Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Professor Murphy is the Mortimer D Sackler Professor of Translational Neurodevelopment, and Director of the Sackler Institute of Translational Neurodevelopment, Institute of Psychiatry (IOP), King’s College London.  He is also Head of the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences (IOP), and Deputy Director of the MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, King’s College, London.  Clinically he is Director of the Behavioural and Developmental Psychiatry Clinical Academic Group, King’s Health Partners, King’s College London. His overarching mission is to translate research from ‘bench to bedside’; to improve  understanding of mechanisms that modulate risk vs resilience, and so develop new diagnostic approaches, treatments, and services. 


Professor Murphy trained in medicine at University College London, and Westminster Medical school.  He subsequently trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital; and his research training was at the Institute of Psychiatry (London) and the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institutes of Health (USA). 

In autism Professor Murphy established the MRC UK AIMS multi centre imaging network – the first in Europe.  From this he developed two European Union funded Innovative Medicines Initiatives in autism.  The first was called EU-AIMS ( The successor to this (EU AIMS-2-TRIALS) ( brings together 48 partners (including academics, charities, autistic individuals and families, regulators and industry) across 14 European countries. The research programme includes a range of studies. These will explore how autism develops, from before birth to adulthood, and how this varies in different people. We will look for biological markers which indicate whether a person has, or may develop, particular characteristics. These markers may help to identify who could ultimately benefit from particular treatments. We will also test treatments.   EU AIMS-2-TRIALS  links to other groups in North America, South Africa, China, Australia, and Pakistan 

Research Interests

His main interest is in normal brain development, and how abnormalities in this process lead to neurodevelopmental/neuropsychiatric disorders.  He supervises PhD Students in 

  • Fetal/neonatal/infant brain development 
  • Brain changes across the lifespan 
  • Risk vs protective mechanisms underpinning the emergence of a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders including  autism, ADHD, epilepsy and psychosis.  And factors modulating outcome and response to treatment  
  • Disorders of social behaviour in children and adults – e.g. conduct disorder, callous unemotional behaviour, and psychopathy 
  • The impact of specific genetic abnormalities on brain and behaviour 
  • Biomarker discovery and validation. 
  • Treatment trials (including non pharmacological approaches). 
  • Pharmacochallenge studies using brain imaging 

Expertise and Public Engagement 

Professor Murphy has frequently appeared in National and International Media – including TV, radio, and print. 

Key Publications

Social Brain Functional Maturation in Newborn Infants With and Without a Family History of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Ciarrusta, J., et al , 5 Apr 2019, In : JAMA Network open. 2, 4, p. e191868 

Patients with autism spectrum disorders display reproducible functional connectivity alterations.  Holiga, Š., et al, 27 Feb 2019, In : Science Translational Medicine. 11, 481, eaat9223 

GABAA receptor availability is not altered In adults with autism spectrum disorder or in mouse models.  Horder, J., et al, 3 Oct 2018, In : Science Translational Medicine. 10, 461 

Sex-chromosome dosage effects on gene expression in humans.  Raznahan, A., et al., Jul 2018, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115, 28, p. 7398-7403 

A lateralized brain network for visuospatial attention.  Thiebaut De Schotten, M., et al, Oct 2011, In : Nature Neuroscience. 14, 10, p. 1245-1246 

The functional neuroanatomy of social behaviour: Changes in cerebral blood flow when people with autistic disorder process facial expressions.  Critchley, H. D., et al , Nov 2000, In : Brain. 123, 11, p. 2203-2212 



MSc in Clinical Developmental Neurosciences