Dr Heather Murray

Dr Heather Murray
Research Program:
Research Topics:

Research interests

My research is focused on understanding the ways that cancer cells, particularly leukaemia cells, function differently to healthy cells; and how this information can be used to develop new cancer therapies. Proteins are crucial to the structure and function of cells, and our lab uses a collection of techniques called proteomics to study the protein changes that occur in cancer cells. We then analyse how this information can help us determine which treatment is best for each individual cancer.

Why did you get into research?

As a student I was always driven by the problem-solving aspect of maths and science. During my biomedical science undergraduate degree I soon became fascinated by the way that science could be applied to improve our understanding of cancer biology, but most importantly improving health outcomes for people suffering from this devastating disease.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

My goal is to make a meaningful contribution to our understanding of leukaemia, and ultimately to use this information to develop more targeted and less toxic cancer therapies that improve outcomes for patients.

Future Focus

Improve outcomes for cancer patients by finding precision therapies that specifically target the cancer cells in each patient.  


Dr Murray is a post-doctoral researcher in the Molecular Oncology group led by A/Prof Nikki Verrills at The University of Newcastle. She uses advanced proteomic techniques to characterise acute leukaemias and identify novel targets for precision medicine. Dr Murray was awarded her PhD at The University of Newcastle in 2020.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Proteomics
  • Phosphoproteomics


  • Hunter Medical Research Institute 
  • ​Priority Research Centre for Cancer Research, Innovation and Translation
  • Hunter Cancer Research Alliance