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Susan Kay Murphy, PhD

Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Campus Mail: 701 W. Main Street, Suite 510, Room 5140, Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 681-3423

My research interests are largely centered around epigenetics and the role of epigenetic modifications in health and disease. My research projects include studies of gynecologic malignancies, including working on approaches to target ovarian cancer cells that survive chemotherapy and later give rise to recurrent disease.  I have ongoing collaborative projects in which we investigate the nature of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis. DOHaD reflects the idea that our early environment plays an important part in shaping our risk of developing neurodevelopmental disorders or other chronic health problems. I am currently focused on preconception exposures in males with studies of the impact of cannabis use on the sperm epigenome and heritability of these effects. My lab is also working on the effects of in utero exposures, with our primary work revolving around the Newborn Epigenetics STudy (NEST), a mother-infant dyad cohort recruited from central North Carolina between 2005 and 2011 and whom we have followed since early pregnancy.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Wake Forest University, 1998
  • B.A., University of North Carolina - Charlotte, 1992

Selected Grants and Awards


Mendez, Michelle, Shannon Grabich, Sarah Nahm, Susan Murphy, and Cathrine Hoyo. “Diet during pregnancy and disparities in fetal growth: the NEST cohort.” In Faseb Journal, Vol. 29. FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL, 2015.


Cobb, L. P., R. Whitaker, A. Hall, G. Broadwater, S. K. Murphy, A. Berchuck, and S. Gaillard. “Evaluation of ERRα expression and association with survival in advanced ovarian cancer.” In Gynecologic Oncology, 137:204–204. Elsevier BV, 2015.

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Soubry, A., S. K. Murphy, F. Wang, Z. Huang, A. C. Vidal, B. F. Fuemmeler, J. Kurtzberg, et al. “Newborns of obese parents have altered DNA methylation patterns at imprinted genes.” Int J Obes (Lond) 39, no. 4 (April 2015): 650–57.

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Mo, Lihong, Vendula Pospichalova, Zhiqing Huang, Susan K. Murphy, Sturgis Payne, Fang Wang, Margaret Kennedy, et al. “Ascites Increases Expression/Function of Multidrug Resistance Proteins in Ovarian Cancer Cells.” Plos One 10, no. 7 (2015): e0131579.

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McCullough, Lauren E., Michelle A. Mendez, Erline E. Miller, Amy P. Murtha, Susan K. Murphy, and Cathrine Hoyo. “Associations between prenatal physical activity, birth weight, and DNA methylation at genomically imprinted domains in a multiethnic newborn cohort.” Epigenetics 10, no. 7 (2015): 597–606.

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Okamoto, Takako, Masaki Mandai, Noriomi Matsumura, Ken Yamaguchi, Hiroshi Kondoh, Yasuaki Amano, Tsukasa Baba, et al. “Hepatocyte nuclear factor-1β (HNF-1β) promotes glucose uptake and glycolytic activity in ovarian clear cell carcinoma.” Mol Carcinog 54, no. 1 (January 2015): 35–49.

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Vidal, Adriana C., David Skaar, Rachel Maguire, Seyram Dodor, Laura W. Musselwhite, John A. Bartlett, Olola Oneko, et al. “IL-10, IL-15, IL-17, and GMCSF levels in cervical cancer tissue of Tanzanian women infected with HPV16/18 vs. non-HPV16/18 genotypes.” Infect Agent Cancer 10 (2015): 10.

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Nagura, Michikazu, Noriomi Matsumura, Tsukasa Baba, Ryusuke Murakami, Budiman Kharma, Junzo Hamanishi, Ken Yamaguchi, et al. “Invasion of uterine cervical squamous cell carcinoma cells is facilitated by locoregional interaction with cancer-associated fibroblasts via activating transforming growth factor-beta.” Gynecol Oncol 136, no. 1 (January 2015): 104–11.

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Soubry, A., S. K. Murphy, F. Wang, Z. Huang, A. C. Vidal, B. F. Fuemmeler, J. Kurtzberg, et al. “Newborns of obese parents have altered DNA methylation patterns at imprinted genes.” International Journal of Obesity 39, no. 4 (January 1, 2015): 650–57.

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