NIAID Lab Chief Murphy Retires After 40 Years at NIH
|In this 1984 photo, Dr. Brian Murphy of the NIAID Laboratory of Infectious Diseases administers an experimental intranasal flu vaccine to a clinical trial volunteer.
Dr. Brian R. Murphy, co-chief of NIAID’s Laboratory
of Infectious Diseases, has retired his microscope after 40 years at NIH. He is renowned for his expertise in the fields of virology,
vaccine research and respiratory diseases. His long-term research on the attenuation of flu viruses was instrumental to the development of FluMist, the first nasal spray influenza vaccine.
His discoveries also have led to the development
of Synagis, the only preventive medicine
currently available for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a major cause of lower respiratory infections in infants and young children.
“Brian Murphy is the quintessential NIH scientist,
that is, one who has taken research findings
from the bench to the bedside,” said NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci. “NIH will miss him, but his outstanding contributions will have a lasting impact on human health and the continuing
pursuit of effective viral vaccines.”
Murphy’s laboratory conducts basic, translational
and clinical research on a broad spectrum of diseases caused by major viruses such as RSV, parainfluenza, influenza, dengue, bunyaviruses and West Nile. Under his leadership, the lab has established cooperative research and development
agreements with the biopharmaceutical company MedImmune to develop live, attenuated
intranasal vaccines against pandemic influenza
viruses, RSV, parainfluenza viruses and human metapneumovirus.
“Brian possesses the unique ability to integrate the medical, molecular biologic, epidemiologic, vaccinologic, translational and administrative aspects of his profession,” noted Dr. Albert Z. Kapikian, his long-time colleague in the Laboratory
of Infectious Diseases. “In sports terms, he is like the ‘triple-threat’ quarterback, who can not only do it all but does it all successfully.”
Murphy’s research productivity is reflected in more than 490 published papers encompassing both important basic scientific insights and their practical application to vaccine development. He has served as chairperson for the World Health Organization steering committee on respiratory viruses and measles and as a medical councilor for the American Society of Virology. He serves on the editorial boards of Virology and the Journal
of Virology and in 2003 was the first recipient of the Robert M. Chanock Award for Lifetime Achievement in RSV Research for his long-term efforts in RSV research, therapeutics and vaccine development.
“Brian leaves behind a distinguished legacy
of scientific innovation and accomplishment,”
said Dr. Kathryn Zoon, director of the NIAID Division of Intramural Research. “His long-term dedication to vaccine development, particularly vaccines for pediatric respiratory diseases, is exemplary of the NIH mission to improve public health.”
Murphy earned his B.A. in biological sciences
from Wesleyan University in 1964 and his M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1969. He came to NIH in 1970 following an internship at Stanford University Hospital. He has headed the respiratory viruses
section of LID since 1983 and been co-chief of LID since 2001. His plans after retirement include spending more time with his wife and family, completing papers he currently is working
on as a special volunteer, playing tennis, kayaking, bike riding, traveling, photographing wildlife, reading novels and consulting for companies
developing viral vaccines.
|NICHD’s Lawrence Honored for Health Advocacy
Capt. Lawrence M. Nelson, head of NICHD’s integrative
reproductive medicine unit, received the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Health Advocate Award at the association’s annual conference in Orlando. The association honored him for his integrative
research approach to infertility’s effects on women’s health and participation in society. Nelson’s research results have helped shape medical and occupational therapy for women with primary ovarian insufficiency, a premature, menopause-like condition. He has also lectured regularly to promote integration of women’s health with policy and research.