Professor Murray Killingsworth

Professor Murray Killingsworth

Conjoint Professor


Medicine & Health
School of Clinical Medicine

Research Interests:
Cell biology of chronic inflammatory processes in cancer, retinal degeneration and renal disease. Cell debris clearing by macrophages, stimulation of pathologic angiogenesis, tumour cell motility and induction of fibrosis. Techniques include correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), immunocytochemistry, histochemistry, live cell time-lapse imaging and image based morphometry.

Broad Research Areas:
Pathology, Cell Biology and Gene Regulation, Cancer, Ophthalmology

B App Sc, FRMS, PhD, FFSc (RCPA)

Society Memberships & Professional Activities:
Royal Microscopical Society (FRMS), American Society for Cell Biology, European Microscopy Society, Society for Histochemistry, Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Society, NSW Histotechnology Group

Specific Research Keywords:
Inflammation, Angiogenesis, Macrophage, Electron Microscopy, Immunohistochemistry

Lady Mary Fairfax Distinguished Researcher Award

In 2018 Murray was awarded this prestigious award that recognizes an individual with a long-standing career with significant research achievements who has contributed to the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD). Research output as evidenced by publications, grants and/or awards, as well as coordinating, supervising and mentoring higher degree students within the SWSLHD.

1) Correlative Microscopy Group – Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research

The Correlative Microscopy Group (CMG) is a first-in-Australia initiative supported by the Cancer Institute of NSW, UNSW Sydney and NSW Health Pathology with the mission to apply correlative microscopy principles to ultrastructural studies in cancer cell biology and pathology.

The CMG uses advanced microscopy techniques to study disease processes at resolutions from organ level down to the nanoscale. Research is focused on cell characterisation and the pathobiology of chronic inflammatory disease processes in renal fibrosis, retinal degeneration and cancer. Correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) approaches are used to extract maximum information from routine pathology tissue samples using light and electron microscopy, multiplexed immunocytochemistry and time-lapse live cell imaging.

“We seek to identify cells with certainty, learn how they function and understand how they contribute to the disease process.  Whether they are activated or dying off, signaling or communicating or if they are motile and invasive.” Fluorescent and nanoparticle probes are used to label cells and their surrounding matrix or microenvironment. Nanoparticles have dual functionality being able to emit light for optical microscopy and at the same time be seen by electron microscopy. This improvement in marker technology allows visualisation down to the single molecule level with a resolution of 20-30 nm achieved. “If we can recognize the factors that produce pathological changes in single cells, the fundamental level of tissue organisation, we can then look at how these processes might be blocked to control disease processes.”

2) NSW Brain Clot Bank

This is a world-first initiative undertaken in partnership with the neurologist Dr Sonu Bhaskar applying correlative microscopy approaches to understanding the pathogenesis of brain clots in stroke.

3) Age-related macular degeneration

This long term project aims to study the pathogenesis of AMD through clinicopathological correlation studies based on the SARKS Retinal Archive, one of the worlds most extensive clinically-documented retinal tissue archives.

My Research Supervision

2020 ILP students