ASN will introduce a new lifetime achievement award, the ASN Trailblazer Award, on Friday, November 5. The inaugural recipient will be Barbara T. Murphy, MB BAO BCh, who lost her battle with glioblastoma on June 30, 2021. At the time of her death, Dr. Murphy was ASN president-elect.
The new award honors leaders who strengthen the foundation of nephrology while advancing the field through innovation, creativity, inspiration, and tenacity.
“ASN will present the award to Barbara T. Murphy [posthumously] in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to patient care, research, and education as well as her advocacy, creativity, entrepreneurship, leadership, and community service,” said ASN President Susan E. Quaggin, MD.
Dr. Murphy was the Murray M. Rosenberg professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. She was also dean of clinical integration and population health for the Icahn School of Medicine.
Dr. Murphy's research focused on the use of high-throughput genomic technologies to elucidate the immune mechanisms that lead to graft injury and loss, with the aim of identifying gene expression profiles and genetic variants to predict post-transplantation outcomes. Her work involved finding ways to directly impact patient access to healthcare, specifically regarding long-term coverage for immunosuppression.
Dr. Murphy advocated nationally and globally for patients suffering from kidney diseases and for increased funding for kidney research. She played a leadership role in a number of professional societies, symposiums, advisory groups, committees, and task forces. A longtime member, she served ASN in many capacities. She also served as president of the American Society of Transplantation and co-chaired its Public Policy Committee.
Dr. Murphy worked on several journals, including CJASN, American Journal of Kidney Diseases, American Journal of Transplantation, and Graft. She was one of the editors of Therapy in Nephrology & Hypertension: A Companion to Brenner & Rector's The Kidney, Third Edition.
Among Dr. Murphy's many honors, Irish America magazine named her one of its Top 50 Power Women, the American Kidney Fund named her Nephrologist of the Year, and the Kidney & Urology Foundation of America gave her its Lester Hoenig Award.
Dr. Murphy earned her medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. She completed an internship, residency, and clinical nephrology fellowship at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. She pursued postdoctoral training with a fellowship in nephrology and additional training in transplant immunology at Harvard Medical School's Brigham and Women's Hospital.