John Murdoch, Ph.D.

John Murdoch, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow, Labrie Laboratory



Dr. John Murdoch earned a B.S. in molecular and cellular biology from University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University, where he investigated genetic links to autism. He then joined the lab of Dr. Ira Milosevic at the European Science Institute as a postdoctoral researcher and was later awarded an Alexander von Humbolt fellowship for his work. John also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at New England Biolabs before joining the lab of Dr. Viviane Labrie in Van Andel Research Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science in 2017.








Current research focus

We are currently identifying and analyzing differentially methylated regions in separate schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease projects that may influence disease risk and progression. These regions are being identified through targeted and genome-wide bisulfite sequencing or methylation arrays, and confirmation steps will include CRISPR-Cas9 targeted deletions in neuronal cell lines and phenotype evaluation.

Education & Training

Postdoctoral researcher, New England Biolabs

Postdoctoral researcher and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, European Neuroscience Institute (Mentor: Ira Milosevic, Ph.D.)

Ph.D. in genetics, Yale University (Mentors: Matthew State, M.D., Ph.D., and Kenneth Kidd, Ph.D.)
Thesis: Multiple approaches to characterizing variation in the neuropsychiatric candidate genes SLC6A4, the contactins, and the contactin-associated proteins

B.S. in molecular and cellular biology, University of Illinois


Awards & External Funding

Humbolt Fellow (2014)



To view a list of selected publications click below. To view Dr. Murdoch’s Google Scholar page click here.

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Burk K, Murdoch JD, Freytag S, Koenig M, Bharat V, Markworth R, Burkhardt S, Fischer A, Dean C. 2017. EndophilinAs regulate endosomal sorting of BDNF-TrkB to mediate survival signaling in hippocampal neurons. Sci Rep. 7(1):2149.

Murdoch JD*, Rostosky CM*, Gowrisankaran S, Arora AS, Soukup SF, Vidal R, Capece V, Freytag S, Fischer A, Verstreken P, Bonn S, Raimundo N, Milosevic I. 2016. Endophilin-A deficiency induces the Foxo3A-Fbxo32 network in the brain and causes dysregulation of autophagy and the ubiquitin-proteosome system. Cell Rep 17(4):1071–1086.
*Co-first authors

Murdoch JD, Gupta AR, Sanders SJ, Walker MF, Keaney J, Fernandez TV, Murtha MT, Anyanwu S, Ober GT, Raubeson MJ, DiLullo NM, Villa N, Waqar Z, Sullivan C, Gonzalez L, Willsey AJ, Choe SY, Neale BM, Daly MJ, State MW. 2015. No evidence for association of autism with rare heterozygous point mutations in contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2), or in other contactin-associated proteins or contactins. PLoS Genet 11(1):e1004852.

Griesi-Oliveira K, Acab A, Gupta AR, Sunaga DY, Chailangkarn T, Nicol X, Nunez Y, Walker MF, Murdoch JD, Sanders SJ, Fernandez TV, Ji W, Lifton RP, Vadasz E, Dietrich A, Pradhan D, Song H, Ming GL, Gu X, Haddad G, Marchetto MC, Spitzer N, Passos-Bueno MR, State MW, Muotri AR. 2015. Modeling non-syndromic autism and the impact of TRPC6 disruption in human neurons. Mol Psychiatry 20(11):1350–1365.

Gupta AR, Pirruccello M, Cheng F, Kang HJ, Fernandez TV, Baskin JM, Choi M, Liu L, Ercan-Sencicek AG, Murdoch JD, Klei L, Neale BM, Franjic D, Daly MJ, Lifton RP, De Camilli P, Zhao H, Sestan N, State MW. 2014. Rare deleterious mutations of the gene EFR3A in autism spectrum disorders. Mol Autism 5:31.

Murdoch JD, Speed WC, Pakstis AJ, Heffelfinger CE, Kidd KK. 2013. Worldwide population variation and haplotype analysis at the serotonin transporter gene SLC6A4 and implications for association studies. 74(12):879-889.

Murdoch JD, State MW. 2013. Recent developments in the genetics of autism spectrum disorders. Curr Opin Genet Dev 23(3):310–315.

Sanders SJ, Murtha MT, Gupta AR*, Murdoch JD*, Raubeson MJ*, Willsey AJ*, Ercan-Sencicek AG*, Dilullo NM*, Parikshak NN, Stein JL, Walker MF, Ober GT, Teran NA, Song Y, El-Fishawy P, Murtha RC, Choi M, Overton JD, Bjornson RD, Carriero NJ, Meyer KA, Bilguvar K, Mane SM, Sestan Nenad, Lifton RP, Günel M, Roeder K, Geschwind GD, Devlin B, State MW. 2012. De novo mutations revealed by whole-exome sequencing are strongly associated with autism. Nature 485:237–241.
*Co-first authors

Sanders SJ, Ercan-Sencicek AG, Hus V, Luo R, Murtha MT, Moreno-De-Luca D, Chu SH, Moreau MP, Gupta AR, Thomson SA, Mason CE, Bilguvar K, Celestino-Soper PB, Choi M, Crawford EL, Davis L, Wright NR, Dhodapkar RM, DiCola M, DiLullo NM, Fernandez TV, Fielding-Singh V, Fishman DO, Frahm S, Garagaloyan R, Goh GS, Kammela S, Klei L, Lowe JK, Lund SC, McGrew AD, Meyer KA, Moffat WJ, Murdoch JDet al. 2011. Multiple recurrent de novo CNVs, including duplications of the 7q11.23 Williams Syndrome region, are strongly associated with autism. Neuron 70(5):863–885.