Dr Elizabeth Murchison
Photo: Wellcome Trust
Clonally transmissible cancers in dogs and Tasmanian devils
01223 331228 (external)
Elizabeth Murchison studies the genetics and evolution of clonally transmissible cancers. Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) and canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) are the only known naturally occurring tumours that are spread between individuals by the transfer of viable cancer cells. These diseases have evolved independently, and have distinct host species, pathologies and clinical outcomes. DFTD affects Tasmanian devils and is threatening this unique marsupial species with extinction. By using high throughput DNA sequencing technologies, Elizabeth is investigating the genetics and evolution of these two diseases.
Elizabeth gave a lecture at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh in 2011:
CTVT worldwide prevalence study
We are currently conducting a study of CTVT worldwide prevalence. If you have information on CTVT prevalence and distribution in your area, we would be grateful if you could contribute through the Sanger Institute website.
Canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT)
Elizabeth is a Junior Research Fellow at King's College, Cambridge and a Research Fellow in Cancer Genetics and Genomics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
Elizabeth has been named as the Eppendorf European Young Investigator of the Year, 2012.
Elizabeth was awarded a Jewellery Heirloom by the MRC in 2012. This award offers encouragement and recognition to women in the life sciences. Elizabeth received her heirloom from science broadcaster Vivienne Parry (see the College news story).
Elizabeth's research was profiled in Wellcome News in an article entitled 'Sympathy for the (Tasmanian) devil' (5th January, 2010) by Chrissie Giles, and a follow up article in 2012, 'The detail is in the devil' .
Elizabeth was one of Genome Technology Magazine's Young Investigators of the Year for 2011 for her research on 'Cancer in the Wilderness'.
Elizabeth's research papers have been cited more than 3,800 times.
- Bender HS, Murchison EP, Pickett HA, Deakin JE, Strong MA, Conlan C, McMillan DA, Neumann AA, Greider CW, Hannon GJ, Reddel RR and Graves JAM (2012) Extreme telomere length dimorphism in the Tasmanian devil and related marsupials suggests parental control of telomere length. PLoS ONE 7(9):e46195
- Greenlee AR, Shiao M-S, Snyder E, Buaas FW, Gu T, Stearns TM, Sharma M, Murchison EP, Puente GC and Braun RE (2012) Deregulated sex chromosome gene expression with male germ cell-specific loss of Dicer1. PLoS ONE 7(10): e46359
- Nilsson MA, Janke A, Murchison EP, Ning Z and Hallstrom BM (2012) Expansion of CORE-SINEs in the genome of the Tasmanian devil. BMC Genomics. 13:172
- Murchison EP (2012) “RNAases” in Brenner’s Online Encyclopedia of Genetics. 2nd Edition. Edited by Stanley Maloy and Kelly Hughes.
- Murchison EP, Schulz-Trieglaff OB, Ning Z, Alexandrov LB, Bauer MJ, Fu B, Hims M, Ding Z, Ivakhno S, Stewart C, Ng BL, Wong W, Aken B, Alsop A, Becq J, Bignell GR, Cheetham RK, Cheng W, Connor TR, Cox AJ, Feng Z, Gu Y, Grocock RJ, Harris SR, Khrebtukova I, Kingsbury Z, Kowarsky M, Kreiss A, Luo S, Marshall J, McBride DJ, Murray L, Pearse AM, Raine K, Rasolonjatovo I, Shaw R, Tedder P, Tregidgo C, White S, Woods GM, Gormley N, Humphray S, Schroth G, Smith G, Hall K, Searle S, Carter N, Papenfuss AT, Futreal PA, Campbell P, Yang F, Bentley DR, Evers DJ and Stratton MR (2012) Genome sequencing and analysis of the Tasmanian devil and its transmissible cancer. Cell. Feb 17;148(4):780-91
- Deakin JE, Bender HS, Pearse AM, Rens W, Ferguson-Smith MA, Cheng Y, Morris K, Taylor R, Stuart A, Belov K, Amemiya C, Murchison EP, Papenfuss AT, Graves JAM. (2012) Genomic restructuring in the Tasmanian devil facial tumour: Chromosome painting and gene mapping provide clues to evolution of a clonally transmissible tumour. PLoS Genetics. Feb;8(2):e1002483. Epub 2012 Feb 16
- Lee S, Paulson KG, Murchison EP, Afanasiev OK, Alkan C, Leonard JH, Byrd DR, Hannon GJ, Nghiem P (2011) Identification and validation of a novel mature microRNA encoded by the Merkel cell polyomavirus in human Merkel cell carcinomas. J. Clin. Virol. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2011.08.012
- Murchison EP and Adams DJ (2011) Sequencing Skippy: The genome of an Australian kangaroo Macropus eugenii. Genome Biology. 12:123
- Spierings DC, McGoldrick D, Hamilton-Easton AM, Neale G, Murchison EP, Hannon GJ, Green DR, Withoff S. (2011) Ordered progression of stage-specific miRNA profiles in the mouse B2 B-cell lineage. Blood 177(20):5340-9
- Tovar C, Obendorf D, Murchison EP, Papenfuss AT, Kreiss A and Woods GM (2011) A tumor-specific diagnostic marker for transmissible facial tumors of Tasmanian devils: immunohistochemistry studies. Veterinary Pathology. 48(6):1195-203
- Murchison EP, Tovar C, Hsu A, Bender HS, Kheradpour P, Rebbeck C, Obendorf D, Conlan C, Bahlo M, Blizzard C, Pyecroft S, Kreiss A, Kellis M, Stark A, Harkins TT, Graves JAM, Woods GM, Hannon GJ and Papenfuss AT (2010) The Tasmanian devil transcriptome reveals Schwann cell origins of a clonally transmissible cancer. Science. Jan 1 327(5961):84-7
- Murchison EP (2009) Clonally transmissible cancers in dogs and Tasmanian devils. Oncogene 27: S19 – S30.
