Robert F. Murphy is the Ray and Stephanie Lane Professor of Computational Biology and Director (Department Head) of the Ray and Stephanie Lane Center for Computational Biology in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He also is Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and Machine Learning, and was a founding director (with Ivet Bahar) of the Joint Carnegie Mellon University-University of Pittsburgh Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology. In 2003 he obtained a major grant from the National Science Foundation to found the Center for Bioimage Informatics at Carnegie Mellon (of which he and Jelena Kovacevic were the initial Directors). From 2005-2007, he served as the first full-term chair of NIHÕs Biodata Management and Analysis Study Section. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior Research Award in 2008. Dr. Murphy has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. He has co-edited two books and three special journal issues on cell imaging, and has published over 180 research papers. He is Past-President of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry, was named as the first External Senior Fellow of the School of Life Sciences in the Freiburg (Germany) Institute for Advanced Studies, and has been named as an Honorary Professor at the University of Freiburg. He is a member of the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council and the National Institutes of Health Council of Councils.
Dr. MurphyÕs career has centered on combining fluorescence-based cell measurement methods with quantitative and computational methods. His group at Carnegie Mellon did extensive work on the application of flow cytometry to analyze endocytic membrane traffic beginning in the early 1980Õs. This work included the first (1) measurements of kinetics of rapid acidification of endocytosed material in early endosomes, (2) measurements of the kinetics of exposure of endocytosed material to hydrolytic enzymes in early endosomes in living cells, (3) demonstration in living cells of the regulation of early endosomal pH by the sodium, potassium ATPase, and (4) analysis and isolation of endocytic compartments by flow cytometry and sorting. In the mid 1990Õs, his group pioneered the application of machine learning methods to high-resolution fluorescence microscope images depicting subcellular location patterns. This work led to the development of the first (1) systems for automatically recognizing all major organelle patterns in 2D and 3D images, (2) system for building generative models of subcellular organization directly from images, (3) systems for calculating the fraction of proteins in different organelles using both supervised and unsupervised unmixing methods, and (4) systems for automatically recognizing all major subcellular patterns in tissue images. His current research interests include image-derived models of cell organization and active machine learning approaches to experimental biology.
Dr. MurphyÕs leadership experience includes developing the first formal undergraduate program in computational biology in 1987 and founding the Merck Computational Biology and Chemistry program at Carnegie Mellon in 1999. These programs were important forerunners to the 2005 establishment of the joint Ph.D. program in computational biology with the University of Pittsburgh, Under his and Dr. BaharÕs leadership, this program was chosen as one of only ten awardees through Phase I of the HHMI-NIBIB Interfaces Initiative and received Phase II training grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering in 2009. Under Dr. MurphyÕs leadership, the Lane Center was granted department status within the School of Computer Science in September 2009.
Dr. Murphy received an A.B. in Biochemistry from Columbia College and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Charles Cantor at Columbia University.