Frederick A. Murphy, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Frederick A. Murphy, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Pathology

University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, TX 77555-0609

Office: (409) 747-2430


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Frederick A. Murphy, D.V.M., Ph.D.


2005-Present Professor Department of Pathology, Division of Experimental Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX.
  Member Institute for Human Infections and Immunity (and its Executive Board), The Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, The Galveston National Laboratory (and its Advisory Board), and the McLaughlin Endowment for Infection and Immunity (and its Executive Board)
1991> Dean Emeritus, Distinguished Professor Emeritus School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, California.
1991> Distinguished Professor Emeritus School of Medicine, University of Davis, California.
1986-1991 Formerly Director, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1983-1986 Formerly Director, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1964-1978 Formerly Chief, Viral Pathology Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1998> Member Institute of Medicine, U.S. National Academy of Sciences (and over the years member of 10 committees)
2005> Member The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (and member of the Board of Directors)
2002-2007 Member Secretary’s Council on Public Health Preparedness (US Department of Health and Human Services)
2004> Member International Independent Advisory Group, The Royal Veterinary College, London, United Kingdom
2007> Member Program Advisory Committee, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Bringing Together Medical Population Science and Laboratory Science
2006> Member American Society for Microbiology, Public and Scientific Affairs Board, Committee on Public Health

Professional Education

Degree Institution Field of Study Graduation Year
B.S. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York Bacteriology 1957
D.V.M. Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, New York Professional Curriculum 1959
Ph.D. University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, California Comparative Pathology, Emphasis in Immunology 1964


1986-2011 Doctor of Medicine and Surgery Honoris Causa, University of Turku, Finland; Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Honoris Causa, University of London, Royal Veterinary College, United Kingdom; Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, University College Dublin, Ireland
2010 American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, The Distinguished Veterinary Microbiologist Award
2009 Penn Vet World Leadership Award, The University of Pennsylvania
2008 Elected Member, German National Academy of Sciences (Deutschlands Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften)
2003 The Richard Moreland Taylor Award of the American Committee on Arthropod-Borne Viruses, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
1998 The University of California, Davis Medal
1996 Elected Life Member, International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (and formerly at various times, President, Chairman of Vertebrate Virus Subcommittee, member Rhabovirus, Arenavirus, Reovirus Study Groups
1992 Presidential Rank Award, United States Government
1986> Chairman, U.S./Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program, Viral Diseases Panel (and formerly member of Panel)
1984> Member, Advisory Council, Baker Institute, Cornell University
1981> Chairman, Virology Division, International Union of Microbiological Societies (and formerly at various times, Vice Chairman, elected Council member)
1981> Member, Charter Organizing Committee, American Society for Virology (and at various times member of the Executive Council, Finance Committee, Nominating Committee)
1965> Chairman of Executive Council, American Committee on Arthropod-Borne Viruses (and at various times member of Executive Council and member of several committees)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society for Virology (member of founding committee and founding Advisory Council and later served a second term on the Council of the Society).
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America (fellow)
  • American Association of Immunologists (emeritus)
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • The Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (emeritus)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (emeritus)
  • American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
  • The New York Academy of Sciences (emeritus)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Electron Microscopy Society of America (emeritus)
  • Southeastern Electron Microscopy Society (member of founding committee) (emeritus)
  • California Veterinary Medical Association (emeritus)
  • Sigma Xi (national science honor society), Phi Zeta (national veterinary honor society), Phi Kappa Phi (national science honor society), Alpha Zeta (national academic agriculture honor society)
  • Veterinarians of Distinction, American Museum of Veterinary Medicine (2006-Present).

