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Contact Us

AVS

Animal & Veterinary Science

Agricultural Sciences Bldg.
Phone: (208) 885-6345
avs-students@uidaho.edu

Mailing Address:
Animal & Veterinary Science
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2330
Moscow, ID 83844-2330

Gordon Murdoch

Gordon Murdoch, Ph.D.


Office: Ag Biotech 309
Phone: (208) 885-7370
Email: gmurdoch@uidaho.edu
Mailing Address: Animal and Veterinary Science
875 Perimeter Dr. MS 2330
Moscow, Idaho 83844-2330

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Associate Professor

Home Town: Cassiar, British Columbia, Canada
Campus Locations: Moscow


  • Biography
    My area of specialization is physiology, and more specifically; the molecular, cellular and systemic physiology of growth, development and adaptation to environment. I primarily assess and evaluate the physiological status of striated muscle in the context of nutritional changes, growth promoters, and genetic variation using advanced, high-throughput molecular tools such as gene expression analyses (qRT-PCR), transcriptome analyses, proteomic, enzymatic and biochemical assays. My program is a balance between the advancement and characterization of basic science and knowledge of the mechanistic determinants of muscle growth and industry relevant applied science targeting improved performance and growth in meat producing animals in Idaho.
  • Selected Publications

    Refereed Journals


    C.M. Welch, K.J. Thornton, G.K. Murdoch, K.C. Chapalamadugu, C.S. Schneider, J.K. Ahola, J.B. Hall, W.J. Price, and R.A. Hill An examination of the association of serum IGF-I concentration, potential candidate genes, and fiber type composition with variation in residual feed intake in progeny of Red Angus sires divergent for maintenance energy EPD. (2013) Journal of Animal Science, 91(12): 5626-5636.

    M.J. Benner, M.L. Settles, G.K. Murdoch, R.W. Hardy, and B.D. Robison Sex specific transcriptional responses of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) brain selenoproteome to acute sodium selenite supplementation. (2013) Physiol. Genom. 45(15):653-66

    S. Acharya, A. Peters, A. Norton, G.K. Murdoch, and R.A Hill Change in Nox4 expression is accompanied by changes in myogenic marker expression in differentiating C2C12 myoblasts. (2013) Pflügers Arch. – Eur. J Physiol. 465: 1181–1196

    C. Welch, J. Ahola, J. Hall, G.K. Murdoch, D Crews, M. Doumit, L. Davis, W. Price R.A. Hill Relationships among performance, residual feed intake, and product quality of progeny from Red Angus sires divergent for maintenance energy EPD requirements(2012) J. Anim. Sci. doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-5184 Muscle fiber-type analyses, contribution to data analyses, physiological interpretation and manuscript preparation.

    M. Oswald, R. Drew, G.K. Murdoch, B.D. Robison Is behavioral variation along the bold-shy continuum associated with variation in the stress axis in zebrafish? (2012) Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 85(6): 718-728 Contribution to data analyses, candidate gene interpretation and manuscript preparation.

    K. J. Thornton, C.M. Welch, L.C. Davis, M.E. Doumit, R.A. Hill, G.K. Murdoch Bovine sire selection based upon maintenance energy impacts muscle fiber type and meat color of F1 progeny. (2012) J. Anim. Sci. 90: 1617-1627. Experimental design and all analyses performed in my lab.

    Erica Bree Rosenblum, Thomas J. Poorten, Matthew Settles and Gordon K. Murdoch Only skin deep: shared genetic response to the deadly chytrid fungus in susceptible frog species. (2012) Mol. Ecol. (“From the Cover” article) 21(13): 3110-3120. Contribution to data analyses, candidate gene interpretation and manuscript preparation.

    P. Cheguru, K.C. Chapalamadugu, M.E. Doumit, G.K. Murdoch, R.A. Hill Adipocyte differentiation-specific gene transcriptional response to C18 unsaturated fatty acids plus insulin. Pflugers Archive-European J. Physiology Volume (2012),463(3) 429-447 Contribution to data analyses, candidate gene interpretation and manuscript preparation.

