The Murray laboratory is focused on identifying genetic and environmental causes of complex diseases specifically premature birth and birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. Our laboratory applies methods from a variety of disciplines, particularly those of genetics, molecular biology, embryology and epidemiology to study complex newborn conditions.

Many of our studies are carried out using large populations that include epidemiologic factors associated with craniofacial anomalies or preterm birth. In addition to an on-going cleft-lip and palate and prematurity study involving children from the University of Iowa Hospital we also collaborate with investigators from the Philippines, Denmark, Argentina and Brazil to study these complex diseases. The goals of these studies and collaborations are to provide prevention and better treatment for children with complications due to prematurity or birth defects, not only nationally but also world-wide.

In addition to the studies described above, Jeff Murray’s lab is also home to the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science’s Genetics and Genomics key function.  The lab serves as a resource to junior investigators interested in conducting pilot-projects involving a genetic component.  We provide consultative services as well as DNA processing and storage on a pilot project basis.  For more information visit ICTS Genetics and Genomics.

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the lab serve in leadership roles for these projects and have primary responsibility for project design and implementation. We are strongly committed to providing opportunities for students in the classroom, the laboratory, and the field to develop their interests and expertise in the application of genetic tools to understand human disease.