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Susan Murphy

Associate Professor
Clinical Sciences
(919) 681-3423
Research Interest: 
Cell cycle
Developmental biology
Nucleic acid metabolism
Research Summary: 
Gynecologic cancer etiology and biology, cancer stem cells, the establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation in humans and how epigenetic deregulation is associated with disease.
Research Description: 

My lab has three major areas of research focus, including epigenetics as a mediator of the early origins of disease, epigenetic changes that are involved in ovarian and cervical cancers, and therapeutic targeting of ovarian cancer to prevent recurrent disease. We are employing genome-wide and targeted approaches to study DNA methylation changes associated with the in utero environment in humans, and are also determining how the environment impacts epigenetic reprogramming during human gametogenesis. We have ongoing studies of the function and deregulation of genes targeted by DNA methylation in gynecologic malignancies, with a particular focus on genes subject to genomic imprinting. We have also recently developed a mouse model of recurrent intraperitoneal ovarian cancer that we are using to test novel drugs that we previously identified as more effective at targeting ovarian cancer cells in a state of slow proliferation, with an aim of prolonging survival.

Association of cord blood methylation fractions at imprinted insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), plasma IGF2, and birth weight.
Hoyo C, Fortner K, Murtha AP, Schildkraut JM, Soubry A, Demark-Wahnefried W, Jirtle RL, Kurtzberg J, Forman MR, Overcash F, Huang Z, Murphy SK.
Cancer Causes Control. 2012. 23:635-45.

Gender-specific methylation differences in relation to prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke.
Murphy SK, Adigun A, Huang Z, Overcash F, Wang F, Jirtle RL, Schildkraut JM, Murtha AP, Iversen ES, Hoyo C.
Gene. 2012. 494:36-43.

Epigenetic suppression of the TGF-beta pathway revealed by transcriptome profiling in ovarian cancer.
Matsumura N, Huang Z, Mori S, Baba T, Fujii S, Konishi I, Iversen ES, Berchuck A, Murphy SK.
Genome Res. 2011. 21:74-82.

Targeting slow-proliferating ovarian cancer cells.
Kondoh E, Mori S, Yamaguchi K, Baba T, Matsumura N, Cory Barnett J, Whitaker RS, Konishi I, Fujii S, Berchuck A, Murphy SK.
Int J Cancer. 2010. 126:2448-56.

Epigenetic regulation of CD133 and tumorigenicity of CD133+ ovarian cancer cells.
Baba T, Convery PA, Matsumura N, Whitaker RS, Kondoh E, Perry T, Huang Z, Bentley RC, Mori S, Fujii S, Marks JR, Berchuck A, Murphy SK.
Oncogene. 2009. 28:209-18.