All Group Leaders 

Declan  Murphy

Declan Murphy

Professor of Psychiatry and Brain Maturation

  |  Website


The Murphy group ‘translates’ findings from the laboratory to the clinic; mainly through identification of new molecular targets, the development of stratification/outcome biomarkers, and the testing of potential new treatments on cellular, circuit, or brain function. This work is underpinned collaborations within the MRC Centre that undertake experiments using IPSc models and rodents that are translated into humans – and back. His laboratories current focus in autism is the pathological impact of specific genetic and environmental risk factors (including ‘two hit’ models); and the role of serotonin, neuropeptides, glutamate and GABA. Their work in humans includes large scale longitudinal studies of brain development and function (including of the E/I system) in utero, and from infancy through to adulthood.

Selected publications

Pote I, Wang S, Sethna V, Blasi A, Daly E, Kuklisova-Murgasova M, Lloyd-Fox S, Mercure E, Busuulwa P, Stoencheva V, Charman T, Williams SCR, Johnson MH, Murphy DGM, McAlonan GM (2019) Familial risk of autism alters subcortical and cerebellar brain anatomy in infants and predicts the emergence of repetitive behaviors in early childhood. Autism Res

Pretzsch CM, Freyberg J, Voinescu B, Lythgoe D, Horder J, Mendez MA, Wichers R, Ajram L, Ivin G, Heasman M, Edden RAE, Williams S, Murphy DGM, Daly E, McAlonan GM (2019) Effects of cannabidiol on brain excitation and inhibition systems; a randomised placebo-controlled single dose trial during magnetic resonance spectroscopy in adults with and without autism spectrum disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology

Carlisi CO, Norman L, Murphy CM, Christakou A, Chantiluke K, Giampietro V, Simmons A, Brammer M, Murphy DG, Mataix-Cols D, Rubia K (2017) Disorder-Specific and Shared Brain Abnormalities During Vigilance in Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 2: 644-654

Carlisi CO, Norman L, Murphy CM, Christakou A, Chantiluke K, Giampietro V, Simmons A, Brammer M, Murphy DG, Mataix-Cols D, Rubia K (2017) Shared and Disorder-Specific Neurocomputational Mechanisms of Decision-Making in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Cereb Cortex 27: 5804-5816

Ecker C, Schmeisser MJ, Loth E, Murphy DG (2017) Neuroanatomy and Neuropathology of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Humans. Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol 224: 27-48
Murphy DG, Goldman M, Loth E, Spooren W (2014) Public-private partnership: a new engine for translational research in neurosciences. Neuron 84: 533-6
Ecker C, Spooren W, Murphy DG (2013) Translational approaches to the biology of Autism: false dawn or a new era? Mol Psychiatry 18: 435-42
Horder J, Lavender T, Mendez MA, O'Gorman R, Daly E, Craig MC, Lythgoe DJ, Barker GJ, Murphy DG (2013) Reduced subcortical glutamate/glutamine in adults with autism spectrum disorders: a [¹H]MRS study. Transl Psychiatry 3: e279
Murphy D, Spooren W (2012) EU-AIMS: a boost to autism research. Nat Rev Drug Discov 11: 815-6
Daly EM, Deeley Q, Ecker C, Craig M, Hallahan B, Murphy C, Johnston P, Spain D, Gillan N, Brammer M, Giampietro V, Lamar M, Page L, Toal F, Cleare A, Surguladze S, Murphy DG (2012) Serotonin and the neural processing of facial emotions in adults with autism: an fMRI study using acute tryptophan depletion. Arch Gen Psychiatry 69: 1003-13