cairns BR, Aston KI. "NRF2 loss recapitulates heritable impacts of paternal cigarette smoke exposure." PLoS genetics.. 2020 Jun 10; 16(6):e1008756. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Epigenetic Changes in the Paternal Germline
Book Title: Transgenerational Epigenetics : Evidence and Debate
Author List: Murphy KE, Murphy PJ, and Carrell DT
Edited By: T. Tollefsbol
Published By: Oxford: Academic Press 2014