Research Interests

Dr. Murphy’s professional interests include the virology, pathology and epidemiology of highly pathogenic viruses/viral diseases:

  • (1) Rabies: long running studies leading to the identification of more than 25 viruses as members of the virus family Rhabdoviridae, identification and characterization of the first rabies-like viruses, and major studies of rabies pathogenesis in experimental animals, including the initial descriptions of infection events in salivary glands and in muscle.
  • (2) Arboviruses: long running studies of togaviruses and bunyaviruses with the initial proposal for the establishment and naming of the virus family Bunyaviridae, and characterization of "reo-like" viruses culminating in the establishment and naming of the virus genus Orbivirus.
  • (3) Viral hemorrhagic fevers: long running studies leading to the initial discovery of Marburg and Ebola viruses, and characterization of several other hemorrhagic fever viruses, culminating in the establishment and naming of the virus families Arenaviridae (e.g., Lassa virus) and Filoviridae (Marburg and Ebola viruses), and elucidation of the pathology and pathogenesis of the diseases in man, monkeys, hamsters and guinea pigs caused by these exceptionally virulent agents.
  • (4) Viral encephalitides: long running studies of the pathogenesis of neurotropic viruses in experimental animals, including alphaviruses, flaviviruses, bunyaviruses, enteroviruses, paramyxoviruses, herpesviruses, and others. He has been a leader in advancing the concept of “new and emerging infectious diseases” and “new and emerging zoonoses,” which has reinvigorated and reenergized the infectious disease sciences. Most recently his interests have included the threat posed by bioterrorism. He has also made contributions to the advance of laboratory design, particularly maximum containment laboratory design.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  1. The Foundations of Medical and Veterinary Virology: Discoverers and Discoveries, Inventors and Inventions, Developers and Technology (.ppt files). F.A. Murphy. Online, on IHII/UTMB Web at, and with links at the websites of the American Society for Virology, the American Society for Microbiology and the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. (2008).
  2. Epidemiology of Human and Animal Viral Diseases. F.A. Murphy. Encyclopedia of Virology, Third Edition. (B.W.J. Mahy and M.H.V. Van Regenmortel, Editors). Oxford: Elsevier, 2008.
  3. Viral Pathogenesis and Immunity, First and Second Editions (book). R. Ahmed, C.A. Biron, M.A. Brinton, F. Gonzalez-Scarano, D.E. Griffin, K.V. Holmes, F.A. Murphy, N. Nathanson, J. Overbaugh, D.D. Richman, E.S. Robertson, H.L. Robinson. Elsevier, London, 2002 and 2007.
  4. The Future of the Biological Sciences and Biotechnology in Russia: Enhancing Public Health and Security. D. Franz, D. Ashford, C. Blair, G.H. Cassell, M. Hilleman, C.P. Howson, P.B. Jahrling, P. Keim, J. Leduc, M. Meselson, R. Morton, F.A. Murphy, J. Silva, R. Witter, R. Zajtchuk, G.E. Schweitzer. Report of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Future Contributions to Public Health, Agriculture, Basic Research, Counter-terrorism and Non-proliferation Activities in Russia. National Academy Press, 2006.
  5. The Emergence and Re-emergence of Viral Diseases. B.W.J. Mahy and F.A. Murphy. In Topley and Wilson’s Microbiology and Microbial Infections, Tenth Edition, Chapter 71. Edited by L. Collier, A. Balows, M. Sussman and B.W.J. Mahy. Hodder & Stoughton Educational Publishers, Ltd., London, 2005.
  6. Advancing Prion Science: Guidance for the National Prion Research Program. Report of Committee on Transmissable Spongiform Encephalopathies: Assessment of Relevant Science. R.T. Johnson, H.J. Alter, D.O. Cliver, L.D. Cowan, R.Y. Dodd, F.A. Murphy, M.B.A. Oldstone, D. Relman, R.P. Roos, D.M. Taylor, R.B. Wickner, R.G. Will, A. Aguzzi, D.M. Asher, P. Gambetti, D.A. Harris, S.B. Prusiner, E.S. Williams, R. Erdtmann. Institute of Medicine / National Academy of Sciences. National Academy Press, 2004.
