Dr. William Murphy Wins AVMF Winn Research Award

COLLEGE STATION, TX – Dr. William Murphy, Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences (VIBS) at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), was chosen as the recipient of the 2013 AVMF Winn Excellence in Feline Foundation Research Award.

Dr. William Murphy
Dr. William Murphy

Established in 2009 by the Winn Feline Foundation and American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), this award honors contributions to advancing feline health and welfare through research.

“Dr. Murphy’s research has contributed significantly to the body of knowledge in feline genomics,” said Dr. Eleanor Green, Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “We are proud of his accomplishments and look forward to his continuing a stellar career here at Texas A&M.”

Dr. Murphy’s 2001 papers on mammalian evolution, published in Nature and Science, have been cited more than 1365 times, according to the Science Citation Index.  Since then, he has been working on maps of the feline genome to localize the genes for cat coat color and to find the places where mutations cause diseases such as muscular atrophy and infertility. Furthermore, Dr. Murphy has led the analysis of feline sex chromosomes and has identified cat-specific genes that regulate male fertility.

Dr. Murphy has also applied genetic tools from the domestic cat to the study of the evolutionary relationships and population genetics of the wild cats, including snow leopards and the other big cats.

Many mapping studies that have led to identification of genes and development of genetic tests have been based on the structure of the feline genome discovered in Murphy’s lab.

“I am honored that the AVMF and Winn Feline Foundation have selected me for this award,” said Murphy. “I share credit with my fantastic students and staff who have shared my passion for applying genetic tools to study the interesting biology of cats and their charismatic wild relatives.  I am further thankful for the support of my mentors and colleagues, my department and the CVM, and the funding agencies like Winn that have helped to make my job rewarding.”

“Dr. Murphy is an exceptional scientist whose career reflects truly outstanding achievement,” said Dr. Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Professor and VIBS Department Head, who nominated Dr. Murphy for this award.  “He is highly deserving of recognition by the AVMF for his profound contributions feline genetics.  He is also a kind and generous colleague and a fine teacher and mentor for students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty members.  I am very proud of him and the honor he brings to our college.”

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