Dr. Susan Murphy
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Chief, Division of Reproductive Sciences in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Associate Professor in the Division of Environmental Science and Policy
Associate Professor in Pathology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Contact Information
Chesterfield Building Suite 510, 701 W. Main Street, Durham, NC, 27701


Susan K. Murphy, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Chief of the Division of Reproductive Sciences in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Murphy has secondary faculty appointments in the Department of Pathology and in the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment, Division of Environmental Science and Policy.

As a molecular biologist with training in human epigenetics, her research interests are largely centered around the role of epigenetic modifications in health and disease. 

Dr. Murphy has ongoing projects on gynecologic malignancies, including approaches to eradicate ovarian cancer cells that survive chemotherapy and later give rise to recurrent disease. Dr. Murphy is actively involved in many collaborative projects relating to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD).

Her lab is currently working on preconception environmental exposures in males, particularly on the impact of cannabis on the sperm epigenome and the potential heritability of these effects. They are also studying the epigenetic and health effects of in utero exposures, with primary focus on children from the Newborn Epigenetics STudy (NEST), a pregnancy cohort she co-founded who were recruited from central North Carolina between 2005 and 2011. Dr. Murphy and her colleagues continue to follow NEST children to determine relationships between prenatal exposures and later health outcomes.

Visit Dr. Murphy's personal site here.


Lab Members

Doctoral Students

Emma Dolan, PhD Candidate, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology (co-mentor Donald McDonnell)

Reshma Nargund, PhD Candidate, Environment (co-mentor William Pan)

Karina Cuevas-Mora, (rotation) Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program, BIOCORE

Guru Ulaganathan, Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program, Environment

Undergraduate Students

Manasvi Reddy, Public Policy


Carole Grenier, Laboratory Research Analyst



Shilpi Agrawala, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Jessica Selter, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Stephanie Smeltzer, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Kelly Acharya, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Sanaz Keyhan, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Brittany Davidson, MD, Gynecologic Oncology

William J. Lowery, MD, Gynecologic Oncology

Gregory Sfakianos, MD, Gynecologic Oncology

Jason Cory Barnett, MD, Gynecologic Oncology

Marcus Bernardini, MD, Gynecologic Oncology (visiting fellow)

Amy BonDurant, MD, Gynecologic Oncology

Paula Lee, MD, Gynecologic Oncology

Monique Spillman, MD, PhD, Gynecologic Oncology


Postdoctoral Researchers

Michelle Taylor, PhD

Monica Nye, PhD

Takako Okamoto, MD, PhD

Ellen Stevens, PhD

Lihong Zhu, MD

Abayomi Adigun, PhD

Ken Yamaguchi, MD, PhD

Eiji Kondoh, MD

Tsukasa Baba, MD, PhD

Noriomi Matsumura, MD, PhD


Doctoral Students

Dillon King, PhD, Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program, Environment (co-mentor Joel Meyer)

Christine Crute, PhD, Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program, Environment (co-mentor Liping Feng)

Rose Schrott, PhD, Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program, Environment 

Rashmi Joglekar, PhD, Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program, Environment (co-mentor Joel Meyer)


Masters Students

Valerie Rojas, MS, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology


Medical Students

Cassie Hobbs

Barbara Blachut

Isabel Rodriguez

Jaemin Park

Kerone Walker

Patricia Convery

Vanessa Teaberry



Undergraduate Students

Ismail Khaderi, Biology

Elizabeth Shaffer, Neuroscience, Chemistry

Yannet Daniel, Biology, Global Health (Independent Study)

Taylor Lipsich, Biology (Independent Study)

Jim Liu, Biology (Independent Study, Honors Thesis, Graduation with Distinction)

Michael Williams, Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program

Kaycie Hutcheson, Global Health

Olivia Neely, Sexual, Reproductive and Maternal Health (Independent Study)

Katherine Maitland, Biology (Independent Study, Honors Thesis)

Katarina Stephan, Biomechanics, Dance

Kamyar Yazdani, Biology (Independent Study)

Brad Foster

Melody Iro

Rema Shaw

Ethan Whitaker

Catherine Birtles

Sabrina Simpson

Marie Boudreau

Michelle Dalson

Zachary Visco, Biomedical Engineering

Kelly Tomins (Independent study)

Brittany Wenger

Lisa Guo (Independent Study, Honors Thesis)

Sonya Jooma (Independent Study)

Jason Chin (Independent Study)

Clara Lee (Independent Study, Honors Thesis)

Shamaita Majumdar (Independent Study, Honors Thesis)

Christopher Bassil

Masashi Ono

Jack Fitzgibbons (Independent Study)

Cara Davis

Nancy Anoruo

Natasha Dugan

Lisa Chen (Independent Study, Honors Thesis)

Jacob Berchuck

Yaqing Wen (Independent Study)


High School Students

Andy Liu

Esther Son

Deepika Senthil

Kennedy Bridges

Danielle Dejournet



Nadine Channelle Marsh, Administrator

Zhiqing Huang, MD, PhD, Senior Research Scientist

Jamie Wylie, Administrator

Dale Montana, Administrator

Cara Davis, Research Technician

Allison Barratt, Research Technician

Darby Kroyer, Research Technician

Erin Erginer, Research Technician

Ali Gusberg, Research Technician

Teresa Nichols, Research Technician



The Cannabis-Induced Potential Heritability of Epigenetic Revisions in Sperm (CIPHERS) Project at Duke University seeks to explore epigenetic changes in the sperm of both men that used cannabis and rats exposed to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound in cannabis).



The Center for Study of Neurodevelopment and Improving Children’s Health following Environmental tobacco Smoke exposure (NICHES) is a Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center funded by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The NICHES Children’s Center will investigate how secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure during early life increases the risk of developing attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).