  7. Microbial Threats to Health: Emergence, Detection and Response. Report of Institute of Medicine Committee, M.S. Smolinski, M.A. hamburg, J. Lederberg, F.A. Murphy, others. Institute of Medicine / National Academy of Sciences. National Academy Press, 2003.
  8. Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Primates. F.A. Murphy (chair, senior author), J.A. Roberts, K.A.L. Bayne, J.L. Blanchard, T.J. Ferguson, L.J. Flynn, J. Geissert, J.K. Hilliard, M. Kiley, C.J. Peters, B.J. Weigler, J. Zurlo. Institute of Medicine / National Academy of Sciences. National Academy Press, 2003.
  9. Veterinary Virology (book), Third Edition. F.A. Murphy (senior author), E.P.J. Gibbs, M.C. Horzinek and M.J. Studdert. Academic Press, New York, 1999.
  10. The Evolution of Viruses, The Emergence of Viral Diseases: A Synthesis that Martinus Beijerinck Might Enjoy. F.A. Murphy. In Proceedings of Symposium in Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of M. W. Beijerinck — The Discovery of Viruses. Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam, November 1998. 100 Years of Virology. Archives of Virology, Supplement 15, 1-220, 1999.
  11. The Threat of New and Emerging Viral Diseases. F.A. Murphy. In Proceedings, Symposium on Severe Infectious Diseases: Epidemiology, Rapid Diagnosis and Prevention. Novosibirsk, Russia. National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control/Institute of Medicine Board on International Health, and the Academy of Sciences of Russia. In connection with a site visit of the Committee for Russian / U. S. Collaborative Program for Research and Monitoring of Pathogens of Global Importance to State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology (VECTOR), Koltsovo, Novosibirsk, Russia. Published in Russia. 1998.
  12. Ebola Virus: Where Does It Come From And Where Is It Going? F.A. Murphy and C.J. Peters. In Emerging Infections (book), edited by R. Krause and A. Fauci. Academic Press, NY, 1998.
  13. The Public Health Risk of Animal Organ and Tissue Transplantation into Humans. F.A. Murphy. Policy Forum. Science 273:746-747, 1996.
  14. How Can Things This Small Wreak Such Havoc? and What is a Virus? F.A. Murphy. In Viruses: Battling an Invisible Enemy. Seminar at the Smithsonian Institution. Proceedings of The Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Associates, Washington, DC, 1996.
  15. An Atlas of Viral Disease Pathogenesis. F.A. Murphy and N. Nathanson. In Viral Pathogenesis (book). Edited by N. Nathanson, F.A. Murphy, R. Ahmed, K. Holmes, D. Griffin, F. Gonzales, H. Robinson. Lippincott-Raven Press, 1996.
  16. Problems in the Surveillance and Control of Viral Diseases with Special Reference to the Developing World. F.A. Murphy. Infectious Agents and Disease, 4:171-177, 1995.
  17. Virus Taxonomy: The Classification and Nomenclature of Viruses. The Sixth Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (book). F.A. Murphy, C.M. Fauquet, D.H.L. Bishop, S.A. Ghabrial, A.W. Jarvis, G.P. Martelli, M.A. Mayo, M.D. Summers. Springer-Verlag. Vienna, pp1-600, 1995.
  18. Isolation and Characterization of a New Virus [Ebola virus] Causing Acute Hemorrhagic Fever in Zaire. K.M. Johnson, P.A. Webb, J.V. Lange, and F.A. Murphy. The Lancet 1(8011):569-571, 1977.
  19. Comparative Pathogenesis of Rabies and Rabies-like Viruses: Viral Infection and Transit from Inoculation Site to the Central Nervous System. F.A. Murphy, S.P. Bauer, A.K. Harrison, and W.C. Winn, Jr. Laboratory Investigation 28:361-375.
  20. The Pathogenesis of Ross River Virus Infection in Mice. I. Hydrocephalus and Porencephaly. II. Muscle, Heart, and Brown Fat Lesions. F.A. Murphy, C.A. Mims, W.P. Taylor, and I.D. Marshall. Journal of Infectious Diseases 127:121-128 and 129-138, 1973.

NIH Biosketch