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Karen L. Murphy, PhD

Senior Scientist
Research Analytics & Reporting

Headshot of researcher, Karen Murphy, PhD, short, dark, curly hair, white hairpin, blue top under a pink shawl

What Inspires Me

Being the primary caregiver of someone battling cancer drew me to a career where I could help stop others from suffering the way we did. Though we did not defeat cancer in our home, my work at the American Cancer Society is one way I can carry our fight forward."

At ACS since 2022

Karen Murphy, PhD, is a senior scientist in charge of Research Analytics and Reporting for the Extramural Discovery Science team and the Center for Diversity in Cancer Research Training within Discovery Science at the American Cancer Society. She is the primary source of quantitative data about extramural funding and provides data and analytic support for program assessment.

Murphy also collaborates with members of the Research Impact and Engagement team to communicate with internal external groups about ACS research grants and their outcomes.


Research focus and accomplishments

Murphy has a wide array of academic and professional experience that includes laboratory research in cell biology and biochemistry, science education, academic publishing, and analysis and management of large datasets. Together, this wide range of experiences, as well as her time as a caregiver, have nurtured her broad interest in research across the cancer continuum, from the biological underpinnings of new treatments to survivorship and doctor-patient communication. 

Her passion lies in using data to tell the story of our grantees' work and how their efforts have impacted the fields of research and patient care. 


For a complete list of Dr. Murphy's publications, visit her Google Scholar page. 


Work Before ACS

  • American Chemical Society, Senior Portfolio Analyst
  • Duke University, Assistant Dean and Lecturer
  • Research Square, Data Scientist


  • PhD: Neurobiology, Duke University, 2001-2008
  • BA: Biology and Psychology, University of Colorado Boulder, 1997-2001