Niall Murphy, Ph.D.


Member, Brain Research Institute

Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Contact Information

Fax Number: 310-825-7067
Work Phone Number: 310-206-7890

Mailing Address:

675 Charles E. Young Drive South
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Niall Murphy's interests are in the psychobiology of rewarded behaviors, especially food and drug addiction, particularly those underpinned by central monoamine and opioid transmission. Additionally, he has interests in other psychiatric states including depression, pain, placebo effects, anxiety, OCD, autism, Tourette’s, Down’s syndrome, Parkinson’s and ADHD.


A selected list of publications:

Penagarikano Olga, Lázaro María T, Lu Xiao-Hong, Gordon Aaron, Dong Hongmei, Lam Hoa A, Peles Elior, Maidment Nigel T, Murphy Niall P, Yang X William, Golshani Peyman, Geschwind Daniel H   Exogenous and evoked oxytocin restores social behavior in the Cntnap2 mouse model of autism Science translational medicine, 2015; 7(271): 271ra8.
Mendez Ian A, Ostlund Sean B, Maidment Nigel T, Murphy Niall P   Involvement of Endogenous Enkephalins and β-Endorphin in Feeding and Diet-Induced Obesity Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2015; .
Taylor Anna M W, Murphy Niall P, Evans Christopher J, Cahill Catherine M   Correlation between ventral striatal catecholamine content and nociceptive thresholds in neuropathic mice The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society, 2014; 15(8): 878-85.
Murphy Niall P, Mills Richard H, Caudle Robert M, Neubert John K   Operant assays for assessing pain in preclinical rodent models: highlights from an orofacial assay Current topics in behavioral neurosciences, 2014; 20(2): 121-45.
Cui Yijun, Ostlund Sean B, James Alex S, Park Chang Sin, Ge Weihong, Roberts Kristofer W, Mittal Nitish, Murphy Niall P, Cepeda Carlos, Kieffer Brigitte L, Levine Michael S, Jentsch James David, Walwyn Wendy M, Sun Yi E, Evans Christopher J, Maidment Nigel T, Yang X William   Targeted expression of μ-opioid receptors in a subset of striatal direct-pathway neurons restores opiate reward Nature neuroscience, 2014; 17(2): 254-61.
Grygoruk Anna, Chen Audrey, Martin Ciara A, Lawal Hakeem O, Fei Hao, Gutierrez Gabriel, Biedermann Traci, Najibi Rod, Hadi Richard, Chouhan Amit K, Murphy Niall P, Schweizer Felix E, Macleod Gregory T, Maidment Nigel T, Krantz David E   The redistribution of Drosophila vesicular monoamine transporter mutants from synaptic vesicles to large dense-core vesicles impairs amine-dependent behaviors The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2014; 34(20): 6924-37.
Fitzmaurice Arthur G, Rhodes Shannon L, Lulla Aaron, Murphy Niall P, Lam Hoa A, O'Donnell Kelley C, Barnhill Lisa, Casida John E, Cockburn Myles, Sagasti Alvaro, Stahl Mark C, Maidment Nigel T, Ritz Beate, Bronstein Jeff M   Aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibition as a pathogenic mechanism in Parkinson disease Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2013; 110(2): 636-41.
Ostlund Sean B, Kosheleff Alisa, Maidment Nigel T, Murphy Niall P   Decreased consumption of sweet fluids in μ opioid receptor knockout mice: a microstructural analysis of licking behavior Psychopharmacology, 2013; 229(1): 105-13.
Kabayama Miyuki, Sakoori Kazuto, Yamada Kazuyuki, Ornthanalai Veravej G, Ota Maya, Morimura Naoko, Katayama Kei-ichi, Murphy Niall P, Aruga Jun   Rines E3 ubiquitin ligase regulates MAO-A levels and emotional responses The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2013; 33(32): 12940-53.
Lotfipour Shahrdad, Byun Janet S, Leach Prescott, Fowler Christie D, Murphy Niall P, Kenny Paul J, Gould Thomas J, Boulter Jim   Targeted deletion of the mouse α2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit gene (Chrna2) potentiates nicotine-modulated behaviors The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2013; 33(18): 7728-41.
Ostlund Sean B, Wassum Kate M, Murphy Niall P, Balleine Bernard W, Maidment Nigel T   Extracellular dopamine levels in striatal subregions track shifts in motivation and response cost during instrumental conditioning The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2011; 31(1): 200-7.
Kuroda Kumi O, Ornthanalai Veravej G, Kato Tadafumi, Murphy Niall P   FosB null mutant mice show enhanced methamphetamine neurotoxicity: potential involvement of FosB in intracellular feedback signaling and astroglial function Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2010; 35(3): 641-55.
