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Dr Karen Murphy 

Position: Senior Research Fellow Dr Karen Murphy
Division/Portfolio: Division of Health Sciences
School/Unit: School of Health Sciences
Campus: City East Campus
Office: BJ1-40
Telephone: +61 8 830 21033
Fax: +61 8 830 22853
Email: Karen_dot_Murphy_at_unisa_dot_edu_dot_au
URL for Business Card: http://people.unisa.edu.au/Karen.Murphy

Dr Murphy is currently a NHMRC (Senior) Industry Research Fellow in the Nutritional Physiology Research Centre, researching the area of healthy foods and nutrients and effect on cardiovascular health and cognitive function.

The primary goal of her research is to understand the impact of dietary factors on cardiovascular health and cognitive function and psychological wellbeing using randomised controlled trials. More specifically she aims to provide scientific substantiation of the health benefits of healthy foods and nutrients to help reduce the physical and mental suffering from cardiovascular disease. Her recent work has focussed on healthy foods including low fat dairy, meat-based protein diets, bioactive nutrients including antioxidants and omega-3. Her research on dairy and cardiovascular health was recognised by the Heart Foundation in 2010 where she was asked to provide expert opinion on the Heart Foundation position paper ‘The relationship between milk fat and CVD risk’. With the award of an NHMRC Project grant in 2013, her current work is evaluating the effect of an Australianised Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular health and cognitive function in Australians aged 65years and above in a 6 month dietary intervention trial. With the award of a PorkCRC Grant she is studying the effect of an energy restricted protein/lower carbohyrate diet with exercise on glycemic control and cognitive function in adults with type 2 diabetes. She has returned to work on a part-time basis post two periods of maternity leave.

Dr Murphy is a recipient of 23 research awards including the South Australian Young Tall Poppy Award (2009), Australian Academy of Science Travel Fellowship (2008), International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids Young Researcher Award (2004/2006), Nutrition Trust of Australia Fellowship, RMIT International Scholarship (2001), the Roger Pysden Memorial Fellowship (2000), Unilever Australia Foods Scholar (2000), Cayman Chemical Company Scholar (2001, 2002, 2004), Pharmalink International Scholar (2001-2004), Effem Foods Scholar (2000, 2002), Australian Atherosclerosis Society Scholar (2002) and a Nutrition Society of Australia Scholar (1999, 2002).

Dr Murphy has organised, convened and chaired a number of highly successful scientific meetings and symposia for the Australasian American Oil Chemists Society and Nutrition Society of Australia and have been successful in engaging students in these activities.

Dr Murphy is President of the Australasian American Oil Chemists Society, Honorary Treasurer of the Nutrition Society of Australia and a member of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids. She is also a Registered Nutritionist and a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (ACRP).

Dr Murphy is currently supervising three PhD students.

Dr Murphy's research is currently funded through NHMRC (Fellowship/Project grant), Pork CRC grants

Teaching interests

  • She has supervised a number of first class honours students, clinical psychology master’s students and PhD students who have received commendations for their work and research awards including a University of South Australia Vice President & Chancellors award and Maurice de Rohan Fellowship.
  • Areas for supervision include nutrition, dietary fats, omega-3 fats, antioxidants, obesity, cardiometabolic health and cognition.

Professional associations

Honorary Treasurer, Nutrition Society of Australia

President, Australasian Section American Oil Chemists Society (AAOCS)

International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids & Lipids (ISSFAL)

Visiting Research Fellow, School of Molecular & Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide

Member, ASMR


BAppSc(Deakin University)

BAppSc. Hons. (Deakin University)

PhD (RMIT University)

Master Dietetics (UniSA) - completion due 2014

Registered Nutritionist (Nutrition Society of Australia)

Certified Clinical Research Co-ordinator (Academy Clinical Research Professionals)

Research interests

  • Medieterranean diet, high protein/low carbohydrate diets, lipids, fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, dairy foods, antioxidants and cardiometabolic health and cognition and psychological wellbeing.

Research publications

Crichton GE, Bryan J, Hodgson JM, Murphy KJ. Mediterranean diet adherence and cognitive functioning in an Australian sample. Appetite Sub 19/1/13 (IF 2.585 Rank 26/74 Nutr & Diet).

Crichton GE, Bryan J, Murphy KJ. Dietary antioxidants, cognitive function and dementia: a review. Plant Foods Hum Nutr Sub 6/3/13 (IF 2.5 Rank 28/74 Nutr & Diet).

Murphy KJ, Dyer KA, Parker B, Coates AM, Buckley JD, Howe PRC. A comparison of regular consumption of fresh lean pork, beef and chicken on body composition: a randomized cross-over trial. Appetite Sub 17/3/13 (IF 2.585 Rank 26/74 Nutr & Diet).

Crichton GE, Howe PRC, , Buckley JD, Coates AM, Murphy KJ, Bryan J. Dietary intervention trials: critical issues and challenges. Trials 2012 Jul 20;13:111. (IF 2.496 Rank 49/112 Medicine: Res & Exp)

Crichton GE, Murphy KJ, Howe PRC, Buckley JD, Bryan J. Dairy consumption and working memory performance in overweight and obese adults. Appetite 2012 Aug;59(1):34-40. Epub 2012 Mar 27. (IF 2.585 Rank 26/74 Nutr & Diet).

