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Jeffrey C. Murray Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Dentistry, and Biological Sciences

Jeffrey C. Murray earned his B.S. in biology from M.I.T. (1972) and his M.D. as an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of the Tufts Medical School (1978). Following a pediatric residency at the Boston Floating Hospital, he completed a Medical Genetics fellowship at the University of Washington under Arno Motulsky. Dr. Murray joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1984. Now a professor of pediatrics, biological sciences, pediatric dentistry, and epidemiology, he also co-chairs the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in genetics and is a member of the Literature, Science and the Arts program.

Professor Murray's research in human molecular genetics has incorporated basic science, clinical, and epidemiologic approaches to the identification of genes and environmental factors involved in birth defects. His work in the area of craniofacial anomalies has included the first identification of a transforming growth factor alpha with cleft lip and palate, the initial linkage identification of a range of human genetic disorders, the gene cloning for a new homeobox gene family resulting in the Rieger syndrome and dental anomalies, the cloning of the HMX gene homeobox family and its characterization, and a range of publications documenting gene-environment interactions as a component of the etiology of cleft lip and palate, including the association of the MSX1 homeobox gene, as well as the TGFA gene, with smoking and alcohol exposures.

Dr. Murray was director of the former Cooperative Human Linkage Center, a Human Genome Center based at the University, and continues to be actively concerned with ethical issues surrounding the Human Genome Project through such projects as developing course materials on genetics and ethics for high school biology students. He has also directed the Craniofacial Anomalies Research Center in the Departments of Pediatrics, Biological Sciences, Otolaryngology and Physiology and has recently established a Comprehensive Oral Health Research Center of Discovery, one of six in the nation funded by the National Institute of Dental Research.

In 1997, Professor Murray received the American Pediatric Society's E. Mead Johnson award for outstanding pediatrics research and the William Geis Award from the International Association of Dental Research in recognition of his outstanding research contributions. His research has resulted in 130 peer-reviewed publications and 16 reviews, chapters and editorials. Five graduate students have completed their Ph.D. thesis research under his direction and he is currently supervising two others; he has also supervised 13 postdoctoral fellows, 5 of whom have M.D. degrees.


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