Murphy Niall P   The nociceptin/orphanin FQ system as a target for treating alcoholism CNS & neurological disorders drug targets, 2010; 9(1): 87-93.
Koizumi Miwako, Cagniard Barbara, Murphy Niall P   Endogenous nociceptin modulates diet preference independent of motivation and reward Physiology & behavior, 2009; 97(1): 1-13.
Sakoori Kazuto, Murphy Niall P   Enhanced nicotine sensitivity in nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor knockout mice Neuropharmacology, 2009; 56(5): 896-904.
Taniguchi Sachiko, Nakazawa Takanobu, Tanimura Asami, Kiyama Yuji, Tezuka Tohru, Watabe Ayako M, Katayama Norikazu, Yokoyama Kazumasa, Inoue Takeshi, Izumi-Nakaseko Hiroko, Kakuta Shigeru, Sudo Katsuko, Iwakura Yoichiro, Umemori Hisashi, Inoue Takafumi, Murphy Niall P, Hashimoto Kouichi, Kano Masanobu, Manabe Toshiya, Yamamoto Tadashi   Involvement of NMDAR2A tyrosine phosphorylation in depression-related behaviour The EMBO journal, 2009; 28(23): 3717-29.
Wing Victoria C, Cagniard Barbara, Murphy Niall P, Shoaib Mohammed   Measurement of affective state during chronic nicotine treatment and withdrawal by affective taste reactivity in mice: the role of endocannabinoids Biochemical pharmacology, 2009; 78(7): 825-35.
Cagniard Barbara, Murphy Niall P   Taste reactivity and its modulation by morphine and methamphetamine in C57BL/6 and DBA/2 mice Physiology & behavior, 2009; 96(3): 412-20.
Sano Yoshitake, Ornthanalai Veravej G, Yamada Kazuyuki, Homma Chihiro, Suzuki Hitomi, Suzuki Toshiharu, Murphy Niall P, Itohara Shigeyoshi   X11-like protein deficiency is associated with impaired conflict resolution in mice The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2009; 29(18): 5884-96.
Sakoori Kazuto, Murphy Niall P   Endogenous nociceptin (orphanin FQ) suppresses basal hedonic state and acute reward responses to methamphetamine and ethanol, but facilitates chronic responses Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2008; 33(4): 877-91.
Han Wenhua, Hata Harumi, Imbe Hiroki, Liu Qing-Rong, Takamatsu Yukio, Koizumi Miwako, Murphy Niall P, Senba Emiko, Uhl George R, Sora Ichiro, Ikeda Kazutaka   Increased body weight in mice lacking mu-opioid receptors Neuroreport, 2006; 17(9): 941-4.
Murphy Niall P, Sakoori Kazuto, Okabe Chinami   Lack of evidence of a role for the neurosteroid allopregnanolone in ethanol-induced reward and c-fos expression in DBA/2 mice Brain research, 2006; 1094(1): 107-18.
Sakoori Kazuto, Murphy Niall P   Maintenance of conditioned place preferences and aversion in C57BL6 mice: effects of repeated and drug state testing Behavioural brain research, 2005; 160(1): 34-43.
Okabe Chinami, Takeshima Hiroshi, Murphy Niall P   Methamphetamine sensitization in nociceptin receptor knockout mice: locomotor and c-fos expression European journal of pharmacology, 2005; 507(1-3): 57-67.
Koizumi Miwako, Midorikawa Naoko, Takeshima Hiroshi, Murphy Niall P   Exogenous, but not endogenous nociceptin modulates mesolimbic dopamine release in mice Journal of neurochemistry, 2004; 89(1): 257-63.
Murphy Niall P   Nociceptin/orphanin FQ, hedonic state and the response to abused drugs Nihon shinkei seishin yakurigaku zasshi = Japanese journal of psychopharmacology, 2004; 24(5): 295-8.
Koizumi Miwako, Sakoori Kazuto, Midorikawa Naoko, Murphy Niall P   The NOP (ORL1) receptor antagonist Compound B stimulates mesolimbic dopamine release and is rewarding in mice by a non-NOP-receptor-mediated mechanism British journal of pharmacology, 2004; 143(1): 53-62.
Murphy Niall P, Lam Hoa A, Chen Zhenping, Pintar John E, Maidment Nigel T   Heroin-induced locomotion and mesolimbic dopamine release is unchanged in mice lacking the ORL.1 receptor gene Brain research, 2002; 953(1-2): 276-80.
Maidment Nigel T, Chen Yiling, Tan Aiko M, Murphy Niall P, Leslie Frances M   Rat ventral midbrain dopamine neurons express the orphanin FQ/nociceptin receptor ORL-1 Neuroreport, 2002; 13(9): 1137-40.
Taylor Anna M W, Castonguay Annie, Taylor Alison J, Murphy Niall P, Ghogha Atefeh, Cook Christopher, Xue Lihua, Olmstead Mary C, De Koninck Yves, Evans Christopher J, Cahill Catherine M   Microglia disrupt mesolimbic reward circuitry in chronic pain The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2015; 35(22): 8442-50.