photo of Dr. Gregory Murphy

Geoffrey Murphy, PhD

Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Research Professor, Michigan Neuroscience Institute

Gaining an understanding of how we learn and remember by studying how ion channels regulate neuronal function and complex behavior.

Dr. Murphy’s primary research interest focuses on how ion channels regulate neuronal function and complex behaviors such as learning and memory.   Much of his work is centered on the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for learning and memory in humans and spatial memory in rodents. 

Using a multidisciplinary approach that combines aspects of modern molecular biology, behavioral neuroscience and electrophysiology, Dr. Murphy’s team is pursuing two research domains.  One investigates how changes in neuronal excitability alter the ability of the central nervous system to encode, maintain and retrieve information.  The second is focused on the relationship between decreases in neuronal excitability and the cognitive impairment that accompanies normal aging. Dr. Murphy is applying these research applications in his work with the NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies involving stem cells and Alzheimer’s disease.


  • B.S., Neurobiology, University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D., Neuroscience from UCLA

Honors & Awards:


  • McKinney, B.C.; Chow, CY; Meisler, M.H.; Murphy, G.G. (2008) Exaggerated emotional behavior in mice heterozygous for the sodium channelScn8a (NaV1.6). Genes, Brain & Behavior (in press). 
  • Parent, J.M. & Murphy, G.G. (2008) Mechanisms and Functional Significance of Aberrant Seizure-induced Hippocampal Neurogenesis. Epilepsia (in press) 
  • McKinney, B.C.; Sze, W.; White, J.A.; Murphy, G.G. (2008) L-type voltage gated calcium channels in conditioned fear: a genetic and pharmacological analysis. Learning and Memory. (in press). 
  • White, J.A.; McKinney, B.C.; John, M.C.; Powers, P.A.; Kamp, T.J.; Murphy, G.G. (2008) Conditional Forebrain Deletion of the L-type Calcium Channel CaV1.2 Disrupts Remote Spatial Memories in Mice  Learning and Memory. 15(1) 1-5. 
  • McKinney, B.C.; Schneider, J.S.; Schafer, G.L.; Mohan, S.; Lowing, J.L.; Seasholtz, A.F.; Akil, H.; Murphy, G.G. (2007) Expression of the Tetracycline Transactivator Gene Under Regulation of the CaMKIIa Promoter Causes Anxiety-like Phenotype in Mice. Genes, Brain & Behavior(Online Early Articles).  
  • Murphy, G.G.; Rahnama, N.P.; Silva, A.J. (2006)  Investigation of age-related cognitive decline using mice as a model system: behavioral correlates.  American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 14(12):1004-11. 
  • Murphy, G.G.; Shah, V.; Hell, J.W.; Silva, A.J. (2006)  Investigation of age-related cognitive decline using mice as a model system: neurophysiological correlates.  American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 14(12):1012-21. 
  • McKinney, B.C. & Murphy, G.G. (2006) The L-Type Voltage-Gated Calcium Channel Cav1.3 Mediates Acquisition, but not Extinction, of Contextually-Conditioned Fear in Mice. Learning and Memory. 13(5):584-9.