Photo of Sean C. Murphy, MD, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Microbiology
Associate Professor
Laboratory Medicine
Assistant Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, UW Medical Center;
Clinical Investigator, Malaria Clinical Trials Center
Medical Director, Human Challenge Center, Center for Infectious Disease Research

Faculty Information

Biography

Dr. Murphy's work focuses on human malaria infection. Human and animals can be protected against malaria sporozoites challenge by immunization with attenuated Plasmodium sporozoites. The protective responses induced by these immunizations remain largely unknown because it is extremely difficult to simultaneously monitor responses against hundreds of potential antigens.

In collaboration with local and international collaborators, Dr. Murphy studies this complex poly-specific T cell repertoire induced by Plasmodium sporozoites using mouse models of malaria infection and novel high-throughput T cell screening technologies.

A major goal of this work is to identify protective antigens in mice, validate the orthologous antigens in human subjects and develop multi-component subunit vaccines that target the pre-erythrocytic stage of malaria infection. Such vaccines could accelerate the development of effective vaccines for the eradication of malaria.

The development of high-throughput tools for T cell antigen discovery would also have broad implications for other infectious and autoimmune diseases and our group is exploring several such possibilities.

Dr. Murphy also directs a clinical pathology group devoted to molecular diagnosis of malaria infections. This work supports malaria human challenge trials and allows for detection of malaria parasites in human blood up to 3-4 days earlier than by conventional blood smears.

 

Education & Training: 
BS
Iowa State University
Ames IA
1999
Post-Graduate Diploma
University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa
2000
PhD
Northwestern University
Chicago IL
2006
MD
Northwestern University
Chicago, IL
2008
Clinical Pathology
University of Washington
Seattle WA
2011
Honors: 
Chief Resident in Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center
2009-2010
Strandjord-ClaysonResearch Award, Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington
2009
Paul Strandjord Young Investigator Award with Distinction, Acad. Clinical Physicians/Scientists
2011
Robert F. & Norma Lee Labbé Endowed Faculty Fellowship, University of Washington
2013
Invited panelist, WHO Working Group on Molecular Malaria Diagnostic Test EQA (London)
2015-2018