About RCSA

Board of Directors - Catherine J. Murphy, Ph.D.

Catherine J. Murphy, Ph.D.
Catherine J. Murphy


Catherine J. Murphy received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982 and another B.S., in biochemistry, from the same institution in 1986. She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry with A.B. Ellis at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1990 and spent the next three years as NIH Postdoctoral Fellow with J.K. Barton, at the California Institute of Technology.

Research Accomplishments and Interests

Murphy has authored more than 220 publications in print/in press on the synthesis, growth and properties of inorganic (principally gold) nanomaterials for optical and biophysical applications, with environmental implications, and on the physical properties of DNA. She has been principal investigator or senior investigator on 50 research grants since 1993, and delivered more than 300 invited talks at universities and at professional scientific meetings since 1993. She served as the senior editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry, 2006-2011; deputy editor, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2011-present, and is a member of Editorial Advisory Board for Langmuir, Chemistry of Materials, NanoLetters, Chemical Communications, ACS Nano, and the Journal of Cluster Science. Murphy has been a scientific reviewer for 50 different journals and 10 different funding agencies (both US and international). H-index = 72.

Honors as Faculty Member

Murphy’s professional honors include: a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 1995-98; Cottrell Scholar Award, 1996; Excellence in Teaching Award, USC Mortar Board, 1996; Research Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 1997-99; National Science Foundation Award for Special Creativity, 1998-2000; Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 1998; USC Golden Key Faculty Award for Creative Integration of Research and Undergraduate Teaching, 1998; Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2001; Siemens-Westinghouse High School Science Mentor Award, 2003; USC Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, 2003; USC Russell Research Award in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, 2005; Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Award, Innovator Category, 2008; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2008; Kolthoff Lecturer, University of Minnesota, Department of Chemistry, 2009; McMaster Visiting Scientist, Bowling Green State University, College of Arts and Sciences, 2010; Inorganic Nanoscience Award, Division of Inorganic Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 2011; Fellow, American Chemical Society, 2011; Lucy W. Pickett Lecturer, Mount Holyoke College, 2011; ranked #32 in Thomson Reuters Sciencewatch list of “Top 100 Chemists for the Decade 2000-2010”; ranked #10 in Thomson Reuters Sciencewatch list of “Top 100 Materials Scientists for the Decade 2000-2010”; James D & Julia P. Morrison Lectureship, Carleton College, 2012; Carol Tyler Award of the International Precious Metals Institute, 2013; Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2014; TREE Award, Research Corporation for Science Advancement, 2015; Langmuir Lecturer, Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 2015; Elected Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 2015.

Educational and Service Accomplishments

21 postdoctoral scholars/visiting professors, 47 graduate students, 115 undergraduates and 17 high school students trained in lab from 1993-present; fifteen different undergraduate and graduate chemistry courses taught to ~2000 students; Principal Investigator of National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Nanoscience at USC, 1999-2005, PI of similar program at UIUC, 2014-present; development of Materials Chemistry course for South Carolina students; contributing author of textbook, Chemistry: The Central Science, 10th edition and full co-author on 11th ,12th,13th and 14th editions. Associate Director, Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, 2012-present; Chair, Vice-Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Noble Metal Nanoparticles, for 2016 and 2014 respectively; member of Scientific Advisory Board, the Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2005-present; member of Scientific Advisory Committee, Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, 2013-present; member of the selection committee, Alan T. Waterman Award (best young scientist in the United States), National Science Foundation, 2009-2012 (Chair in 2012); American Chemical Society National Awards committee member, 2008-2010, 2012-2016; permanent member, ISD study section, National Institutes of Health, 2007-2009; invited member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the (U.S.) President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), 2003-2005; Nanoscience Subdivision Chair, Division of Inorganic Chemistry, American Chemical Society (nationally elected position), 2008; member of Defense Sciences Study Group, 2004-2005; Conference Co-Chair, “Novel Micro- and Nanotechnologies for Bioengineering Applications,” SPIE International Symposium on Biomedical Optics, San Jose, CA, January 2002; Member of Committee of Visitors, to evaluate the National Science Foundation’s Division of Chemistry, Feb. 2001; Alternate Councilor, Division of Inorganic Chemistry, American Chemical Society (nationally elected position), 2001-2004; Conference Chair, “Nanoparticles and Nanostructured Surfaces: Novel Reporters with Biological Applications,” SPIE International Symposium on Biomedical Optics, San Jose, CA January 2001; participant and speaker at the DOE Workshop on Nanoscale Chemistry, to define frontiers of the field for the next 5-10 years, Santa Fe, NM, April 2000; invited to participate with 100 other young scientists in the Tenth Annual Frontiers of Science Symposium, sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, Irvine, CA, Nov. 1998; invited delegate to U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science Policy Roundtable Discussion, convened by Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Dec. 8, 1997.