Ken Murphy is an immunologist recognized for his work into the mechanisms of immune cell lineage differentiation. He is known particularly for uncovering the plasticity of these processes, discovering the cytokines and transcription factors that regulate differentiation of T cells, dendritic cells and macrophages. Murphy was born in Nebraska and grew up in Wichita Kansas. He graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas with a degree in Chemistry and from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1984 with a PhD in Pharmacology and MD, followed by a residency in Pathology at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis. After a postdoctoral fellow with in molecular immunology, he joined the faculty there in 1989.