Crichton GE, Howe PRC, Buckley JD, Coates AM, Murphy KJ. Dairy consumption and cardiometabolic health: outcomes of a 12-month crossover trial. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Mar 20;9:19. (IF 2.885 Rank 21/74 Nutr & Diet).

Crichton GE, Bryan J, Murphy KJ, Buckley J. Dairy consumption and cognitive performance in adults- findings and methodological issues: a systematic review. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders 2010; 30:352-361. (IF 2.141 Rank 25/45 Geriat & Gerontol)

Crichton GE, Bryan J, Buckley J, Murphy KJ. Dairy consumption and metabolic syndrome: a systematic review of findings and methodological issues. Obes Rev 2011; doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00837.x. (IF 7.038 Rank 10/122 Endoc & Metab) 10 cites

Crichton GE, Elias MF, Buckley J, Murphy KJ, Bryan J, Frisardi V. Metabolic Syndrome, Cognitive Performance and Dementia: a Review. J Alz Dis 2011; 28(1-11). (IF 3.745 Rank 73/244 Neurosciences) 3 cites

Berry NM, Robinson M, Bryan J, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PRC. Acute effects of an Avena sativa-herba extract on responses to the Stroop colour word test. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jul;17(7):635-7. (IF 1.585 Rank 10/22 Integ & Comp Med) 2 cites

Crichton GE, Murphy KJ, Bryan J. Association between dairy intake, cognitive functioning and psychological well-being in middle-aged South Australians. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2010 19:161-171. (IF 1.438 Rank 49/70 Nutr & Diet). [2 cites]

Buckley JD, Burgess S, Murphy KJ Howe PRC. DHA-rich fish oil lowers heart rate during submaximal exercise in elite Australian Rules footballers. J Sci Med Sport 2008: Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print]. (IF 3.034 Rank 8/85 Sports Sci). 9 cites

Mukaro VR, Costabile M, Murphy KJ, Hii C, Howe PRC, Ferrante A. Effect of long term consumption of n-3 enriched foods on leukocyte numbers and function: Selective depression of natural killer cell levels. Arthritis Res Therapy 2008;10(3):R57. Epub 2008 May 14. (IF 4.445 Rank 7/29 Rheumatology) 4 cites

Murphy KJ, Mooney BD, Mann NJ, Nichols PD, Sinclair AJ. Lipid, fatty acid and sterol composition of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) and Tasmanian Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis). Lipids 2002;37:587-595. (IF 2.129, Rank 36/74 Nutr & Diet). 45 citations.

Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PRC. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85;1267-74. (IF 6.669, Rank 3/74). 49 citations.

Hill AM, Worthley C, Murphy KJ, Buckley JD, Ferrante A, Howe PRC. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and regular moderate exercise: differential effects of a combined intervention on neutrophil function. Br J Nutr 2007, March 1-10 e-pub ahead of print. (IF 3.013, rank 19/74 Nutr & Diet). 8 cites

Murphy K, Meyer B, Mansour J, Patch C, Tapsell L, , Mori T, Noakes M, Clifton P, Puddey I, Howe P. Achieving optimal long chain n-3 fatty acid intakes: the use of novel foods. Br J Nutr 2007;97:749-57 (IF 3.013, rank 19/74 Nutr & Diet). 42 citations

Murphy KJ, Chronopoulos AK, Singh I, Francis MA, Pike MJ, Moriarty H, Turner AH, Mann NJ, Sinclair AJ. Flavanols from cocoa powder (Theobroma cacao) inhibit platelet function. Am J Clin Nut 2003; 77:1466-73. (IF 6.669, Rank 3/74). 147 citations.

Patch C, Murphy K, Mansour J, Tapsell L, Meyer B, Mori T, Noakes M, Clifton P, Puddey I, Howe P. Achieving optimal long chain n-3 fatty acid intakes: the use of novel foods. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005;105:1918-26. (IF 3.586, rank 16/74 Nutr & Diet). 14 cites

Ninio DM, Murphy KJ, Howe PRC, Saint DA. Dietary fish oil protects against stretch induced vulnerability to atrial fibrillation in a rabbit model. J Cardiovasc Electro. 2005;16:1189-94. (IF 3.064, rank 39/117 Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems). 44 cites

Tenikoff D, Murphy KJ, Le M, Howe PR, Howarth GS. Lyprinol (stabilised lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel): a potential preventative treatment modality for inflammatory bowel disease. J Gastroenterol. 2005; 40:361-365. (IF 4.16, Rank 14/74 Gastro). 17 cites

Wolyniak C, Brenna JT, Murphy KJ, Sinclair AJ. Gas chromatography-Chemical Ionization-Mass Spectrometric Fatty acid analysis of a commercial supercritical carbon dioxide lipid extract from New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus). Lipids. 2005;40: 355-360 (IF 2.129, Rank 36/74 Nutr & Diet). 7 cites

Howe PRC, Murphy KJ. Nutrients as Adjunct Therapy in Cardiovascular Risk Management. Clin Nutr 2004; 13:1-5). (IF 3.731, Rank 13/74 Nutr & Diet)

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