Katherine “Katie” Murphy has dedicated her undergraduate and graduate studies to the biochemical defense systems of maize in the hopes of generating more resilient plants and products that can feed a growing global population.
As a PhD candidate in Plant Biology with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology, Murphy’s current work deepens our understanding of the naturally occurring antibiotic mode of action in maize. In the laboratory of Dr. Philipp Zerbe, Assistant Professor of Plant Biology at UC Davis, she uses functional genomics, metabolomics, biochemical, and genetic approaches to develop sustainable solutions for agricultural and bioproduct applications.
Since beginning her doctoral work in the Zerbe Lab, Murphy’s passion for the chemistry of plants has won her a series of honors and awards, including the Dean’s Mentorship Award, the Eric Conn Biochemistry Award, the Stocking Fellowship, and most recently the GradSlam Competition. Murphy previously received her BS in Chemistry, with Honors, from Stanford University.