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Professor David Murphy

Professor David Murphy

Professor David Murphy
B.Sc.(Edin.), Ph.D.(Lond.)

Professor of Experimental Medicine

Area of research

Molecular Neuroendocrinology

Dorothy Hodgkin Building,
Whitson Street, Bristol BS1 3NY
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 3039


The Molecular Neueroendocrinology Research Group uses gene discovery and transfer techniques to study the neuronal regulation of the cardiovascular system in health and disease. Interests have focussed on hypothalamic neurons involved in the maintenance of plasma osmolality, and the integration of autonomic cardiovascular signalling by brainstem (nucleus of the solitary tract; NTS) neurons (in collaboration with Dr Julian Paton, Dept of Physiology, University of Bristol).

We are using microarray, differential screening and yeast two-hybrid methodologies to identify genes expressed in hypothalamic and brainstem neurons, and genes which alter their pattern of expression following physiological challenges. The hypotheses that emerge from the analysis of expression information must be tested with genetic methods involving the transfer of genes into model organisms. We have accumulated considerable experience with the generation and analysis of transgenic models; both germline systems mediated by the microinjection of fertilised one-cell eggs with cloned DNA fragments, and somatic systems mediated by the stereotaxic injection of Adenoviral gene transfer vectors into specific brain regions. Current strategies involve combining gene discovery with precise real-time physiological measurements.

Activities / Findings

  • Microarray and gene transfer studies on the homeostatic plasticity of hypothalamic neurons
  • Autophagy and the aetiology of inherited central diabetes insipidus
  • Molecular mechanisms of the regulated secretion of hypothalamic peptide hormones


MSc in Molecular Neuroscience


  • vasopressin
  • oxytocin
  • nitric oxide
  • transcriptosome
  • proteome
  • transgenics


  • Diabetes insipidus
  • hypertension

Processes and functions

  • Thirst
  • dehydration
  • blood volume
  • blood pressure
  • neurosecretion


  • Microarrays
  • transgenics
  • adenoviral vectors
  • in situ hybridisation
  • immunocytochemistry
  • Western blotting
  • Northern blots
  • radiotelemetry



Bristol Medical School (THS)

Other sites

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Networks & contacts

  • Dr Julian Paton - Bristol
  • Prof Nina Japunzic - Belgrade Serbia
  • Dr Tom Cunningham - The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Dr Jeff Tasker - Tulane University New Orleans
  • Prof Ciro Isidoro - Universit√† "A. Avogadro" in Novara Italy

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