Sean C Murphy, MD, PhD

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Sean C Murphy, MD, PhD

Specialties

  • Children's Title: Chief, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Laboratories
  • Academic Title: Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington
  • On Staff Since: July 2020
""Getting to work in both clinical and research laboratories is really a dream job. When these two types of laboratories combine forces, they provide essential diagnostic information that can drive the discovery of new treatments, improve lives, and contribute to groundbreaking scientific discoveries that can transform healthcare locally, nationally, and globally.""
  • Biography

    Dr. Murphy is a physician-scientist with roles in both clinical and research laboratories. He has led the Seattle Children's Department of Laboratories as the Chief and Medical Director since 2023. The Department has 26 nationally recognized faculty and over 230 highly-trained and dedicated staff and conducts more than a million clinical assays and studies annually to support the care of children in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Prior to this role, Dr. Murphy served as the Director of Clinical Microbiology at Seattle Children's since mid-2020 and as Assistant Director of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Washington since 2011. In addition to his experience in clinical laboratories, Dr. Murphy also leads a longstanding, multi-disciplinary research program focused on malaria vaccines and diagnostics. 

    Dr. Murphy did his B.S. at Iowa State University, where he studied Equine Infectious Anemia virus with Dr. Susan Carpenter. His malaria research began in 1997 when he started working on the burden of malaria with the late Dr. Joel Breman at the Fogarty International Center at the NIH. After a Post-Graduate Diploma in African Studies at the University of Cape Town, Sean obtained his MD/PhD at Northwestern University while studying erythrocyte lipid raft proteins and their role in Plasmodium infections with Dr. Kasturi Haldar. Sean completed a residency in Clinical Pathology at the University of Washington and a post-doctoral fellowship in malaria T cell immunology with Dr. Michael Bevan. Dr. Murphy is board-certified in Clinical Pathology.

    Board Certification(s)

    Pathology - Clinical

    Education

    Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

    Residency

    University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

    Clinical Interests

    Clinical pathology, global health, microbiology, parasitology, malaria, quality improvement, clinical trials

    Research Description

    At the University of Washington, Dr. Murphy's research team has grown since 2011 to include 19 current scientists and students at the team's South Lake Union-based laboratory. The laboratory is supported by grants from NIH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, FDA, UW, and other funders and is making a big impact in malaria vaccines and diagnostics. In addition to basic malaria research and malaria clinical trials, the Murphy Laboratory also houses the CAP/CLIA-certified Malaria Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (MMDL), which is a leading molecular diagnostic site for malaria studies worldwide. Dr. Murphy has published >100 peer-reviewed papers to date with more in the works and on the way. "I'm thrilled to be part of this amazing community of malaria and global health researchers here in Seattle who are so committed to improving the lives of all people around the world using vaccines and other proven health interventions." 

    The Murphy Laboratory's research is organized around (1) malaria immunology and vaccinology, (2) diagnostics and epidemiology, (3) model development, and (4) human clinical trials. For more information, go to Murphy Laboratory Website

    Research Focus Area

    Diagnostics, Laboratory Medicine, Malaria, Vaccines

  • Related Resources

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