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Elizabeth Murchison

Elizabeth Murchison

Group leader

Professor of Comparative Oncology and Genetics

Wellcome Trust Investigator

Office Phone: +44-(0)1223-766-497


Elizabeth Murchison is Professor of Comparative Oncology and Genetics at the University of Cambridge, Department of Veterinary Medicine. Her research group works on transmissible cancers in dogs and Tasmanian devils.


Elizabeth grew up in Tasmania and performed her undergraduate studies in genetics and biochemistry at the University of Melbourne. After moving to the US to perform her PhD in molecular biology and genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Elizabeth returned to Australia where she initiated genetic studies of the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD). In 2009, she was awarded an NHMRC Overseas Biomedical Fellowship to travel to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK, where she was involved in sequencing the Tasmanian devil genome as well as genetic analysis of DFTD and CTVT. Elizabeth moved to the University of Cambridge, Department of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys hiking in Tasmania’s remote wilderness.

Devil Liz 

Elizabeth has been the recipient of several honours and awards, including:

  • Honourable mention: Genetics Society of America Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award of the Gruber Foundation (2016)
  • Philip Leverhulme Prize (2014)
  • Cancer Research UK Future Leaders in Cancer Research Prize (2014)
  • British Association for Cancer Research-AstraZeneca Young Scientist Frank Rose Award (2014)
  • Genetics Society Balfour Prize Lecture (2014)
  • Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators (2012)
  • Science Heirlooms Award (2012)
  • L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship, UK and Ireland (2009)


Elizabeth Murchison’s 2011 TED talk, entitled “Fighting a contagious cancer”, has been watched more than 400,000 times:

Elizabeth Murchison’s Department of Veterinary Medicine page