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2013 Excellence in feline research award

William Murphy, PhD, Professor of Genetics, Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University is the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Feline Research Award from the Winn Feline Foundation and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF).

Winn Past President and board member Dr. Susan Little made the announcement and presented the $2,500 award at the Merial-NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held at Michigan State University on August 3, 2013.

Dr. Murphy was recognized due in large part to his contributions to feline genomics, addressing feline species phylogeny and developing comparative maps by radiation hybrid analysis. Dr. Murphy’s research focus includes feline comparative and conservation genomics specifically focusing on mapping and annotating the domestic cat genome and studying the Y chromosome of cats and dogs as these genes relate to infertility and reproductive isolation between species.

Dr. Little commented, “Dr. Murphy is highly regarded by the best comparative geneticists and evolutionary biologists in the world. His goal of high quality comparative gene maps for the cat, along with the commitment of the National Institutes of Health to sequence the genome of the domestic cat is critical. His work has facilitated the generation of genome–wide SNP arrays that are now providing feline geneticists the ability to identify genes responsible for specific diseases.”

Dr. Murphy has published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals and volumes, including many in Science and Nature. His lab has been funded by Winn Feline Foundation, National Science Foundation, USDA, Morris Animal Foundation, Cat Health Network, AKC Canine Health Foundation, and the Snow Leopard Conservancy.

William Murphy received his PhD in Biological Sciences in 1997 from Tulsa University, and completed his postdoctoral work at the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Murphy held positions as a Research Fellow and Senior Scientist under the renowned geneticist Dr. Stephen J. O’Brien at the NCI Laboratory of Genomic Diversity from 1997 to 2004. While in Dr. O’Brien’s lab, Murphy conducted front line research and published an exceptionally strong set of research articles in leading peer-reviewed journals, attaining worldwide name recognition in his field. Dr. Murphy joined Texas A&M University in 2004.

Winn Feline Foundation and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation are pleased to collaborate in this effort to focus attention on the importance of feline health studies and the committed researchers who conduct these lifesaving investigations into the prevention and care of feline disease for “Every Cat, Every Day.”