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.