spacer FAU WEB SEARCH spacer
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science



Rod Murphey
Chairman, Biology Department
Director, Jupiter Life Science Initiative

Ph.D.: University of Oregon, 1970

Contact information
Office: SC 140
Phone: (561) 297-0384 (Boca)
(561) 799-8322 (Jupiter)

Email: rmurphey@fau.edu



Research Interests

The focus of my lab is development, degeneration and death in the nervous system. We combine molecular genetics, cellular neurophysiology and numerous imaging techniques to study these issues in model genetic systems. A new confocal microscope provides the most up-to-date methods in imaging, related laser equipment allows us to ablate single neurons in living animals and a variety of physiological tools are used to test synaptic function. Numerous on-going projects take advantage of this instrumentation to address issues of synaptic development and disease. One project examines the role of the ubiquitin in the formation and function of synapses. A second project examines the role of synaptic "competition" in the formation of neural circuits. Finally, we study the degeneration and death of DOPA cells under oxidative stress as linked to Parkinson's disease. This latter project is part of a larger collaborative project in the Biology department that includes a number of other faculty investigators who are also working on oxidative stress in the nervous system. A number of other labs in the Department also use model genetic systems to address these issues of neural development and disease in Drosophila.  



Uthaman S. B., Godenschwege T. A., Murphey R. K. (2008). A mechanism distinct from highwire for the Drosophila ubiquitin conjugase bendless in synaptic growth and maturation. J Neurosci.28:8615-8623.

R. K. Murphey, Stephan J. Froggett, Phyllis Caruccio, Xiaoliang Shan-Crofts, Toshihiro Kitamoto and Tanja A. Godenschwege (2003). Targeted expression of shibirets and semaphorin1a reveals critical periods for synapse formation in the giant fiber of Drosophila. Development 130: 3671-3682.

Murphey, R.K. and T.A. Godenschwege (2002). New roles for ubiquitin in the assembly and function of neuronal circuits. Neuron, 36: 5-8.

Godenschwege, T.A., H. Hu, X Shan, C.S. Goodman and R.K. Murphey (2002). Bi-directional signaling by semaphorin1a during central synapse formation in Drosophila. Nature, Neuroscience 5: 1294-1301.

Godenschwege, T.A., J.H. Simpson, X Shan, G.J. Bashaw, C.S. Goodman and R.K. Murphey (2002), Ectopic expression in the gaint fiber system of Drosophila reveals distinct roles for Robo, Robo2 and Robo3 in dendritic guidance and synaptic connectivity. J. Neuroscience. 22: 3117 3129.

Allen, M.J., X. Shan and R.K. Murphey (2000). A role for Drosophila Drac1 in neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis in the giant fiber system. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. Mol Cell Neuroscience 16; 754-765

Allen, M.J., X. Shan, P. Caruccio, S. Froggett and R.K. Murphey. (1999). Targeted expression of truncated Glued disrupts giant fiber synapse formation in Drosophila. J. Neurosci. 19, 9374 9384.

FAU Campuses: Boca Raton/Davie/Dania Beach/Fort Lauderdale/Jupiter/Treasure Coast/Harbor Branch