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Dr. Chris  Murgatroyd

Senior Lecturer

Academic Interests

  • Study of gene-environment interactions. I work on mouse and rat models and human cohorts following early-life environmental exposures and study the epigentic mechanisms underlying programming of long-term gene regulatory changes.

Teaching Specialisms

  • Physiology of Aging (Unit 6H6Z1011) - Unit Leader
  • Neuroscience, Genetics, Clinical genetics, Molecular Biology
  • 3rd yr and MSc Projects (genetics, mental health, epigenetics, neuroscience)

Recent External Roles

  • Society Memberships:
    Theme panel member and local ambassador for the Biochemical Society
    International Society for Neurochemistry
    Deutsche Gesellschaft für Endokrinologie
    European Neuropeptide Club
    Epigenetics Society
    British Society for Neuroendocrinology

  • Editorial Duties:
    Gene; editorial board member
    BMC Research Notes; editorial board member
    Gene - Special Issues, Historical Medical Genetics I & II; Guest Editor;

  • Reviewer of grant applications for numerous funding bodies. Reviewer of manuscripts for 20+ International high ranking Journals


Selected Publications

Murgatroyd C, Babb JA, Bradburn S, Carini LM, Beamer GL, Nephew BC. Transgenerational Social Stress, Immune Factors, Hormones, and Social Behavior. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2016; 3, 149.

Jawahar MC, Murgatroyd C, Harrison EL, Baune BT. Epigenetic alterations following early post-natal stress: A review on novel aetiological mechanisms of common psychiatric disorders. Clin Epigenetics. 2015; 14,7:122

Aldabbagh S, McPhee J, Murgatroyd C, Stewart C, Butler-Browne G, Al-Shanti N. (2015) The lymphocyte secretome from young adults enhances skeletal muscle regeneration, but effects are attenuated in the secretome of older adults. Physiological Reports. 2015; 3 (11), e12518

Smart C, Strathdee G, Watson S, Murgatroyd C and McAllister-Williams RH. Early life trauma, depression and the glucocorticoid receptor gene - an epigenetic perspective. Psychol Med. 2015 Dec;45(16):3393-410.

Murgatroyd C, Taliefar M, Babb J, Bradburn S, Nephew B. Social stress during lactation depresses maternal care and epigenetically alters neuropeptidergic gene expression. Behavioural Pharmacology. 2015; 26, 642-653.

Murgatroyd C, Pena C, Podda G, Nestler E, Nephew B. Early life social stress induced changes in depression and anxiety associated neural pathways are correlated with impaired maternal care. Neuropeptides. 2015; 52, 103-111.

Murgatroyd C, Quinn J, Sharp H, Pickles A, Hill Jonathan. Effects of prenatal and postnatal depression, and maternal stroking, at the glucocorticoid receptor gene. Translational Psychiatry. 2015; 5:e560.

Murgatroyd C. Editorial to the Special Issue Historical Medical Genetics II. GENE; 2015, 555:1,1.

Babb JA, Deligiannidis KM, Murgatroyd CA, Nephew BC. Peripartum depression and anxiety as an integrative cross domain target for psychiatric preventative measures. Behav Brain Res. 2015 Jan 1;276:32-44. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.03.039.

Murgatroyd C, Spengler D. Polycomb binding precedes early-life stress responsive DNA methylation at the avp enhancer. PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e90277.

Nephew B, Murgatroyd C. The role of maternal care in shaping CNS function. Neuropeptides. 2013; 47(6):371-8.

Murgatroyd C. Epigenetic programming of neuroendocrine systems during early life. Exp Physiol. 2013; 99(1):62-5.

Murgatroyd C.Introduction to the special issue historical medical genetics: skeletal disorders. Gene. 2013; 528:1.

Carini LM, Murgatroyd CA, Nephew BC. Using chronic social stress to model postpartum depression in lactating rodents. J Vis Exp. 2013; 76:e50324.

Murgatroyd CA, Nephew BC. Effects of early life social stress on maternal behavior and neuroendocrinology. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013; 38(2):219-28.

Murgatroyd C, Spengler D. Genetic variation in the epigenetic machinery and mental health. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2012;14(2):138-49.

Murgatroyd C, Hoffmann A, Spengler D. In vivo ChIP for the analysis of microdissected tissue samples. Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 809:135-48.

