Dr. Brian Murphy Receives 2021 AVMF/EveryCat Health Foundation Research Award

Dr. Brian Murphy

Dr. Brian Murphy Receives 2021 AVMF/EveryCat Health Foundation Research Award

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) honored Dr. Brian Murphy, professor at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, as the winner of the 2021 American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF)/EveryCat Health Foundation Research Award.

Established in 2009, the award honors a candidate's contribution to advancing feline health through their research.

“Dr. Murphy has been instrumental in important discoveries that are changing our understanding of the development and treatment of two devastating viral diseases of cats— feline immunodeficiency virus and feline infectious peritonitis,” said Dr. Kratt, president of the AVMA. “His contributions and dedication to improving feline health, and stimulating others to pursue research to improve the health of cats, makes him richly deserving of the 2021 AVMF/EveryCat Health Foundation Research Award.”

Dr. Murphy has been actively involved in feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) research since 2008, when he helped establish a system for continuously monitoring the virologic, immunologic and pathologic effects of lifelong FIV infection in cats. These cats have been maintained and closely monitored for more than 11 years and have served as useful models of lentiviral latency, pharmacologic reactivation from latency and tissue viral reservoirs, and have facilitated the exploration of the pathogenesis of the terminal phase of the FIV infection (feline acquired immunodeficiency disease, or FAIDS).

Since 2013, Dr. Murphy’s research group has studied the development of feline coronaviruses, particularly feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) and cats’ immune response to the virus. In 2015, his team began collaborating with Gilead Sciences to identify antiviral therapies to treat FIPV-infected cats. Through this other collaborations, Dr. Murphy’s research program has facilitated the identification a number of effective antiviral therapies, including current work focused on creating highly efficient combined antiviral therapies for FIPV-infected cats.

As a pathologist, Dr. Murphy has had particular interest in oral pathology that has led to studies characterizing the cellular composition of inflammatory lesions and proper classification of oral neoplasia. Most recently he co-authored a retrospective study of more than 100 oral lesions in domestic and non-domestic cats. His experience across species in oral pathology has enhanced the understanding of oral disease in cats and its diagnosis.

Finally, his laboratory and research has resulted in the research training of veterinary pathologists and virologists who have gained PhDs and who have successfully transitioned into veterinary researchers with faculty positions at various veterinary schools. Dr. Murphy's publication record points to an incredible range of collaborators and research efforts while this record confirms a dedicated focus to feline-related disease research.

For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, media relations manager, at 847-732-6194 (cell) or msanfilippo@avma.org.

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