http://teamsite/dermatology/images/Images/Web_Teamsite/murphy_coat.JPGDr. Murphy spent his postdoctoral years and early career at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, Maryland. After 12 years, and becoming Director of Basic Research at NCI-Frederick in Maryland, he joined the faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Dr. Murphy later became the Chair of Microbiology and Immunology at UNR, School of Medicine. In 2008, Dr. Murphy moved his laboratory to UC Davis, accepting a position as Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Dermatology and Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology Oncology.

Dr. Murphy’s laboratory studies various aspects within cancer immunology and immunotherapy for melanoma. Current projects within the lab are exploring how to increase the success of these engraftments as well as to make them safer for patients by decreasing the period in which the patient is immune-compromised. Another focus within Dr. Murphy’s laboratory is studying how the immune system becomes activated after the systemic administration of immunotherapies. His laboratory has several NIH R01 grants and is also funded by CIRM looking at stem cell engraftment.

Dr. Murphy has over 200 publications in cancer immunology over his 25 year career and is active on multiple NIH Study Sections.


Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Dermatology
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology

Undergraduate Education: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, BS 1984

Graduate Education: University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas, PhD 1989

Selected Recent Peer-reviewed Publications

Khuat LT, Vick LV, Dunai C, Collins CP, More SK, Le CT, Pai C-CS, Stoffel KM, Maverakis E, Canter RJ, Monjazeb AM, Longo DL, Abedi M, Choi E, Blazar BR, Dave M, Murphy WJ. Increased efficacy of dual pro-inflammatory cytokine blockade on acute graft-versus-host disease while maintaining graft-versus-tumor effects. Blood 2021, in press. 

Khuat LT, Le CT, Pai CS, Shields-Cutler RR, Holtan SG, Rashidi A, Parker SL, Knights D, Luna JI, Dunai C, Wang Z, Sturgill IR, Stoffel KM, Merleev AA, More SK, Maverakis E, Raybould HE, Chen M, Canter RJ, Monjazeb AM, Dave M, Ferrara JLM, Levine JE, Longo DL, Abedi M, Blazar BR, Murphy WJ. Obesity induces gut microbiota alterations and augments acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Sci Transl Med. 2020 Nov 25;12(571):eaay7713.  

Blazar BR, Hill GR, Murphy WJ. Dissecting the biology of allogeneic HSCT to enhance the GvT effect whilst minimizing GvHD. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2020 Aug;17(8):475-492. 

Judge SJ, Dunai C, Aguilar EG, Vick SC, Sturgill IR, Khuat LT, Stoffel KM, Van Dyke J, Longo DL, Darrow MA, Anderson SK, Blazar BR, Monjazeb AM, Serody JS, Canter RJ, Murphy WJ. Minimal PD-1 expression in mouse and human NK cells under diverse conditions. J Clin Invest. 2020 Jun 1;130(6):3051-3068.  

Murphy WJ, Longo DL. The Surprisingly Positive Association Between Obesity and Cancer Immunotherapy Efficacy. JAMA. 2019 Apr 2;321(13):1247-1248.  

Wang Z, Aguilar EG, Luna JI, Dunai C, Khuat LT, Le CT, Mirsoian A, Minnar CM, Stoffel KM, Sturgill IR, Grossenbacher SK, Withers SS, Rebhun RB, Hartigan-O'Connor DJ, Méndez-Lagares G, Tarantal AF, Isseroff RR, Griffith TS, Schalper KA, Merleev A, Saha A, Maverakis E, Kelly K, Aljumaily R, Ibrahimi S, Mukherjee S, Machiorlatti M, Vesely SK, Longo DL, Blazar BR, Canter RJ, Murphy WJ, Monjazeb AM. Paradoxical effects of obesity on T cell function during tumor progression and PD-1 checkpoint blockade. Nat Med. 2019 Jan;25(1):141-151.

Dunai C, Murphy WJ. NK cells for PD-1/PD-L1 blockade immunotherapy: pinning down the NK cell. J Clin Invest. 2018 Oct 1;128(10):4251-4253.  

Murphy WJ. Making a Better Hematopoietic Stem Cell - Timing Is Everything. N Engl J Med. 2018 Jan 4;378(1):89-91.  

Alvarez M, Sun K, Murphy WJ. Mouse host unlicensed NK cells promote donor allogeneic bone marrow engraftment. Blood. 2016 Mar 3;127(9):1202-5.  

Sckisel GD, Bouchlaka MN, Monjazeb AM, Crittenden M, Curti BD, Wilkins DE, Alderson KA, Sungur CM, Ames E, Mirsoian A, Reddy A, Alexander W, Soulika A, Blazar BR, Longo DL, Wiltrout RH, Murphy WJ. Out-of-Sequence Signal 3 Paralyzes Primary CD4(+) T-Cell-Dependent Immunity. Immunity. 2015 Aug 18;43(2):240-50.