Bettscheider M, Murgatroyd C, Spengler D. Simultaneous Tissue DNA and RNA Isolation for Epigenetic Analysis. BMC Research Notes. 2011; 4:314.

Murgatroyd C, Spengler D. Epigenetic programming of the HPA axis: early-life decides. Stress. 2011; 14(6):581-9.

Bockmühl Y, Murgatroyd C, Spengler D, Almeida OF. Differential regulation and stability of 5′ untranslated glucocorticoid first exon transcripts. Molecular Endocrinology. 2011; 25(7):1100-10.

Murgatroyd C, Spengler D. Epigenetics of Early Child Development. Front. Psychiatry 2011; 2:16.

Murgatroyd C, Hoffman A, Spengler D. In vivo ChIP of brain tissues. Methods in Molecular Biology 2011; 809.

Menger Y, Bettscheider M, Murgatroyd C, Spengler D. Sex differences in brain epigenetics. Epigenomics 2010; 2(6):807-821.

Murgatroyd C, Wu Y, Bockmühl Y, Spengler D. The Janus face of DNA methylation in aging. AGING. 2010; 2(2):107-10.

Murgatroyd C, Spengler D. Histone tales: echoes from the past, prospects for the future. Genome Biology. 2010; 11:105-107.

Murgatroyd C, Wu Y, Bockmühl Y, Spengler D. Genes learn from stress: How infantile trauma programs us for depression. Epigenetics 2010; 5(3):194-199.

Murgatroyd C, Patchev AV, Wu Y, Micale V, Bockmühl Y, Fischer D, Holsboer F, Wotjak CT, Almeida OF, Spengler D. Dynamic DNA methylation programs persistent adverse effects of early-life stress. Nature Neuroscience. 2009; 12(12):1559-66.

Bunck M, Czibere L, Horvath C, Graf C, Frank E, Kessler MS, Murgatroyd C, Müller-Myhsok B, Gonik M, Weber P, Pütz B, Muigg P, Panhuysen M, Singewald N, Bettecken T, Deussing JM, Holsboer F, Spengler D, Landgraf R. A hypomorphic vasopressin allele prevents anxiety-related behavior. PLoS One. 2009; 4(4):e5129.

Kessler MS, Murgatroyd C, Bunck M, Czibere L, Frank E, Jacob W, Horvath C, Muigg P, Holsboer F, Singewald N, Spengler D, Landgraf R. Diabetes insipidus and, partially, low anxiety-related behaviour are linked to a SNP-associated vasopressin deficit in LAB mice. European Journal of Neuroscience. 2007; 26(10):2857-64.

Landgraf R, Kessler MS, Bunck M, Murgatroyd C, Spengler D, Zimbelmann M, Nussbaumer M, Czibere L, Turck CW, Singewald N, Rujescu D, Frank E. Candidate genes of anxiety-related behavior in HAB/LAB rats and mice: focus on vasopressin and glyoxalase-I. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2007; 31(1):89-102.

Murgatroyd C, Bilko D, Spengler D (2006) Isolation of high-quality DNA for genotyping from faeces of rodents. Analytical Biochemistry. 2006; 348(1):160-2.

Murgatroyd C, Wigger A, Frank E, Singewald N, Bunck M, Holsboer F, Landgraf R, Spengler D. Impaired repression at a vasopressin promoter polymorphism underlies overexpression of vasopressin in a rat model of trait anxiety. Journal of Neuroscience. 2004; 24(35):7762-70.

Recent non-peer reviewed journals and abstracts

Murgatroyd C. (2015). Editorial to the Special Issue Historical Medical Genetics II. GENE. 555:1, 1-1. (IF 2.1)

C Nevin, B Altakroni, A Povey, C Murgatroyd, DR Brison, M Carroll. (2015) Environmental and lifestyle factors associated with sperm DNA methylation. HUMAN REPRODUCTION 30, 172-172.

Hicks-Nelson A, Nephew BC, Babb JA, Murgatroyd C, Beamer G. (2015) Transgenerational Social Stress Alters Basal Immune Factors and Decreases Social Behaviour.

Babb JA, Deligiannidis KM, Murgatroyd CA, Nephew, BC. (2015) Peripartum depression and anxiety as an integrative cross domain target for psychiatric preventative measures BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH. 276: 32-44.

