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Gibson Group: Kathryn Murray


Kat has an MChem in Chemistry for Drug Discovery from the University of Bath with an industrial placement year spent at Abbott Diabetes Care in Witney. Her MChem project, supervised by Dr Toby Jenkins, focussed on the development of carboxyfluorescein-encapsulated giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) for the detection of bacteria in burn wounds.

Following graduation with first class honours, Kat moved to Yorkshire to work for Systagenix, a wound care company. After a year in industry, Kat returned to academia to start a PhD at the University of Sheffield on the CDT for polymers, soft matter and colloids with Dr Sebastian Spain and Professor Sheila MacNeil. Kat’s PhD project focussed on developing a prodrug to treat burn scar contracture, testing small molecule prodrugs in a 3D tissue engineered model of human skin. During her PhD, Kat spent 6 months working for Redx Pharma, a small drug discovery company based at Alderley Park, Cheshire.

Research Interests

Kat's research interests span cell biology, chemistry and biomaterials. In 2020 Kat was awarded a Warwick-Wellcome Trust Translational Fellowship to allow her to work on translating her research at the University of Warwick to the clinic, with the support of an industrial partner, Cytiva. Kat's research within the Gibson Group focusses on the cryopreservation of mammalian cells and the use of novel polymers to improve current cryopreservation methods. Kat has a keen interest in the clinical translation of her research, with particular focus on therapies which could have a huge benefit to patients but are currently difficult to store or transport.


[8] Murray. K. A, Bullock. A, MacNeil. S, Spain. S. G., In preparation

[7] Murray. K. A, Tomás. R. M. F, Gibson. M. I., (2020) Low DMSO Cryopreservation of Stem Cells Enabled by Macromolecular Cryoprotectants, ACS Applied Bio Materials, DOI:10.1021/acsabm.0c00638

[6] Murray. K. A and Gibson. M. I., (2020) Post-thaw Culture and Measurement of Total Cell Recovery is Crucial in the Evaluation of New Macromolecular Cryoprotectants, Biomacromolecules, DOI:10.1021/acs.biomac.0c00591

[5] Stubbs. C, Murray. K. A, Ishibe. T, Mathers. R. T, Gibson. M. I., (2020) Combinatorial Biomaterials Discovery Strategy to Identify New Macromolecular Cryoprotectants, MacroLetters, 9, 2, 290-294. DOI:10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00044

[4] Guy. C. S, Murray. K, Gibson. M. I, Fullam. E., (2019) Dimeric benzoboroxoles for targeted activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 17, 9524-9528. DOI:10.1039/C9OB02222H

[3] Stubbs. C, Bailey. T. L, Murray. K, Gibson. M. I., (2019) Polyampholytes as Emerging Macromolecular Cryoprotectants, Biomacromolecules, 21, 1, 7-17. DOI:10.1021/acs.biomac.9b01053

[2] Bailey. T. L, Stubbs. C, Murray. K, Tomás. R. M. F, Otten. L, Gibson. M. I, (2019) Synthetically Scalable Poly(ampholyte) Which Dramatically Enhances Cellular Cryopreservation, Biomacromolecules, 20, 8, 3104–3114. DOI:10.1021/acs.biomac.9b00681

[1] Bleasdale. B, Finnegan. S, Murray. K, Kelly. S, Percival. S. L., (2015). The Use of Silicone Adhesives for Scar Reduction. Advances in Wound Care, 4, 7, 422-430. DOI:10.1089/wound.2015.0625



ACS Spring 2021 National Meeting - Virtual Conference, March 2021

Contributed Oral Presentation - "Cryopreservation of mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells enabled by synthetically scalable polyampholytes"


Warwick Chemistry Research Fellows Lecture - University of Warwick, January 2020

Contributed Oral Presentation - "Mammalian cell cryopreservation using bio-inspired polyampholytes".


56th Annual Meeting of the Society of Cryobiology - San Diego, CA, USA, July 2019

Contributed Oral Presentation - "Cell cryopreservation using bio-inspired polyampholytes".

257th ACS National Meeting - Orlando, FL, USA, March 2019

Contributed Oral Presentation - "Development of a topical prodrug to treat burn scar contracture".

Contributed Oral Presentation - "Bio-inspired cell cryopreservation using synthetic analogues".


Macro Group Young Researcher Meeting - Dublin, Ireland, 2018

Contributed Oral Presentation - "Development of a topical prodrug to treat burn scar contracture".

Centre for Doctoral Training in Polymers, Soft Matter and Colloids Summer School, University of Sheffield, UK, July 2018

Contributed Oral Presentation - "Development of a topical prodrug to treat burn scar contracture".

Awards and Travel Bursaries


Awarded a Warwick-Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership Fellowship (£110k) to work with industrial partners to translate my research (Improving cryopreservation of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes with novel polymers) from the lab to the clinic.


Awarded a BioLegend Travel Grant to attend 56th Annual Meeting of the Society of Cryobiology - San Diego, CA, USA, July 2019


"How To Freeze A Human" lecture, aimed at 5-13 year olds, as part of the University of Warwick Slice of Science family day, encouraging young girls to pursue a career in STEM subjects.

"How To Freeze A Human" 20 minute interactive video and research task aimed at key stage 3 students for 'Women in Science' day 2021.

Conference Organisation

Organising committee for the student-led symposium ‘Chemistry: The Science Around Us’ held at the University of Sheffield, UK, September 2016



Twitter: @Kat_A_Murray


Chemistry for Drug Discovery, MChem, University of Bath, 2009-2013

PhD in Chemistry, University of Sheffield, 2014-2018