Brian T. Murphy, Ph.D.Brian Murphy

Assistant Professor
Departmenf of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy

University of Illinois at Chicago
Molecular Biology Research Building
900 South Ashland (M/C 870)
Chicago IL 60607-7173

Office: 3120 MBRB
Office Phone: 312-413-9057
Lab Phone:
Fax Number: 312-413-9303
E-mail address:


Winthrop High School '98
UMass Dartmouth, BS (Chemistry) '02
UMass Dartmouth, MS (Chemistry) '03
Virginia Tech, Ph. D (Chemistry) '07
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Postdoc (Chemistry, microbiology) '10

Research Interests:

The surfaces of marine organisms provide a source of nutrients for microbes within our oceans. Consequently a competition for space results between surface-colonizing (epibiotic) microorganisms. We propose that select secondary metabolites from epibiotic bacteria, which serve as chemical defenses or means of inter- and intra-species microbial communication, can be utilized to probe and combat the pathogenic mechanisms of human microbial pathogens. In the Murphy lab, these epibiotic bacteria are collected from unique source organisms, cultivated in liquid culture, crudely separated, and screened against a variety of human pathogens with the ultimate intent of discovering novel antibiotic structural classes. Of particular interest is the target Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a pathogen responsible for 1.5 - 2.3 million deaths in 2008 [WHO Global Tuberculosis Control report]. We work in close collaboration with the Institute for Tuberculosis Research at UIC (, who has both in vitro and in vivo screening capacity.

Professional Organizations:

American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP)
American Chemical Society (ACS)
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)

Current Courses:

PMPG 510 (Research Techniques in Pharmacognosy)

Select Publications:

  1. Murphy, B. T.; Jensen, P.; Fenical, W. “Marine Bacteria.” Invited chapter (1.3) from “Marine Natural Products Handbook.” Springer, New York, NY. In Press.
  2. Murphy, B. T.; Maloney, K.; Fenical, W. “Marine Microorganisms.” Invited chapter from “Natural Products (Phytochemistry and Pharmacognosy)” submitted as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (UNESCO-EOLSS). In press.
  3. Murphy, B. T.; Narender, T.; Kauffman, C.; Jenson, P.; Fenical, W. Saliniquinones A-F, cytotoxic anthraquinone-g-pyrones from Salinispora arenicola. Aus. J. Chem. 2010, 63, 929-934. [Invited submission for special issue on marine natural products]
  4. Oh, H.; Jensen, P.; Murphy, B. T.; Fiorilla, C.; Sullivan, J. F.; Ramsey, T.; Fenical, W. Cryptosphaerolide, a cytotoxic Mcl-1 inhibitor from a marine-derived ascomycete related to the genus Cryptosphaeria. J. Nat. Prod. 2010, 73, 998-1001.
  5. Murphy, B. T.*; Cao, S.*; Brodie, P.; Maharavo, J.; Kingston, D. G. I. Antiproliferative bistramides from Trididemnum cyclops from Madagascar. J. Nat. Prod. 2009, 72, 1338-1340. *Authors shared equal contribution.
  6. Cao, S.*; Murphy, B. T.*; Foster, C.; Lazo, J. S.; Kingston, D. G. I. Synthesis and activity of simplified adociaquinone B and napthoquinone derivatives against Cdc25B phosphatase. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2009, 17, 2276-2281. *Authors shared equal contribution.
  7. Murphy, B. T.; Slebodnick, C.; Brodie, P.; Miller, J. S.; Rasamison, V. E.; TenDyke, K.; Suh, E. M.; Kingston, D. G. I. Antiproliferative limonoids of Malleastrum sp. from the Madagascar rainforest. J. Nat. Prod. 2008, 71, 325-329.
  8. Murphy, B. T.; Cao, S.; Brodie, P.; Miller, J. S.; Ratovoson, F.; Birkinshaw, C.; Rakotobe, E.; Rasamison, V. E.; TenDyke, K.; Suh, E. M.; Kingston, D. G. I. Antiproliferative compounds of Artabotrys madagascariensis from the Madagascar rainforest. Nat. Prod. Res. 2008, 22, 1169-1175.
  9. El-Youssef, H. M.; Murphy, B. T.; Amer, M. E.; Al-Rehaily, A. J.; Abdel-Kader, M. S.; Kingston, D. G. I. Two new flavonol glycosides from the aerial parts of Lotus lalambensis growing in Saudi Arabia. Nat. Prod. Sci., 2008, 14, 86-89.
  10. Murphy, B. T.; Cao, S.; Norris, A.; Miller, J. S.; Ratovoson, F.; Andriantsiferana, R.; Rasamison, V. E.; Kingston, D. G. I. Cytotoxic compounds of Schizolaena hystrix from the Madagascar rainforest. Planta Med. 2006, 72, 1235-1238.
  11. Murphy, B. T.; Cao, S.; Norris, A.; Miller, J. S.; Ratovoson, F.; Andriantsiferana, R.; Rasamison, V. E.; Kingston, D. G. I. Cytotoxic flavanones of Schizolaena hystrix of the Madagascar rainforest. J. Nat. Prod. 2005, 68, 417-419.
  12. Murphy, B. T.; MacKinnon, S.; Yan, X.; Hammond, G. B.; Vaisberg, A. J.; Neto, C. C. Identification of triterpene hydroxycinnamates with in vitro antitumor activity from whole cranberry fruit (Vaccinium macrocarpon), J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003, 51, 3541-3545.
  13. Neto, C. C.; Yan, X.; Murphy, B. T.; Azogu, K.; Hammond, G. B. Chapter 27: Fractionation, antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity of cranberry fruit extracts, Symposium Series No. 851 Food Factors in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, ACS Books, Shahidi, F.; Ho, C.-T.; Watanabe, S.; Osawa, T.; Eds. 2003, p. 312-321.
  14. Yan, X.; Murphy, B. T.; Hammond, G. B.; Vinson, J. A.; Neto, C. C. Antioxidant activities and antitumor screening of extracts from cranberry fruit (Vaccinium Macrocarpon). J. Agric. Food Chem. 2002, 50, 5844-5849.