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Emma Murphy

Head of Biology - Alzheimer's Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute

Emma received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Leicester where she studied the function and mechanism of heme peroxidases and the engineered introduction of novel catalytic activities, work she continued as a postdoctoral researcher at University College London. Emma moved to the University of Colorado in 2010 where she used a combination of high-throughput in silico and medium-throughput biophysical screening to discover novel compounds that bind to and disrupt the normal functioning of mosquito odorant binding proteins. In 2015 Emma joined the Alzheimer's Research UK Oxford Dug Discovery Institute (ODDI) to build and lead an assay development and screening team who develop and run biochemical and biophysical high-throughput screening assays. The team aims to identify chemical matter as tool compounds to validate novel neurodegeneration targets and as potential leads for therapeutic intervention. Emma has since been appointed as the ODDI Head of Biology. The biology team at the ODDI work to evaluate novel dementia targets that modulate neuroinflammation and organelle dysfunction, areas that have been identified by human genetic studies as being dysregulated in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The group work to validate these targets through the development of novel in vitro assays utilising human iPSC macrophages, relevant cell lines and primary cells. Targets that hold potential for further drug development are prosecuted via screening assays, and the biology team have developed cell based, biochemical and biophysical screening assays to identify novel small molecule compounds. Our goal is to translate cutting-edge academic research in neurodegeneration to drug discovery programmes.