Al-Dabbag S, McPhee J, Murgatroyd C, Stewart C, Al-Shanti N. (2015) The immune environment and skeletal muscle regeneration. ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA. 211: 34-34

Coulson J, McPhee JS, Bagley L, Bradburn S, Murgatroyd C, Maden-Wilkinson T and The MYOAGE Research Group. (2015) SOST and DKK1 are plasma-based markers of bone remodelling in healthy older age. Proceedings of The Physiological Society 33, 13.

Ramamoorthy TG, Allen TJ, Davies A, Harno E, Sefton C, Wray J, Murgatroyd C and White A. (2015) Maternal overnutrition programs hypothalamic neuropeptides and metabolic syndrome in offspring. Society for endocrinology BES 2015.

PessoaV, Manca M, Murgatroyd C, Sharp H, Hill J, Bubb VJ, Quinn JP. (2015) Haplotype analysis of multiple VNTRs in the MAOA gene as an aid to better understanding of Gene x Environment interactions in mental health. British Neuroscience Association.

Taliefar M, Nephew B, Murgatroyd C. (2014) Social stress alters gene expression in a transgenerational rodent model of postpartum mood disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology. S13-S14

Murgatroyd C, Taliefar M, Bradburn S, Carini LM, Babb JA, Nephew BC. (2014) Altered Expression of Oxytocin, Orexin, and HPA Factors in a Chronic Social Stress (CSS) Model of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Bradburn SL, McPhee JS, Bagley L J, Murgatroyd C. (2014) Circulating immune markers of age-related cognitive decline. Physiology 2014 (London, UK) (2014) Proc Physiol Soc 31, PCA087

Lynch S, Borresen J, Murgatroyd C, Slevin M. (2014) An assay for neuronal degradation. Horizons in Human Cells Conference, Edinburgh, May 26-28, 2014

Bagley L, Slevin M, Al-Shanti N, Piasecki M, Morrissey G, Foulkes H, Carroll M, Murgatroyd C, Liu D, Gilmore WS, McPhee JS. (2014) Changes in body composition and rates of fat oxidation following 12 weeks high intensity exercise. 37th International Congress of Physiological Sciences, Birmingham, UK.


Chris Murgatroyd. The Power of the Gene: The Origin and Impact of Genetic Disorders. Nova Science Publishers Inc (2010). ISBN: 978-1-60876-949-0


Murgatroyd C, Bradburn S. (2015) Translational animal models. Epigenetics, the Environment, and Children's Health across Lifespans. Springer. Editor David Hollar.

Murgatroyd C. (2014) Laboratory techniques in psychiatric epigenetics. Epigenetics in Psychiatry, 1st Edition from Jacob Peedicayil, Dennis Grayson, Dimitri Avramopoulos. ISBN-9780124171145,

Murgatroyd C. (2014) Epigenetics. Molecular Neuroendocrinology: "From genome to physiology" Editors: David Murphy, University of Bristol, UK and Hal Gainer, NIH, USA.

Taliefar M, Bradburn S, Podda G, Murgatroyd C. (2014) Reverse Transcription Real-Time PCR Protocol for gene expression analyses. Handbook of Vascular Biology Techniques. Editor(s) name(s): Mark Slevin,Garry McDowell

Bradburn S, McPhee JS, Williams‎ A, Heffernan S, Lockey S, Day S, Murgatroyd C. (2014) Protocol for Multiplex Amplicon Sequencing using Barcoded Primers. Handbook of Vascular Biology Techniques. Editor(s) name(s): Mark Slevin,Garry McDowell

Slevin M, Carroll M, Murgatroyd C, McDowell G. (2014) Biophysical and Molecular Targets. Cardiac Arrhythmias 335-343. Pub. Springer London

Slevin M, Baldellou M, Hill E, Alexander Y, McDowell G, Murgatroyd C, Carroll M, Degens H, Krupinski J, Rovira N, Chowdhury M, Serracino-Inglott F, Badimon L. (2014). Novel Methods for Accurate Identification, Isolation, and Genomic Analysis of Symptomatic Microenvironments in Atherosclerotic Arteries. Cerebral Angiogenesis 289-305. Pub Springer New York.



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