    K.J.B. Martins, M. St-Louis, G.K. Murdoch, I. MacLean, W.T. Dixon, P. McDonald, C.T. Putman, R.N. Michel Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibition Prevents Activity-Induced Calcineurin-NFATc1 Signalling and Fast-to-Slow Skeletal Muscle Fibre Type Conversions (2012) J. Physiol. 590, 1427-1442. Performed qRT-PCR design and analyses. “one of the three most viewed papers from the 15 March 2012 issue of The Journal of Physiology on our Highwire website – http://jp.physoc.org during the first three months of its publication”- Editor-in-Chief; David Paterson

     K. J. Thornton, C.M. Welch, L.C. Davis, M.E. Doumit, R.A. Hill, G.K. Murdoch Bovine sire selection based upon maintenance energy impacts muscle fiber type and meat color of F1 progeny J. Anim. Sci. (Accepted December 2011) Experimental design and all analyses performed in my lab.
     P. Cheguru, K.C. Chapalamadugu, M.E. Doumit, G.K. Murdoch, R.A. Hill Adipocyte differentiation-specific gene transcriptional response to C18 unsaturated fatty acids plus insulin. Pflugers Archive-European J. Physiology (Accepted December 2011 DOI pending)

     K.J.B. Martins, M. St-Louis, G.K. Murdoch, I. MacLean, W.T. Dixon, P. McDonald, C.T. Putman, R.N. Michel Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibition Prevents Activity-Induced Calcineurin-NFATc1 Signalling and Fast-to-Slow Skeletal Muscle Fibre Type Conversions J. Physiol. (Accepted December 2011) Performed qRT-PCR design and analyses

    B.M. Murdoch, G.K. Murdoch, M. Settles, S.D. McKay; J.L. Williams; S.S. Moore Genome-wide Scan Identifies Loci Associated with Classical BSE Occurrence PLoS one 2011; 6(11):e26819. Contribution to data analyses, candidate gene interpretation and manuscript preparation.

    D.C. Julien, S. Behnke, G. Wang, G.K. Murdoch, R.A. Hill Utilization of monoclonal antibody-targeted nanomaterials in the treatment of cancer. (2011) mABs 3:5, 1-12. Contribution to qRT-PCR analyses, primer-probe design and manuscript preparation.

    K.J.B. Martins , I. MacLean , G.K. Murdoch , W.T. Dixon , C.T. Putman Nitric oxide synthase inhibition delays low-frequency stimulation-induced satellite cell activation in rat fast-twitch muscle (2011) Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 36:(6) 996-1000, 10.1139/h11-091 Performed qRT-PCR design and analyses.

    J.B. Ewaschuk, G.K. Murdoch, I. R. Johnson, K. L. Madsen, C. J. Field Glutamine supplementation improves intestinal barrier function in a weaned piglet model of E. coli infection (2011) British Journal of Nutrition DOI:10.1017/S0007114511001152 Experimental design, performed RNA extraction, qRT-PCR design and analyses, data analyses and manuscript preparation.

    D.C. Julien, A. Giri, M. Papasani, G.K. Murdoch, P. Hrdlicka, R.A. Hill Anti-K-ras siRNA to treat Pancreatic Cancer (2010) NSTI-Nanotech 3: 401-404. Experimental design and data analyses.

    ABSTRACTS

    K.J. Thornton, M. Colle, J.A. Macumber, M.E. Doumit, R. Richard, C.W. Hunt, and G.K. Murdoch Growth, carcass traits and meat color stability in steers finished on a potato-based vs. a corn-based ration ASAS 2013 Indianapolis

    C.M. Welch, S.E. Speidel, W.J. Price, J.K. Ahola, J.B. Hall, G.K. Murdoch, D.H. Crews, Jr., C.S. Schneider, and R.A. Hill Relationships between residual feed intake EPD and metabolic variables of progeny from Red Angus sires divergent for maintenance energy EPD ASAS 2013 Indianapolis

    J A. Macumber, K J. Thornton, M E. Doumit, and G.K. Murdoch Interleukin 6 alters myogenic regulatory factors expression in cultured mammalian satellite cells Experimental Biology April 2013 Boston MA

    Kara J. Thornton, Kalyan C. Chapalamadugu, Matthew E. Doumit, and Gordon K. Murdoch. Polyamines enhance satellite cell activation and expression of myogenic regulatory factors Experimental Biology April 2013 Boston MA

    S. Acharya, A. M. Peters, A. S. Norton, G.K. Murdoch, and R.A. Hill NADPH oxidase 4-mediated ROS generation modulates C2C12 differentiation via ERK1/2 pathway Experimental Biology April 2013 Boston MA

    C.M. Welch, J.K. Ahola, J.B. Hall, G.K. Murdoch, D.H. Crews, Jr., J.I. Szasz, L.C. Davis, M.E. Doumit, W.J. Price, L.D. Keenan, R.A. Hill. Performance, residual feed intake, and carcass quality of progeny from Red Angus sires divergent for maintenance energy EPD. ASAS 2012 Phoenix, AZ 

