Tyler Murphy ’16 Receives Award to Present Pharmaceutical Research at Professional Conference


Tyler Murphy ’16 (Photo: Anna Watkins)

Biology major Tyler Murphy ’16 was named a recipient of the Undergraduate Travel Award to attend and present at ASPET’S Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2016 in San Diego, Calif. in April.

The award is presented by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutic (ASPET) to outstanding undergraduates to enable them to present their research at one of the largest biological scientific meetings in the world. The Experimental Biology meeting is a gathering of more than 14,000 scientists from more than 65 countries representing the fields of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, nutrition, pharmacology, and immunology.

Tyler will present his research on neurotransmitters, “Role of Serotonin 2A and 2C Receptors in Ketamine-induced Hypothermia,” completed during his summer internship at Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy. Mercer is one of the top pharmacology schools in the nation, and partners with Oglethorpe to provide students with graduate-level research opportunities. Tyler’s research was supported by an honors thesis award from Oglethorpe University, institution funds supplied by the Mercer University College of Pharmacy, and a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from ASPET. As he explains in his research abstract:

“Anesthesia-Induced Hypothermia (AIH) has been reported to cause many postoperative adverse effects. These effects include increased mortality, immunosuppression, increased risk of cardiac events, and a higher prevalence of surgical wound infections. Currently, there are few effective ways of preventing AIH besides pre-warming fluids and gases for the patients during surgery, or relying on forced-air heating systems. Although it is established that serotonin has a role in thermoregulation, the receptors responsible for such effects remain unclear. Here, we investigated the role of serotonin receptors…”

Tyler and Kristen Biology

Tyler Murphy ’16 and Kristen Curry ’16 interning at Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy

Tyler, who is minoring in chemistry and politics, also will present his research as part of his honors thesis during Oglethorpe’s 2016 Symposium in the Liberal Arts & Sciences on April 28. He credits Oglethorpe biology professor Dr. Daniel Schadler (now retired) for pushing him to apply for the internship at Mercer that led to the ASPET award, and is quick to recognize biology professor Dr. Karen Schmeichel for guiding and encouraging him in his research.

After graduation, Tyler hopes to continue to perform research, before continuing on to medical school to become a trauma doctor. After meeting at an Oglethorpe healthcare panel, Tyler and other Oglethorpe pre-med students recently had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Menelaos Demestihas ’02, attending physician for emergency medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

“He was amazed at how prepared we undergrads are,” said Tyler, who already has some ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) training. Tyler is president of Phi Delta Epsilon, an academic fraternity with a focus on pre-med curriculum and helping students to achieve admission to medical school–which incidentally, was co-founded by Dr. Demestihas when he was still a student at Oglethorpe.

Tyler has a long resume of additional experience within his chosen career path. He has worked as a health information technician at The Orthopedic Institute and assistant to practice manager at The Surgical Group, both in Gainesville, Fla. He also tutors his undergraduate peers at Oglethorpe in science, provides tutoring for children with ADD/ADHD, and has volunteered at the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville and the Hospice Atlanta Center.

A highly-involved student leader with an impressive list of accomplishments, Tyler was the recipient of the Presidential with Recognition Scholarship, serves on Student Government Association (SGA) as Student Body President, is president of academic honor society Omicron Delta Kappa, and is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He co-founded the Oglethorpe Debate Council and The National Society of Leadership and Success.

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