Professor Paul Murray PhD, MSc

Professor Paul Murray

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Professor of Molecular Pathology

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 4021
+44 (0)121 414 4486
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Paul is Professor of Molecular Pathology in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences

Paul has published over 100 research papers in scientific journals, reviews and book chapters in the fields of virology and tumour biology. He has received major grants from Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, The Wellcome Trust and the MRC


  • MSc Biomedical Sciences 1990 
  • PhD Oncology 1996


Paul completed a PhD in 1996 under the supervision of Professor Lawrence Young. He was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to undertake research at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, working in the laboratories of Professor Richard Ambinder who at the time was pioneering work on the Epstein-Barr virus, a common virus which had, only a few years before, been suggested to be a causative agent in the development of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In 2000 Paul came back to the University of Birmingham taking up a senior lectureship in Pathology and established his own research group. In 2005 Paul moved to the Institute for Cancer Studies as Reader in Molecular Pathology. In 2007, Paul was appointed to the Chair of Molecular Pathology in the School of Cancer Sciences.


  • Leader for Molecular pathology modules ( ‘Molecular Pathology of Cancer’, MSc Clinical Oncology; ‘Pathology’ module, BMedSc Clinical Sciences)
  • Contribution of lectures and tutorials to MBChB, BMedSci, MSc Clinical Oncology
  • Project student supervision (BMedSc, and BMedSci Clinical Sciences (intercalating MBChB), MSc Clinical

Postgraduate supervision

Paul has supervised 12 PhD students to graduation. He currently supervises 6 PhD students, 3 post‐doctoral fellows and regularly takes undergraduate and Master’s project students. PhD graduates have gone on to work in highly respected academic institutions or taken up senior positions in industry. In addition, a number of intercalated Clinical Sciences students who trained in the Murray lab’ have since taken up research fellowships in cancer research and several have already established themselves in independent academic positions.


Research in the Murray lab’ is focussed on the discovery of molecular pathways involved in the development and progression of aggressive B cell malignancies including diffuse large B cell lymphoma, a tumour recently defined by Leukaemia lymphoma Research as one of four haematological cancers with the highest unmet clinical need. The objective is to better understand the pathogenesis of these malignancies and in doing so develop novel therapeutic approaches. The research programme spans several major thematic strengths within the University of Birmingham including haematological oncology, viral oncology and tumour immunity. This research is recognized internationally with over 7,400 citations to date and a rising H‐index of 47.

Other activities

Journal Editorial Board Membership

2008 – current Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Pathology

Society/Professional Membership

2001-date, British Lymphoma Group
2003-date, UK Childhood Cancer and Leukaemia Group



