TWiV 625: Fred Murphy, virologist for all seasons

June 11, 2020

Vincent and Rich visit Fred Murphy to hear about his wide-ranging career in virology, spanning many institutions, involving dangerous viruses like rabies virus, Ebolavirus (he took that famous iconic image), Marburg virus, Lassa virus, coronaviruses, and later writing a history of the field.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Rich Condit

Guest: Frederick A. Murphy

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Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees
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7 comments on “TWiV 625: Fred Murphy, virologist for all seasons

  1. James Jun 11, 2020

    Not sure if you’ve addressed this elsewhere but can’t you explain the precautions you’ve taken in terms of SARS II transmission.

  2. Tim Nicholas Jun 13, 2020

    It’d be useful to note when these were recorded, rather than just when it was published.

    Thanks for the great work!

    • Tim Nicholas Jun 13, 2020

      Never mind. I just relistened to the first 15 seconds!

      Feb 27, 2020 is the answer I failed to note the first time around!

  3. sammy Jun 13, 2020

    This episode is timeless, what a fascinating interview. I was looking forward to check out all the links and information mentioned in this episode but the show notes only have the link for the book (which I downloaded immediately). Are you planning to update the show notes?
    Thank you

  4. Sonal Munsiff Jun 14, 2020

    I very much enjoyed hearing about the career of Dr. Murphy. He mentioned in his conversation that he had received a piece of liver in the package of samples from what turned out to be the first Ebola outbreak and that it was not known who sent it. I realized based on my reading where that had come from!
    In the book, Crisis in the Red Zone, Richard Preston describes the amazing story of how a liver specimen was collected by Dr. Jean-Jacque Muyembe-Tamfum, who was then Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the National University of Zaire. He played a key role in the first Ebola epidemic and is still alive.
    TViV could invite him to tell his story first hand!
    I cannot easily search in your archives to see if he was ever on it.
    Richard Preston’s book is also quite informative and well written and your readers may like to know about it.
    Sonal Munsiff, MD
    Infectious Diseases Consultant
    Univ. of Rochester

    • Nina Rodenroth Feb 25, 2022

      Hello Dr. Sonal,
      I also thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Dr. Murphy. So very special!
      From 1977-1979, I led the Histopathology laboratory for him in the Viral Pathology Department. he mentioned during the interview.
      I am pretty sure I processed and stained that famous liver biopsy for light microscopy analysis.
      Like he stated during the interview, it was a special time to work at CDC. So much collaboration and scientific discovery at every turn. It was very rewarding to be part of his scientific team.
      Best Regards,
      Nina Rodenroth

  5. Robert Jennings Jun 16, 2020

    love your show. computer science background so complete layman but if I were to do it now would definitely be into debugging/programming the program of life. Three things:

    You may have covered this but a brief synopsis of the levels of biosecurity protocols would be interesting context.

    Second, in one episode you spoke of a process where new variants of coronavirus were ‘registered’. Could you expand on this database/process? Is there an international legal framework or scientific convention on handling-communicating-exchanging virus?

    Last, a biotech in Canada is using a wild reovirus as a potential cancer treatment (full disclosure, invested for 15yrs). They are focussed on using the agent to leverage the immune system. They now have a biomarker based on baselining and measuring response to the agent on Tcell population. The ‘excitment’ is they can cause cancer cells to go ‘hot’ and express PDL1 and so are working with companies that have checkpoint inhibitors. I know coronavirus is the hot topic now- understandable. But some time it would be nice when you are able, to look at an new episode on immuno oncology viruses and current approaches – only saw one episode in your archive, and had thought this was a very active area of drug development. Would be interested in your perspective on research and developments in this arena.