George F. Murphy, M.D.

George F. Murphy, M.D.

Harvard Medical School
Brigham and Women's Hospital
George F. Murphy, HSCI Skin Program

The Murphy lab studies scarless healing during fetal development and “stem cell burnout” during aging, with the goal of coaxing skin stem cells into healing wounds by regenerating tissue instead of forming a scar.

The Murphy Laboratory focuses on inflammatory and neoplastic disorders of the skin, with particular attention to the role of physiologic and cancer stem cells. By combining structural, molecular, genetic, and epigenomic approaches, the laboratory has identified and characterized epithelial stem cells that are targeted in alloreactivity, facilitated understanding of how scaffolds and stem cells collaborate to produce more regenerative healing, assisted in the discovery and mechanistic understanding of stem-like subpopulations responsible for melanoma aggressiveness, and aided in the exploration of epigenetic pathways that drive skin cancer virulence.

These insights and contributions also underscore the critical role of biomarker deployment in the identification of physiologic and pathologic skin stem cells, both with regard to understanding their structure-function relationships, as well as in the setting of monitoring their status during authentic regeneration and as a consequence of targeted melanoma treatments. The work provides a fundamental basis for skin stem cell identification in translational therapeutics.


Dr. Murphy is a Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, the Director of the Program in Dermatopathology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Program Director of the Harvard Combined Fellowship in Dermatopathology, and co-leader of the HSCI Skin Program.

Murphy received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.D. from the University of Vermont. He trained in internal medicine at Boston University Medical Center and in Pathology and Dermatopathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has served as a past president of the American Society of Dermatopathology and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He is a practicing pathologist and dermatopathologist with complementary interests in medical education and translational research. He has authored and edited more than 10 texts in the field of cutaneous pathology and several hundred peer-reviewed manuscripts concerned with elucidating mechanisms of skin inflammation and neoplasia.

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Program Leader