Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

1. Discovery of novel therapies for infection, inflammatory diseases or cancer
2. Understand host immune response during bacterial infection and sepsis
3. Role of microbiota during diseases

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Personal profile


Murphy is a newly joined Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences of the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at University of Portsmouth.

She graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutritional Science in 2009 and then completed her master’s and PhD degrees in Toxicology, Microbiology and Immunology in 2012 and 2015. In January 2015, she took up her postdoctoral position at the University of Hong Kong, where she co-established the gut health platform with Dr Hani El-Nezami to understand how the complex interplay between diet/pathogens, innate immune system as well as gut microbiome affects our health, which will lead to the development of innovative and cost-efficient preventative or therapeutic measures to cure complex diseases.

In July 2018, Murphy joined the group of Professor Catharina Svanborg in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Lund University, Sweden. During this time, she worked on a discovery showing that “the quintessential oncogene” MYC regulated mucosal immune responses and introduced a new approach to c-Myc inhibition, involving molecules secreted by pathogenic bacteria. The therapeutic efficacy of this approach to c-MYC inhibition has also been successfully demonstrated in different mouse cancer models. In addition, she was working on how genetics controls the innate immune responses to urinary tract infection and examine the interplay between host genetics and gut microbiome in predicting urinary tract infection susceptibility using different knockout mouse models. Her goals are to discover new diagnostic biomarkers and immunotherapeutic approaches that can be translated in future clinical settings.

Furthermore, she has a long-established consortium in the fields of toxicology, infection biology/microbiology and immunology, both nationally and internationally.

For more information about her research, please visit my lab page.

Research Interests

1. Discovery and development of novel therapies against infection, inflammatory diseases and cancer;

2. Exploring how the microbiota affect host immunity to diseases;

3. Emphasis on integration of different omics technologies for in-depth investigation of disease mechanisms and discoveries of novel biomarkers.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., In vitro and in vivo studies of toxins on the intestinal immunity- A risk assessment and potential target for probiotic intervention, The University of Hong Kong

Award Date: 2 Dec 2015

MPhil, The effects of Fusarium mycotoxins on the intestinal epithelial cell-mediated defense response, The University of Hong Kong

Award Date: 1 Dec 2012

BSc (Hons), Food and Nutritional Sciences, The University of Hong Kong

Award Date: 3 Dec 2009

External positions

Researcher/Senior Scientist, Lund University

Aug 2018 → …

Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Hong Kong

Jan 2015Jul 2018


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