- De Pietri Tonelli D, Pulvers JN, Haffner C, Murchison EP, Hannon GJ and Huttner WB (2008) MiRNAs are essential for survival and differentiation of newborn neurons but not for expansion of neural progenitors during early neurogenesis in the mouse embryonic neocortex. Development. Dec;135(23):3911-21
- Murchison EP, Kheradpour P, Sachidanandam R, Smith C, Xuan Z, Kellis M, Grutzner F, Stark A, Hannon GJ (2008) Conservation of small RNA pathways in platypus. Genome Research. June 18(6):995-1004
- Tam OH, Aravin A, Stein P, Girard A, Murchison EP, Cheloufi S, Hodges E, Anger M, Sachidanandam R, Schultz RM, Hannon GJ (2008) Pseudogene-derived siRNAs regulate gene expression in mouse oocytes. Nature. May 22;453(7194):534-8
- Warren WC, LaDeana W, Hillier LW, Marshall Graves JA, Birney E, Ponting CP, Grutzner F, Belov K, Miller W, Clarke L, Chinwalla AT, Yang SP, Heger A, Locke D, Miethke P, Waters PD, Veyrunes F, Fulton L, Fulton B, Graves T, Wallis J, Puente XS, Lopez-Otin C, Ordonez GR, Eichler EE, Chen L, Cheng Z, Deakin JE, Alsop A, Thompson K, Kirby P, Papenfuss AT, Wakefield MJ, Olender T, Lancet D, Huttley GA, Smit, AFA, Pask A, Temple-Smith P, Batzer MA, Walker JA, Konkel MK, Harris RS, Whittington CM, Wong ESW, Gemmell N, Buschiazzo E, Vargas Jentzsch I, Merkel A, Schmitz J, Zemann A, Churakov G, Ole Kriegs J, Brosius J, Murchison EP, Sachidanandam R, Smith C, Stark A, Kheradpour P, Hannon GJ, Tsend-Ayush E, McMillan E, Attenborough R, Rens W, Ferguson-Smith M, Lefèvre CM, Sharp JA, Nicholas KR, Ray DA, Kube M, Reinhard R, Pringle TH, Taylor J, Jones RC, Nixon B, Dacheux J, Niwa H, Sekita Y, Huang X, Flicek P, Webber C, Hardison R, Nelson J, Hallsworth-Peppin K, Renfree M, Washington University Genome Sequencing Center, Mardis ER, Wilson RK (2008) Genome analysis of the platypus reveals unique signatures of evolution. Nature. May 8;453(7192):175-83
- Benetti R, Gonzalo S, Jaco I, Muñoz P, Gonzalez S, Schoeftner S, Murchison EP, Andl T, Chen T, Klatt P, Li E, Serrano M, Millar S, Hannon GJ, and Blasco MA. (2008) A mammalian microRNA cluster controls DNA methylation and telomere recombination via Rbl2-dependent regulation of DNA methyltransferases. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. March 15(3):268-79
- Chen J-F, Murchison EP, Tang R, Callis TE, Tatsuguchi M, Deng Z, Rojas M, Hammond SM, Schneider MD, Selzman CH, Meissner G, Patterson C, Hannon GJ and Wang D-Z (2008) Targeted deletion of Dicer in the heart leads to dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. Feb 12;105(6):2111-6.
- Kim J, Inoue K, Ishii J, Vanti WB, Voronov SV, Murchison EP, Hannon G, Abeliovich A (2007) A MicroRNA feedback circuit in midbrain dopamine neurons. Science. 2007 Aug 31; 317(5842):1220-4.
- Murchison EP, Stein P, Xuan Z, Pan H, Zhang MQ, Schultz MA and Hannon GJ (2007) Critical roles for Dicer in the female germline. Genes Dev. 2007 March 15; 21(6):682-93
- Hannon GJ, Rivas FV, Murchison EP, Steitz JA (2006) The expanding universe of noncoding RNAs. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 71:551-64
- Andl T, Murchison EP, Liu F, Zhang Y, Yunta-Gonzalez M, Tobias JW, Andl CD, Seykora JT, Hannon GJ and Millar SE (2006) The miRNA-processing enzyme dicer is essential for the morphogenesis and maintenance of hair follicles. Curr. Biol. 2006 May 23;16(10):1041-9
- Murchison EP, Partridge JF, Tam OH, Cheloufi S and Hannon GJ (2005) Characterization of Dicer deficient murine embryonic stem cells. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. Aug 23;102(34):12135-40
- Murchison EP and Hannon GJ (2004) miRNAs on the move: miRNA biogenesis and the RNAi machinery. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. Jun;16(3):223-9
- Bernstein E, Kim SY, Carmell MA, Murchison EP, Alcorn H, Li MZ, Mills AA, Elledge SJ, Anderson KV and Hannon GJ. (2003) Dicer is essential for mouse development. Nat Genet. Nov;35(3):215-7