Susan Murphy, PhD

Professor of Statistics and Computer Science, Harvard University 

Dr. Susan Murphy is a Professor of Statistics and Computer Science and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at Harvard University. She is an expert in how best to collect and analyze data to inform the adaptation and personalization of sequences of treatments. Her lab develops data analysis methods and experimental designs to improve real-time sequential decision-making in mobile health.  Dr. Murphy’s team developed the micro-randomized trial for use in constructing mobile health interventions; this trial design is now in use across a broad range of health-related areas.  As a leading developer of novel research designs and a pioneer of novel analytics methodologies, she collaborates with multiple scientific teams on the development of mobile apps that deliver treatments in real-time; these treatments include motivational and behavioral strategies for reducing sedentary behavior and increasing physical activity, cognitive treatments for reducing alcohol use and to prevent smoking relapse and engagement interventions for maintaining engagement in the collection of self-report data concerning substance use. Dr. Murphy’s lab routinely hosts investigators in prevention and services research to brainstorm about how best to design adaptive interventions, propose intervention trials, and conduct data analyses all aimed at the development of effective adaptive interventions. Her lab hosts yearly meetings with young K grant awardees on these topics as well. These research and brainstorming meetings not only benefit the intervention scientists who attend them but also provide novel training for the Ph.D. students and postdocs in her lab.

In 2013 Dr. Murphy was elected a fellow of the College on Problems in Drug Dependence. In 2013 she was named a MacArthur Fellow and in 2014 elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine, and in 2016 she was elected to membership in the National Academy of Science.