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Emma Murphy

MSc (Hons), PhD


Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Prostate Cancer Research and Radiation Biology

Since I began my Ph.D. in Immunology at the University of Manchester in 2011, my research focus has been in pre-clinical drug discovery. My Ph.D. focused on the role of class-switched antibody during parasitic helminth infection of the intestinal mucosa in mice. Specifically, the aims of this study were to further current understanding of B cell and antibody responses during murine Trichuriasis infection, with a long-term goal of developing better vaccinations and drug treatments for human Trichuriasis.

I moved to The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) in 2016 as a pre-clinical trial postdoctoral researcher screening novel compounds compatible with mass drug administration programmes for human filariasis as part of the Anti-Wolbachia (A. WOL) Consortium. The focus of this role involved the development of assays suitable for the screening of chemotherapeutic agents against Wolbachia bacterial endosymbionts of filarial nematodes, namely Brugia malayi and Onchocerca sp.

Current Research

Radiotherapy combined with androgen deprivation therapy is the main curative treatment option for high risk, locally advanced prostate cancer, but is frequently unsuccessful at sterilising tumours. Many patients develop disease recurrence and have reduced quality of life post treatment. My research here at Oxford focuses on investigating potential synergistic immunological effects of combined radiotherapy and drug delivery in pre-clinical models of prostate cancer. We aim to use multi-modality treatment strategies combining radiotherapy, surgery and immunotherapy to improve local tumour control through synergistic anti-tumour effects and reduce the necessary radiotherapy doses simultaneously. Should this pre-clinical work succeed, this will hopefully lead to clinical trials being conducted to evaluate the relevance of this novel combined treatment.