Prof. William Murphy

Position title: Director


Phone: (608) 265-9978

5405 Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research
1111 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705


Human MAPs Center Director Professor William Murphy is a leader in the use of synthetic biomaterials for tissue engineering applications, including organotypic assembly from human pluripotent stem cells. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts in these research areas. He currently serves as Co-Director of the University of Wisconsin Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center (SCRMC) and Associate Director of the BioNano Tissue Engineering Scaffolds (BIONATES) theme area at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

In the Bioinspired Materials Laboratory, he is interested in developing “smart” biomaterials that mimic the complex signaling environments of natural tissue development. He places particular emphasis on temporal and spatial control over growth factor activity, gene transfer, and mechanical stimulation. The materials developed in his lab are then used to understand and control stem cell differentiation, ultimately geared towards directed regeneration of a variety of human tissues. His group is highly interdisciplinary, with research areas ranging from novel materials design approaches to basic stem cell biology.

Lab website:


  • BS 1998, Illinois Wesleyan University
  • MS2000, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • PhD2002, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Postdoctoral Fellow 2002-2004, University of Chicago

Select Publications

  • K.E. Healy, T.C. McDevitt, W.L. Murphy, R.M. Nerem. Engineering the emergence of stem cell therapeutics. Science Translational Medicine, 2013;5:207.
  • S.Y. Choi, X. Yu, L. Jongpaiboonkit, S.J. Hollister, W.L. Murphy. Inorganic coatings for optimized non-viral transfection of stem cells. Scientific Reports, 2013; 3: 1567.
  • W.L. Murphy, T.C. McDevitt, A.J. Engler. Materials as stem cell regulators. Nature Materials, 2014; 13: 547-557.
  • E.H. Nguyen, M. Zanottelli, W.L. Murphy. Differential effects of cell adhesion, modulus and VEGFR-2 inhibition on capillary network formation in synthetic hydrogel arrays. Biomaterials, 2014; 35: 2149-2161.
  • X. Yu, P.N. Dang, A.S. Khalil, E. Alsberg, W.L. Murphy Tunable dual growth factor delivery using multilayered microparticles with controllable degradation kinetics. Advanced Functional Materials, 2014; 24: 3082–3093.