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On the Frontline of Medical Discovery

The Influenza Viruses and their Vaccines

Dr. Brian Murphy
Co-Chief, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2001 • 7 pm
Masur Auditorium • NIH Clinical Center


Dr. Brian Murphy's research interest is the development of vaccines for important human viral pathogens. He focused first on respiratory viruses but is now also working on the mosquito-borne dengue viruses that annually cause 50 to 100 million cases of dengue fever in tropical and semitropical areas around the world. Based on 20 years of research by Dr. Murphy's laboratory, a new live attenuated influenza virus vaccine is now undergoing evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration for licensure. This vaccine is an example of the lab's long-term commitment to the development of vaccines for viruses, even those as complicated as the influenza A virus, which undergoes frequent antigenic changes.

Dr. Murphy and his colleagues also have developed live attenuated vaccines for the respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza viruses that cause severe respiratory tract disease in small children. Some candidate RSV and PIV vaccines are in clinical trials. In addition, these researchers developed the monoclonal antibody that is the basis of a new treatment to prevent severe RSV illness in premature infants and patients with heart and lung disease.

Dr. Murphy received a B.A. degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and a medical degree from the University of Rochester in New York. After an internship at Stanford University Medical Hospital, he came to NIH in 1970 as a Research Associate in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In 1983, he became the head of the laboratory's Respiratory Viruses Section, and this year he was appointed as Co-Chief of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases.

During 28 years of service in the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Murphy received three P.H.S. awards – a Commendation Medal in 1977, a Meritorious Service Medal in 1985, and an Outstanding Service Medal in 1988. He also received the Federal Laboratory Consortium Award on Technology Transfer for 1992.

As an invited speaker, Dr. Murphy has spoken frequently on virology and vaccine development in the United States and abroad. He has served as a consultant and meeting organizer for the World Health Organization and on a wide range of scientific advisory boards and committees. A member of several professional societies, Dr. Murphy also is an editorial board member or reviewer for 15 journals and holds 6 patents.

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This page last reviewed on 09/9/09

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