  1. Ford CA, Petrova S, Pound JD, Melville L, Paterson M, Ogden CA, Farnworth S, Dumitriu IE, Dunbar DR, Ruckerl D, Allen J, Hume DA, van Rooijen N, Murray PG, Freeman T, Gregory CD. Oncogenic properties of apoptotic tumor cells in aggressive B-cell lymphoma Current Biol  2015, in press
  2. Yap L-F, Velapasamy S, Lee H-M, Thavaraj S, Pathmanathan R, Wei W, Vrzalikova K, Khoo A, Tsao S-W, Paterson I, Taylor G, Dawson C, Murray PG. Downregulation of LPA receptor 5 contributes to aberrant LPA signalling in EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma. J Pathol 2014 Oct 8. doi: 10.1002/path.4460. [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Mohamed G, Vrzalikova K, Cader Z, Vockerodt M, Nagy E, Flodr P, Yap L-F, Diepstra A, Kluin PM , Rosati S, Murray PG. Epstein-Barr virus, the germinal centre and the development of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. J Gen Virol, 2014 95: 1861-1869.
  4. Cader FZ, Vockerodt M, Bose S, Nagy E, Brundler M-A, Kearns P, Murray PG. The EBV oncogene LMP1 protects lymphoma cells from cell death through the collagen mediated activation of DDR1. Blood 2013 122; 4237-4245. SUBJECT OF BLOOD EDITORIAL- Carbone A, Gloghini A. Activated DDR1 increases RS cell survival. Blood 2013; 122: 4152-4.
  5. Smith N, Tierney R, Wei W, Vockerodt M, Murray PG, Woodman CB, Rowe M. Induction of interferon-stimulated genes on the IL-4 response axis by Epstein-Barr virus infected human B cells; relevance to cellular transformation. PLoS One 2013; 8: e64868
  6. Vockerodt M, Wei W, Nagy E, Prouzova Z, Schrader A, Kube D, Rowe M, Woodman CB, Murray PG. Suppression of the LMP2A target gene, EGR-1, protects Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells from entry to the EBV lytic cycle. J Pathol 2013; 230: 399-409.
  7. van Roekel EH, Cheng, K, James ND, Wallace D, Michael A, Billingham LJ, Murray PG, Bryan RT, Zeegers MP. Smoking is associated with lower age, higher grade, higher stage, and larger size of malignant bladder tumours at diagnosis. Int J Cancer 2013;133: 446-54.
  8. White RE, Ramer PC, Naresh KN, Meixlsperger S, Pinaud L, Rooney C, Savoldo B, Bodor C, Gribben J, Ibrahim HA, Bower M, Nourse J, Gandhi M, Middeldorp J, Cader Z, Murray PG, Munz C, Allday MJ. EBNA3B-deicient EBV promotes B cell lymphomagenesis in humanized mice and is found in human tumours. J Clin Invest 2012; 122: 1487-502.
  9. Leonard S, Gordon N, Smith N, Rowe M, Murray PG, Woodman CB. Arginine methyltransferases are regulated by Epstein-Barr virus in B cells and differentially expressed in Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Pathogens 2012; 1(1): 52-64.
  10. Wang Z, Li L, Su X, Gao Z, Srivastava G, Murray PG, Ambinder RF, Tao Q. Epigenetic silencing of the 3p22 tumor suppressor DLEC1 by promoter CpG methylation in non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphomas. J Trans Med 2012; 11; 10:209.
  11. Vrzalikova K, Leonard S, Fan S, Bell A, Vockerodt  M, Flodr P, Wright K, Rowe M, Tao Q, Murray PG. Hypomethylation and over-expression of the beta isoform of BLIMP1 is induced by Epstein-Barr virus infection of B cells; potential implications for the pathogenesis of EBV-associated lymphomas. Pathogens 2012; 1(2): 83-101
  12. Hu C, Wei W, Chen X, Woodman CB, Yao Y, Nicholls J, Joab I, Sihota S, Shao J-Y, Derkaoui YD, Amari A, Maloney SL, Bell AI, Murray PG, Dawson CW, Young LS, Arrand JR. A global view of the oncogenic landscape in nasopharyngeal carcinoma: an integrated analysis at the genetic and expression levels. PLoS One 2012; 7: e41055
  13. Schrader A, Bentink S, Spang R, Lenze D, Hummel M, Kuo M, Arrand J, Murray PG, Trümper L, Kube D,  Vockerodt M. High Myc activity is an independent negative prognostic factor for diffuse large B cell lymphomas. Int J Cancer 2012; 131: E348-61
  14. Vrzalikova K, Vockerodt M, Leonard S, Bell A, Wei W, Schrader A, Wright KL, Kube D, Rowe M, Woodman CB, Murray PG. Down-regulation of BLIMP1α by the EBV oncogene LMP1 disrupts the plasma cell differentiation program and prevents viral replication in B cells: implications for the pathogenesis of EBV-associated B cell lymphomas. Blood 2011; 117: 5907-17. SUBJECT OF BLOOD EDITORIAL- Shirley CM, Ambinder RF. When differentiation goes viral. Blood 2011; 117: 5790-1.
  15. Leonard S, Wei W, Anderton J, Vockerodt M, Rowe M, Murray PG, Woodman CBJ. An investigation of the epigenetic and transcriptional changes which follow Epstein-Barr virus infection of germinal centre B cells and their relevance to the pathogenesis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. J Virol 2011; 85: 9568-77
  16. Qiu J, Cosmopoulos K, Pegtel M, Hopmans E, Murray P, Middeldorp J, Shapiro M, Thorley-Lawson DA. A novel persistence associated EBV miRNA expression profile is disrupted in neoplasia. PLoS Pathogens 2011; 7: e1002193
  17. Lopes V, Murray P, Williams H, Woodman C, Watkinson J, Robinson M. Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity rarely harbours oncogenic human papillomavirus. Oral Oncol 2011; 47: 698-701
