Phd Student / Research Assistant
Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre
Lab 4.35
4th Floor, Biosciences Institute
University College Cork
Cork
Ireland

T: +353-21-490-1702
E: carola.murphy@ucc.ie

Currently employed as a PhD student and Research Assistant in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC), Carola has a genuine and developing interest in different aspects of immunology, microbiology and biomedical science and a strong and varied research background. Her PhD research focused on elucidating the mechanisms underpinning leukocyte trafficking during intestinal inflammation. Inflammatory bowel disease is associated with abnormal and excessive trafficking of leukocytes to the gut and this directly correlates with the clinical symptoms. Thus, targeting leukocyte trafficking is a viable therapeutic strategy for the disease. During her PhD, within the Host Response and Inflammation group in APC, Carola developed and evaluated novel in vivo models to visualise lymphocyte and neutrophil recruitment to the inflamed murine intestine using bioluminescence imaging. She utilised these models to investigate the prominent molecules involved in leukocyte trafficking, namely integrins, chemokines and lipid molecules and to evaluate potential inhibitors of these molecules. This work was carried out in collaboration with the Immuno-inflammation CEDD in GlaxoSmithKline, UK. Most recently, Carola analysed the impact of pro-longed usage of the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor agonist, FTY720 - a recently FDA approved therapeutic treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - on critical host defence mechanisms. Alongside this research, she has a strong background in microbiota-host interactions. During her MSc in Research with the Department of Medicine, UCC, Carola examined the role of probiotics during onset and progression of chronic experimental colitis. Prior to this, while working as a research assistant in Professor John K. Collins lab within the Department of Microbiology, UCC and in conjunction with the Mercy Hospital, Cork; she contributed to a project examining the effect of probiotics on colorectal cancer risk. 

The goal of my PhD research was to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning the process of leukocyte trafficking during intestinal inflammation, along with identifying the gut selective migratory patterns of different leukocyte populations. To do this, I developed a reproducible and reliable in vivo model of leukocyte migration using bioluminescence imaging (BLI) technology and applied it to the dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) mouse model of acute colitis. These models enabled me to gain further insight into the mechanisms underpinning leukocyte migration in experimental colitis and to evaluate potential therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease, specifically integrin-, chemokine-and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) inhibitors.

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2010)'Use of bioluminescence imaging to track neutrophil migration and its inhibition in experimental colitis'
Murphy, CT,Moloney, G,Hall, LJ,Quinlan, A,Faivre, E,Casey, P,Shanahan, F,Melgar, S,Nally, K; (2010) 'Use of bioluminescence imaging to track neutrophil migration and its inhibition in experimental colitis' [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]
(2010)'Technical Advance: Function and efficacy of an alpha(4)-integrin antagonist using bioluminescence imaging to detect leukocyte trafficking in murine experimental colitis'
Murphy, CT,Moloney, G,MacSharry, J,Haynes, A,Faivre, E,Quinlan, A,McLean, PG,Lee, K,O'Mahony, L,Shanahan, F,Melgar, S,Nally, K (2010) 'Technical Advance: Function and efficacy of an alpha(4)-integrin antagonist using bioluminescence imaging to detect leukocyte trafficking in murine experimental colitis' [DOI] [Details]
(2012)'The Spingosine-1-Phosphate Analogue FTY720 Impairs Mucosal Immunity and Clearance of the Enteric Pathogen Citrobacter rodentium'
Carola T. Murphy, Lindsay J. Hall, Grainne Hurley, Aoife Quinlan, John MacSharry, Fergus Shanahan, Kenneth Nally, Silvia Melgar (2012) 'The Spingosine-1-Phosphate Analogue FTY720 Impairs Mucosal Immunity and Clearance of the Enteric Pathogen Citrobacter rodentium' American Society for Microbiology [Full Text] [Details]
(2012)'Shining a light on intestinal traffic'
Murphy CT, Nally K, Shanahan F, Melgar S (2012) 'Shining a light on intestinal traffic' [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2007Best oral presentation (2nd Prize) Irish Society of Gastroenterology
2008APC Young Researcher of the Year 2007 Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre
2008Best oral presentation (2nd Prize) UCC/ CUH
2008Best poster presentation (1st prize) Irish Society of Gastroenterology
2010Best poster presentation (1st Prize) Molecules to Medicine Conference

Education

 YearInstituionQualificationSubject
2002Department of Microbiology, UCC BSC - MICROBIOLOGY - UCCMicrobiology
2006Department of Medicine, APC MScImmunology
2012College of Medicine and Health (Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre) PHDImmunology/ Medicine