Carnegie Mellon University

Robert Murphy

Dr. Robert F. Murphy

Ray and Stephanie Lane Professor, Computational Biology and Biomedical Engineering

Gates Hillman Complex 7723
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • B.A., Biochemistry, Columbia University, New York, 1974

  • Ph.D., Biochemistry, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 1980


Robert F. Murphy is the Head of the Computational Biology Department in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and the Ray and Stephanie Lane Professor of Computational Biology. He is Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and Machine Learning at Carnegie Mellon, and Honorary Professor of Biology at the University of Freiburg. He is also a co-Founder of Quantitative Medicine, LLC.

His group pioneered application of machine vision to subcellular patterns. His current interests include image-derived models of cell organization, protein location changes during oncogenesis, and active machine learning approaches to biology.


My group's work combines my interests in cell and computational biology. We apply both experimental and computational methods to the fundamental problem of learning and representing how proteins are organized within eukaryotic cells. For this we particularly use automated microscopy combined with methods from machine learning, pattern recognition and modeling. Much of our recent work focuses on automated learning of generative models of subcellular organization that have the promise to allow information from diverse methodologies to be combined to compactly represent current knowledge and enable predictions about how organization changes during development and disease. A second major focus is on intelligent sampling in very large dimensional experimental spaces, such as in the context of learning the effect of thousands of potential drugs on thousands of potential targets.

Research Interests: applications of machine learning in biological imaging; automated construction of generative models of cell organization from complex cellular images; active machine learning for driving biomedical experimentation


Awards and Recognition

  • Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, 2007

  • Senior Member, IEEE, 2007

  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award, 2008


  • Honorary Professor of Biology, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, 2011

  • Distinguished Service Award, International Society for Advancement of Cytometry, 2016