  18. Bryan RT, Wei W, Shimwell NJ, Collins SI, Hussain SA, Billingham LJ, Murray PG, Deshmukh N, James ND, Wallace M, Johnson PJ, Zeegers MP, Cheng KK, Martin A, Ward DG. Assessment of High-Throughput High-Resolution MALDI-TOF-MS of Urinary Peptides for the Detection of Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer. Proteomics Clin Appl 2011; 5: 493-503
  19. Ma YT, Collins SI, Young LS, Murray PG, Woodman CBJ. Smoking initiation is followed by the early acquisition of epigenetic change: a longitudinal study. Br J Cancer 2011; 104: 1500-1504.
  20. Loughran ST, Campion EM, D'Souza BN, Smith SM, Vrzalikova K, Wen K, Murray PG, Walls D. Bfl-1 is a crucial pro-survival Nuclear Factor-κB target gene in Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg cells. Int J Cancer 2011; 129: 2787-96
  21. Anderton JA, Bose S, Vockerodt M, Vrzalikova K, Wei W, Kuo M, Helin K, Christensen J, Rowe M, Murray PG, Woodman  CB. The H3K27me3 demethylase, KDM6B, is induced by Epstein-Barr virus and over-expressed in Hodgkin’s lymphoma Oncogene 2011; 30: 2037-43.
  22. Murray PG, Fan Y, Davies G, Ying J, Geng H, Ng KM, Li H, Gao Z, Kapatai G, Bose S, Anderton JA, Reynolds GM, Ito A, Woodman CBJ, Marafioti T, Ambinder RF, Tao Q. Epigenetic silencing of a proapoptotic cell adhesion molecule-the immunoglobulin superfamily member IGSF4 by promoter CpG methylation protects Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells from apoptosis. Am J Pathol 2010; 177: 1480-90.
  23. Constandinou-Williams M, Collins SI, Roberts S, Young LS, Woodman CBJ, Murray PG. Is human papillomavirus viral load a clinically useful predictive marker: a longitudinal study. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarker Prev 2010; 19: 832-7.
  24. Birgersdotter A, Baumforth KRN, Wei W, Murray PG, Sjoberg J, Bjorkholm M, Porwit A, Ernberg I. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is expressed in malignant cells of Hodgkin’s lymphoma but not in other mature B-cell lymphomas. Am J Clin Pathol 2010; 133: 271-80.
  25. Freimanis G, Hooley P, Ejtehadi HD, Ali HA, Veitch A, Rylance PB, Alawi A, Axford J, Nevill A, Murray PG, Nelson PN. A role for human endogenous retrovirus-K (HML-2) in rheumatoid arthritis: investigating mechanisms of pathogenesis. Clin Exp Immunol 2010; 160: 340-7.
  26. Birgersdotter A, Baumforth KRN, Wei W, Sjoberg J, Murray PG, Porwit A, Bjorkholm M, Ernberg I. Inflammation and tissue repair markers distinguish the nodular sclerosis and mixed cellularity subtypes of classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Br J Cancer 2009; 101: 1393-401.
  27. Collins SI, Constandinou-Williams CM, Wen K, Young LS, Roberts S, Murray PG, Woodman CBJ. Disruption of the E2 gene is a common and early event in the natural history of cervical human papillomavirus infection: a longitudinal cohort study. Cancer Res 2009; 69: 3828-32.
  28. Bose S, Yap L-F, Fung M, Starzcynski J, Saleh A, Morgan S, Dawson C, Chukwuma MB, Maina E, Buettner M, Wei W, Arrand JR, Lim PVH, Young LS, Teo S-W, Stankovic T, Woodman CBJ, Murray PG. The ATM tumour suppressor gene is down-regulated in EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma. J Pathol, 2009; 217: 345-52.
  29. Machado L, Jarrett RF, Morgan S, Murray PG, Hunter B, Hamilton E, Crocker J, Thomas W, Steven N, Ismail T, Chapman A, Adams D, Lee SP. Expression and function of T cell homing molecules in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer Immunol Immunother 2009; 58: 85-94.
  30. Schain F, Tryselius Y, Sjoberg J, Porwit A, Backman L, Malec M, Xu D, Baumforth KRN, Vockerodt M, Murray PG, Bjorkholm M, Claesson H-K. Evidence for a pathophysiological role of cysteinyl leukotrienes in classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Int J Cancer 2008; 123: 2285-93.
  31. Baumforth KRN, Birgersdotter A, Reynolds GM, Wei W, Kapatai G, Flavell JR, Kalk E, Piper K, Lee SP, Yap L-F, Teo S, Mann JR, Grundy RG, Young LS, Ernberg I, Woodman CBJ, Murray PG. The EBV-encoded EBNA1 mediates up-regulation of the chemokine CCL20 and the migration of regulatory T cells in EBV-positive Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Am J Pathol 2008; 173: 195-204. (FEATURED ON AM J PATHOL FRONT COVER)
  32. Flavell JR, Baumforth KRN, Wood VHJ, Davies GL, Wei W, Reynolds GM, Morgan S, Boyce A, Kelly G, Young LS, Murray PG. Down-regulation of the TGF-beta target gene, PTPRK, by the Epstein-Barr virus encoded EBNA1 contributes to the growth and survival of Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells. Blood 2008; 111: 292-301.
  33. Vockerodt M, Morgan SL, Kuo M, Wei W, Chukwuma MB, Arrand JR, Kube D, Gordon J, Young LS, Woodman CBJ, Murray PG. The Epstein-Barr virus oncoprotein, latent membrane protein-1 reprograms germinal centre B cells towards a Hodgkin’s Reed Sternberg like phenotype. J Pathol 2008; 216: 83-92.