Catherine J Murphy is the Larry R Faulkner Endowed Chair in Chemistry and current Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She has pioneered the colloidal synthesis of shape-controlled gold and silver nanoparticles in aqueous solution.
Professor Murphy earned two BS degrees from UIUC in 1986, one in chemistry and one in biochemistry. She did her undergraduate research in the laboratory of T B Rauchfuss, and then earned her PhD in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, under the direction of A B Ellis in 1990. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Caltech (1990–1993), she began her independent career at the University of South Carolina in 1993. After rising through the ranks at South Carolina, she was recruited back to UIUC in 2009.
Her awards include the 2020 ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry, the 2019 Remsen Award, the 2019 Linus Pauling Medal, the 2019 MRS Medal, the 2013 Carol Tyler Award of the International Precious Metals Institute, the 2011 ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry’s Inorganic Nanoscience Award. She has been named a Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Innovator (2008), a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar (1998), an Alfred P Sloan Research Fellow (1997), a Cottrell Scholar of the Research Corporation (1996) and an NSF CAREER Award winner (1995). She is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Professor Murphy was ranked 32 in Thomson Reuters Sciencewatch List of Top 100 Chemists for the Decade 2000-2010 and 10 on their list of Top 100 Materials Scientists of the Decade 2000–2010. In 2015, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and, in 2019, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.