An Uncommon Expert

Michael Murphy, MD, PhD

Chief Medical and Scientific Officer

Michael F. Murphy, MD, PhD, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, is co-founder of Worldwide Clinical Trials. With a distinguished career spanning more than three decades, his expertise includes translational research, strategic program development, and facilitation of commercialization during clinical development. As a recipient of the Clinical Research & Excellence (CARE) Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Murphy is passionate about advancing science in the service of improved healthcare and committed to educating the next generation of translational scientists. Dr. Murphy, who is board-certified in psychiatry and has a doctorate in pharmacology, worked with Dr. Cutler to articulate the vision for Worldwide Clinical Trials as a global CRO, and he continues to oversee Worldwide’s activities across all therapeutic areas and global regions.

A Message from Michael Murphy, MD, PhD:

It’s a remarkable time for us in clinical research as historical events are driving major shifts within our industry. Never has the technology been more innovative, the clinical targets more nuanced, and the clinical trial methodology more varied. While so much is in flux at this moment, I can identify a few trends that are creating substantial, long-lasting shifts.

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 The role of the CRO has clearly shifted from transactional to strategic with an emphasis placed upon design and operational solutions that accommodate multiple and occasionally conflicting stakeholder perspectives. Pre-emptive risk mitigation within informed and efficient clinical development programs, with an emphasis upon commercialization value, are achieved by balancing and calibrating these interests within the development process. The differentiation and “value-added” services that can be provided by a CRO at the foundation are based upon this principle.

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Commitment and competency across all functional areas is assumed. Even in situations where the CRO is engaged to provide a discrete service, classically considered a transactional one, that service must be strategically integrated within a discovery and development program. In translating a therapy from discovery through development to commercialization, the CRO should have capacity to support scalability, create study infrastructure that facilitates addressing various hypotheses, access appropriate technologies, and ensure continuity of staff who are personally as well as professionally invested in the success of each program.

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A consistent and predictable model of clinical trial operations is an aspirational goal. Predictability looms large. Beginning with the end in mind, new clinical trial design and operations create a system that can demonstrate safety and efficacy and acknowledge the interests of patients and caregivers, while also providing insights regarding the product’s value in clinical care following product approval. Under this remit, ensuring a predictable operational solution for each sponsor and every program is a corporate mandate. A clinical contract research organization will think internationally, operate locally, and exploit various forms of interventional and observational research for more robust program results.

Request Dr. Murphy to Speak at Your Event!

Speaking Topics Include:

• Strategic program development
• Translational research services
• Commercialization


One of the founders of Worldwide, Dr. Murphy’s professional career has spanned 30 years, and his positions within the pharmaceutical industry emphasize the integration of medical and scientific acumen with operational excellence. He is board certified in psychiatry and has a doctorate in pharmacology, with training at Tulane University, Stanford University, and the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Prior to joining Worldwide, Dr. Murphy was Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Discovery and Development at TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc., with contributions emphasizing translational research in neurodegenerative conditions and analgesia. Dr. Murphy also served as President and Chief Medical and Scientific Officer for an international CRO. While he was President, this CRO was rated “number one” in the United States by CenterWatch. Dr. Murphy has participated in the IND application process (content and FDA meeting interface), end of Phase I, end of Phase II, and pre-NDA meetings for multiple small molecules and biologics. His most commercially notable registration is for the treatment of narcolepsy in the United States (modafinil; Provigil®).

He has been a consultant for the Duke Clinical Research Institute and is a Founder and Research and Development Editor for American Health and Drug Benefits™, a publication focusing on cost, quality, and access in the transition from development to commercialization. Since 1997, he has been a lecturer within the Center for Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) and a contributor to the curriculum for a two-year Clinical Investigator Training Program, continuing under the auspices of the master’s program in Clinical and Translational Investigation of the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center.

He received the Clinical Research & Excellence (CARE) Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017. The award is presented annually to an extraordinary individual with exceptional contributions and a consistent history of service to the clinical research industry throughout their career. PharmaVoice selected him as one of 2017’s 100 Most Inspiring People in the life sciences industry.



Neal Cutler, MD

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

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Peter Benton, MBA

President and Co-CEO

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Angelico Carta, MD


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