BSc (Hons)

Dr. Murphy is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. She received her PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Alberta which characterized the clinical role of omega-3 fatty acids on cancer cachexia and response to chemotherapy.

Dr. Murphy completed a postdoctorate in the Laboratory of Epidemiology, and Population Sciences at the National Institute on Aging (2011-2014) in the United States. Her postdoctorate focused on understanding the role of nutrition and obesity on chronic disease risk in aging populations and was supported by a grant from the Office of Dietary Supplements/National Institutes of Health. Prior to joining UBC, Dr. Murphy was a Scientific Leader at DSM Nutritional Products. 

She has received numerous awards for her work including the Canadian Nutrition Society PhD Dissertation Award (2012), Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, CIHR (2012-2014), Careers in Cancer Research Development Program New PI Award, CIHR ICR, CCSRI (2015) and the Career Development Awards in Prevention, Canadian Cancer Society (2016)

Centre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention
BC Cancer Agency
Human Nutrition, Land and Food Sciences


Select Publications

1. Murphy RA, Moore SC, Meirelles O, et al. (2016). Metabolites associated with lean mass and adiposity in older African American men. J Gerontol Bio Sci. In Press  

2.  Fishman EI, Steeves JA, Koster A, Berrigan D, Zipunnikov V, Harris TB, Murphy RA. (2016) Association between objectively measured physical activity and mortality in NHANES. Med Sci Spots Exerc. 48(7):1303-11  

3. Murphy RA, Dmmer T, Gotay C. (2015) Re: Associations of body mass index, smoking and alcohol consumption with prostate cancer mortality in the Asia Cohort Consortium. Am J Epid 182(11):971

4.  Harris TB, Song X, Reinders I, Lang TF, Garcia ME, Siggeirsdottir K, Sigurdsson S, Gudnason V, Eiriksdottir G, Sigurdsson G, Steingrimsdottir L, Aspelund T, Brouwer I, Murphy RA.  (2015) Plasma phospholipid fatty acids and fish oil consumption in relation to osteoporotic fracture risk among older adults: the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility Study. Am J Clin Nutr. Epub ahead of print Mar 18

5.  Koster A, Murphy RA, Eiriksdottir G, et al. (2015) Fat distribution and mortality: The AGES-Reykjavik Study. Obesity. 23(4):893-7

6.  Kalogeropoulos AP, Georgiopoulou VV, Murphy RA, et al. (2015) Dietary sodium content, mortality, and risk for cardiovascular events in older adults: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. JAMA Internal Medicine. 175(3):410-9

7.  Steeves JA, Murphy RA, Crainiceanu CM, et al. (2015) Daily patterns of physical activity by type 2 diabetes status: comparing diabetes, prediabetes and normal participants with normal glucose levels in NHANES 2003-2006.  Prev Med Reports, 2:152-157

8.  Murphy RA, Reinder I, Garcia ME, et al.  (2014) Adipose tissue, muscle and function: potential mediators of associations between body weight and mortality in older adults with type 2 diabetes.  Diabetes Care, 37(12):3213-9.

9.  Murphy RA, Reinders I, Register TC, et al. (2014) Association of BMI and adipose tissue area and density with incident mobility disability and poor performance among older adults.  Am J Clin Nutr, 99(5):1059-65.

10. Murphy RA, Bureyko TF, Newman AB, et al. (2014) Adipose tissue density, a novel biomarker predicting mortality in older adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 69:639-46.

11. Murphy RA, Schairer C, Gierach G, et al. (2013) Beyond breast cancer: mammographic features and mortality risk in a population of healthy women. PLoS One, 8:e78722.

12. Martin L, Birdsell L, MacDonald N, Reiman A, Clandinin MT, McCargar LJ, Murphy R, Ghosh S, Sawyer M, Baracos VE. (2013) Cancer cachexia in the age of obesity: skeletal muscle depletion is a powerful prognostic factor, independent of body mass index. J Clin Oncol, 31:1539-47.

13. Murphy RA, Mourtzakis M, Mazurak VC. (2012) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: the potential role for supplementation in cancer. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care,15:246-51. 

14. Murphy RA, Mourtzakis M, Chu QS, et al. (2011) Supplementation with fish oil increases first-line chemotherapy efficacy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Cancer, 117:3774-80.

MSc: Christina Gu, Gayathri Murthy

MPh: Kaity McLaughlin

The goal of Dr. Murphy’s research program is to reduce the risk of chronic disease through modifiable lifestyle factors.  About one-third of cancers can be prevented by eating well, maintaining a healthy body weight and regular physical activity. Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on healthy eating and body weight with an interest in older adults and other populations with increased risk of cancer and chronic disease. Additional research interests include knowledge translation of nutrition evidence, and biomarkers of diet, obesity and metabolism such as metabolomics; the study of small molecule metabolites in biological systems that may help improve exposure assessment and identify pathways linking lifestyle factors and disease.

Dr. Murphy is active in population research, public health and community knowledge translation. She aims to translating her research to health promotion strategies with the goal of reducing preventable cancers and chronic disease.