Kenneth Murphy, MD, PhD

Kenneth Murphy, MD, PhD

Eugene Opie First Centennial Professor, Pathology & Immunology


  • Immunobiology

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  • BA, Summa Cum Laude, Chemistry: Rice University, Houston, TX (1978)
  • MD, PhD: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (1984)
  • Resident-in-Training, Department of Pathology: Washington University, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, MO (1988)
  • Chief Resident, Anatomic Pathology: Washington University, St. Louis, MO (1998)
  • Postdoctoral Training (with Dennis Y. Loh): Washington University, St. Louis, MO (1990)


  • 1975-1977: Board of Governors Scholar, Rice University, Houston, TX
  • 1977: Phi Beta Kappa
  • 1978: B.A. Summa Cum Laude, Rice University, Houston, TX
  • 1978: Z.W. Salsburg Memorial Award, Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, TX
  • 1978-1984: Medical Scientist Training Program Award, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • 1984: D.I. Macht Memorial Prize, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1988-1990: Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Career Development Award
  • 2009: Distinguished Investigator Award, Washington University School of Medicine
  • 2012: William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology, Cancer Research Institute
  • 2016: AAI-Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • 2016: National Academy of Sciences

Clinical Interests

Anatomic and Molecular Pathology – Autopsy Pathology

Research Interests

Selecting the correct immune response to pathogens – development of dendritic cells and lymphocyte subsets.

My laboratory examines how specialized lineages of the immune system develop to anticipate various types of infections and to generate the correct quality of immune response. Our initial focus examined the basis of CD4 T cell development into the function helper subsets, such as TH1, TH2,TH17, and so on. Our work defined the physiological basis of instructive differentiation that occurs in response to pathogens and defined the signaling pathways and transcriptional circuits involved. Our early discovery that dendritic cells and macrophages determined the direction of T cell differentiation, by their production of cytokines such as IL-12, led us to examine how myeloid cells evolved to be the decision makers for T cell differentiation in immunity. We are currently focused on defining the developmental basis for dendritic cell diversification into the functional subsets that control induction of the various types of lymphocyte effector responses. This work has practical implications for improved immunotherapy, including vaccine design. Ongoing projects can be found by reading our recently published work and review articles.

Editorial Responsibilities

2016 – PresentExecutive Committee, Senior Editorial BoardEuropean Journal of Immunology
2005 – PresentLead AuthorJaneway’s Immunobiology, Garland Science
2001 – PresentTransmitting EditorInternational Immunology
2001 – PresentEditorial BoardEuropean Journal of Immunology
2000 – PresentAssociate EditorImmunity
1997 – 2000EditorImmunity

Service to the Department

2015 – PresentCenter for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Program (CHiiPs) Member
2015 – PresentInaugural Siteman Investment Program Review Committee
2011 – 2012Course master, Immunobiology I 5052 & Immunobiology II 5053
2010 – 2013Animal Studies Committee
2009 – PresentSelection Committee for Faculty Affairs
2009 – 2011Course master, Lymphoid Organogenesis Immunology 5161
2008 – PresentDBBS Evaluation Committee, Pathology and Immunology
2008 – PresentFaculty Search Committee, Immunobiology
2008 – 2011Cell Biology Search Committee
2003 – 2012Course Master, Foundations Immunology 5051
2000 – 2007Barnes Hospital Medical Staff, Department of Pathology
2000 – PresentImmunology Student Admissions Committee
1997 – 2000American Association of Immunologist Nominating Committee
1992 – PresentSpeaker Committee, Pathology and Immunology
1992 – PresentSteering Committee, Immunology Program
1992 – PresentDBBS Admissions Committee
1992 – 1995Graduate School Admissions Committee

Service to the University

1997 – PresentInvestigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

DBBS Graduate Program Affiliation

  • DBBS Admissions Committee (1992-Present)
  • Director, DBBS Immunology Program (2008-2012)
  • DBBS Evaluation Committee, Pathology and Immunology (2008-2012)

Selected Publications

Anderson, D. A., Ou, F., Kim, S., Murphy, T. L., & Murphy, K. M. (2022). Transition from cMyc to L-Myc during dendritic cell development coordinated by rising levels of IRF8. The Journal of experimental medicine219(2), e20211483.
Wu, R., & Murphy, K. M. (2022). DCs at the center of help: Origins and evolution of the three-cell-type hypothesis. The Journal of experimental medicine219(7), e20211519.
Ferris, S. T., Durai, V., Wu, R., Theisen, D. J., Ward, J. P., Bern, M. D., Davidson, J. T., 4th, Bagadia, P., Liu, T., Briseño, C. G., Li, L., Gillanders, W. E., Wu, G. F., Yokoyama, W. M., Murphy, T. L., Schreiber, R. D., & Murphy, K. M. (2020). cDC1 prime and are licensed by CD4+ T cells to induce anti-tumour immunity. Nature584(7822), 624–629.
Durai, V., Bagadia, P., Granja, J. M., Satpathy, A. T., Kulkarni, D. H., Davidson, J. T., 4th, Wu, R., Patel, S. J., Iwata, A., Liu, T. T., Huang, X., Briseño, C. G., Grajales-Reyes, G. E., Wöhner, M., Tagoh, H., Kee, B. L., Newberry, R. D., Busslinger, M., Chang, H. Y., Murphy, T. L., Murphy, K. M. (2019). Cryptic activation of an Irf8 enhancer governs cDC1 fate specification. Nature immunology20(9), 1161–1173.
Bagadia, P., Huang, X., Liu, T. T., Durai, V., Grajales-Reyes, G. E., Nitschké, M., Modrusan, Z., Granja, J. M., Satpathy, A. T., Briseño, C. G., Gargaro, M., Iwata, A., Kim, S., Chang, H. Y., Shaw, A. S., Murphy, T. L., & Murphy, K. M. (2019). An Nfil3-Zeb2-Id2 pathway imposes Irf8 enhancer switching during cDC1 development. Nature immunology20(9), 1174–1185.
Theisen, D. J., Davidson, J. T., 4th, Briseño, C. G., Gargaro, M., Lauron, E. J., Wang, Q., Desai, P., Durai, V., Bagadia, P., Brickner, J. R., Beatty, W. L., Virgin, H. W., Gillanders, W. E., Mosammaparast, N., Diamond, M. S., Sibley, L. D., Yokoyama, W., Schreiber, R. D., Murphy, T. L., & Murphy, K. M. (2018). WDFY4 is required for cross-presentation in response to viral and tumor antigens. Science (New York, N.Y.)362(6415), 694–699.
Briseño, C. G., Satpathy, A. T., Davidson, J. T., 4th, Ferris, S. T., Durai, V., Bagadia, P., O’Connor, K. W., Theisen, D. J., Murphy, T. L., & Murphy, K. M. (2018). Notch2-dependent DC2s mediate splenic germinal center responses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America115(42), 10726–10731.

Kelly Antolik
Clinical Sciences Research Building, 7th Floor, Room 7739