    K. J. Thornton, K. C. Chapalamadugu, M. E. Doumit, and G. K. Murdoch Satellite cell expression of myogenic regulatory factors is altered when co-cultured with preadipocytes FASEB Experimental Biology Annual Meeting San Diego, CA

    S. Acharya, AM. Peters, A. Norton, G.K. Murdoch and R.A. Hill, Dexamethasone increases reactive oxygen species and alters myogenic marker expression in differentiating C2C12 myoblasts FASEB Experimental Biology Annual Meeting San Diego, CAS. Acharya, A. M. Peters, A. S. Norton, G. K. Murdoch and R.A. Hill Changes in endogenous reactive oxygen species is accompanied by changes in myogenic differentiation marker expression in differentiating C2C12 myoblasts. Muscle Physiology Meeting Tampa Bay, FL 
  • Research Projects
     “Basic” Research program

    Mammalian species, including beef cattle and humans, lose the prenatal capacity for muscle hyperplasia shortly after birth (within 5 days, with the exception of a few unique examples) while other vertebrate species such as Salmonid species, retain this ability throughout their developmental lifespan. It is well understood that this variation is related to the capacity and modified capacity for recruitment of mesodermally-derived muscle stem cells known as ‘satellite’ cells. Not only are these stem cells important for the muscle growth capacity, rate and activation they are further pluripotent in nature and are innately involved in the development of intramuscular fat cells that are important in production livestock for ‘marbling’. One important aspect of my basic research program surrounds my endeavor to better understand the natural physiological mechanisms that regulate satellite cell number, activation, recruitment and replenishment in prenatal and postnatal mammals as well as in post-larval teleost species. In addition, I am interested in the natural interaction and cross-talk that exists in skeletal muscle between; satellite cells and myoblasts with pre-adipoblasts and adipocytes. Through improved understanding of the basic physiological regulatory mechanisms that dictate skeletal muscle growth and intramuscular fat deposition we can better and more reliably facilitate growth of muscle and marbling in livestock species that ultimately become the marketed and consumed commodity: meat. My basic research program is therefore centered on the mediation and determination of carcass and muscle phenotype, as determined and regulated through alterations in gene expression (transcriptome) and protein expression (proteome). This research is best performed through evaluation of changes in physiological systems, which has recently been described as both functional genomics and metabolomics, though in my perspective these are fancy words for adaptive physiology which is my area of expertise.

    “Applied” Research programWhenever livestock production practices are altered for the purpose of improving efficiency or extent of physical growth, especially as pertaining to the lean deposition of muscle, it is critical that an assessment of the benefits versus risks are fully characterized. As one might expect a critical aspect of livestock production sustainability is associated with the ability to consistently provide a high-quality, safe, reliable and palatable consumer product. My applied research program focuses on the integration of my understanding as to how muscle tissue grows and its relationship to the end-product meat quality. This includes but is not limited to the characterization of nutrition, growth promoters, genetic selection and environmental conditions on the growth and performance of cattle. Therefore simplistically stated, I work to simultaneously increase the efficiency of muscle growth in cattle while improving meat quality traits such as; tenderness, juiciness, flavor, and consistency just to name a few. With Idaho being a “top 10” U.S. beef production state this aspect of my research program best matches my endeavor to serve the needs of the State and the mission of this ‘Land-grant’ institution.

    Teaching philosophy and strategy

    I enjoy teaching as well as the resulting interaction with students at both the undergraduate and graduate level, which is at least one driving force that steered me toward an academic research and teaching career. I attempt to impart a rather simple philosophy to my teaching, which can be summarized with the following statement of belief; “When students are able to observe instructor enthusiasm regarding the subject matter, they too may become enthusiastic about learning. It is expected that an enthusiastic learner not only retains more subject matter but also better assimilates such information into knowledge”. Since integrative knowledge in many areas of physiology and molecular biology are rapidly progressing, it is easy for me to maintain my enthusiasm for each step taken towards an improved understanding of the complexity and intricacies of these systems, while building on accepted fundamental principles. I believe in including a significant level of rigor in my classes and attempt to encourage the students to work diligently towards maximizing their own individual knowledge potentials. In accordance with my high expectations I make all attempts to be clear in my course syllabi, my verbal instructions and guidance to inform all students how to achieve their best performance and reach personal levels of achievement and ambition. Further, rather than having set office hours I prefer to have an open door policy and facilitate all students as best as my schedule and commitments allow for individual supplementary instruction, clarification and review.

  • Awards and Honors
    • 2010-2011AVS Outstanding Academic Advisor, Animal and Vet Science Dept.
    • 2012-2013 Outstanding Academic Advisor, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences