William Murphy

Bill Murphy

Years at WID

2014 - present


  • B.S., Illinois Wesleyan University
  • M.S., University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago

Research Description

Stem cell activities, including self-renewal and differentiation, are strongly influenced by signals present in their microenvironment. Our group is using novel materials chemistry to control the signals present in the local stem cell microenvironment. Our approaches use non-covalent interactions between biological molecules (e.g. proteins, DNA strands) to assemble signaling complexes on cell culture substrates and within extracellular matrices. These non-covalent assembly approaches are being used to understand/control stem cell differentiation and as a mechanism for targeted drug delivery.


  • 2003 NIH National Research Service Award
  • 2005 IADR/AADR William J. Gies Award
  • 2008 NSF CAREER award
  • 2010 Vilas Associates Award
  • Editorial Boards: Advanced Functional Materials, Acta Biomaterialia, NanoLIFE, Biomatter
  • Member: American Chemical Society Society for Biomaterials Biomedical Engineering Society Materials Research Society

Selected Publications

  • Harnessing endogenous growth factor activity modulates stem cell behavior. Integrative Biology, 2011; 3: 832–842.
  • Biomaterials the mimic and exploit protein motion. Soft Matter, 2011; 7: 3679-3688.
  • Material-mediated regulation of soluble growth factor signaling. Advanced Functional Materials, 2011; 21: 1754-1768.
  • Controllable protein delivery from coated surgical sutures. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2010, 20, 8894-8903.
  • A modular, hydroxyapatite-binding version of vascular endothelial growth factor. Advanced Materials, 2010; 22: 5494-5498.
  • Modular peptide growth factors for substrate-mediated stem cell differentiation, Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed., 2009; 48: 6266-6270.