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Susan K. Murphy, PhD ( is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been in her current position for 11 years.  She is passionate about research that will improve the lives of women with ovarian cancer, and having recently become a breast cancer survivor herself, has a new appreciation for the urgency of research to make a difference in the individualization of therapies and improved knowledge about the basis for and prevention of cancer recurrence. Her other major research interest is understanding how epigenetics (particularly DNA methylation) is involved in the developmental origins of disease and neurodevelopmental disorders. In this regard, she co-founded the Newborn Epigenetics STudy here at Duke, and is the Program Director for the Duke NICHES Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center which is working to understand if early life exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of ADHD through epigenetic mechanisms.  Her other interests include her family, hiking, tidepooling, and her pets, including a 44-year old Mealy Amazon parrot, ornamental shrimp and land hermit crabs.

Jamie Wylie ( is an Operations Coordinator working on the NICHES and CIPHERS projects.

Zhiqing Huang, MD, PhD ( is a Senior Research Scientist at Duke.  Her projects include identifying new biomarkers for ovarian cancer based on DNA methylation and gene expression profiles, studying the response of cancer stem cells to chemotherapy using a xenograft model and ovarian cancer cell lines and leading epigenetic efforts, including DNA analysis using pyrosequencing and Sequenom MassArray. She is responsible for training and supervising of lab personnel. Through many years of experience, she has gained a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in cancer research including identifying and validating biomarkers using tumor and normal tissue samples and generating an animal tumor model for testing novel chemotherapeutic approaches. She has extensive experience with assay development, including high-throughput epigenetic tests (pyrosequencing, Sequenom, MS-PCR, and bisulfite sequencing) and gene expression (microarrays and real-time PCR). She has been working in the lab for ~10 years and is very happy to work with Dr. Murphy, the technicians, students and research fellows. Outside of the lab, she likes running and ballroom dancing.

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Carole Grenier, BS ( is a Laboratory Research Analyst and has been working in the lab for 8 years. She manages the lab and assists with all of ongoing research projects. "Eight years ago I was interesting in being a part  of a great research team. I am still very excited today to go forward in finding answers we are all looking for in cancer research.”  She likes being in the lab because of the “fantastic team and great students to work with.” Outside the lab she enjoys the arts and "challenging myself with new activities I never did before.” She “enjoys every day because you don't know what will happen tomorrow.”

Rashmi Joglekar ( is a fifth year graduate student (co-mentored with Dr. Joel Meyer) working on the effects of prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke on the sexualization of the mammalian brain (the NICHES project).

Rose Schrott ( is a third year graduate student working on the effects of cannabis on the DNA methylome in human sperm (the CIPHERS project).

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Chrissy Figan Crute ( is a second year graduate student working on the effects of PFBS exposure on placental function.  Chrissy is being co-mentored by Dr. Murphy and Dr. Liping Feng in the Division of Reproductive Sciences

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Stephanie Smeltzer, MD ( is a Fellow in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and is working on the relationship between abnormal sperm morphology and altered methylation.

Kamyar Yazdani ( is a Duke freshman undergraduate researcher working on understanding the role of extracellular matrix proteins, POSTN and COL11A1, in serous epithelial ovarian cancer recurrence.

Olivia Neely ( is a Duke undergraduate researcher studying serous epithelial ovarian cancer recurrence.

© The Murphy Lab 2019