Meghan Murphy

Mentor: Dr. Andrew Judge
College of Public Health and Health Professions
"I got involved with research because my experience as a camp counselor for children with muscular dystrophy solidified my interest in skeletal muscle. My research allows me to investigate the major contributors to skeletal muscle atrophy in cancer cachectic patients in hopes to ultimately develop therapeutic targets."


Health Science



Research Interests

  • Skeletal Muscle Atrophy
  • Cancer Cachexia
  • Kyphoscoliosis Peptidase

Academic Awards

  • Bachelor of Health Science Honors Program
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • Freshman Leadership Council
  • Order of Omega
  • Alpha Delta Pi


  • UF Shands Volunteer
  • Student Traffic Court
  • Biochemistry Supplemental Instructor

Hobbies and Interests

  • Running
  • Going to the Beach
  • Music
  • Family/Friends

Research Description

Mechanisms Leading to Muscle Wasting in Cancer Cachectic Patients
My honors thesis aims to test the hypothesis that the downregulation of Kyphoscoliosis Peptidase (Ky) in the muscles of tumor-bearing mice results in muscle atrophy, a condition that characterizes cancer cachexia. To assess the contribution of Ky, we overexpressed this gene in tumor-bearing mice in order to determine the effects on muscle fiber ultrastructure, size, and force. By sectioning and staining the muscles, analyzing the muscle morphology, and evaluating the data, I will be able to determine the role of Ky in cancer-induced muscle wasting. If our hypothesis is correct, and the downregulation of Ky ultimately leads to muscle wasting, therapeutic targets can be developed.