Dr Lyndsay Murray

Senior Lecturer in Anatomy

Dr Lyndsay Murray

Senior Lecturer in Anatomy

  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details



Old Medical School
Teviot Place

Post Code

Other affiliations


Lyndsay graduated in Biological Sciences with Honours in Physiology from the University of Edinburgh.  She continued her postgraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, and was awarded an MSc in Life Science in 2006, before being awarded her PhD in 2010. Lyndsay subsequently took up a postdoctoral position at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in Canada, under the supervision of Dr Rashmi Kothary.  In 2014, Lyndsay returned to the University of Edinburgh to take up the position of Lecturer in Anatomy, and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2021. Lyndsay manages her own research group alongside contributing to the undergraduate and post graduate teaching of anatomy.

To date, Lyndsay has published over 30 articles in internationally recognised journals. Her research is supported by funding from a number of charities, including Cure SMA, Fight SMA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, Anatomical Society, Tenovus, Newlife and the ISSF/Wellcome Trust. Lyndsay is a Fellow of the Anatomical Society and was awarded fellow of the year award in 2019. She has supervised 11 postgraduate research students (MSc and PhD) and regularly supervises short MSc and BSc within biomedical sciences.

Teaching overview

Lyndsay currently teaches anatomy on a number of degree programs offered by the university.  This includes the undergraduate MBChB and Medical Sciences programs, as well as on the Masters in Anatomy course.

Research overview

Lyndsay’s research is focused on motor neuron vulnerability in motor neuron diseases, such as Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Her research aims to address the molecular and cellular changes which are associated with the onset of motor neuron degeneration, and those which are associated with motor neuron protection.  Her lab using both molecular and morphological techniques to investigate both the degenerative and compensatory mechanisms occurring at the neuromuscular junction, and the molecular mechanisms of degeneration occurring at the cell body.

Research Publications

Book Chapter

  • Part 3: Prenatal Development and the newborn, Prenatal development of the musculoskeletal system in the human. Paxton JZ and Murray LM. (10 pages) Found within Hopkins, Brian, Elena Geangu, and Sally Linkenauger, eds. The Cambridge encyclopedia of child development. Cambridge University Press, 2017.


  • Comley, L.H., Kline, R.A., Thomson, A.K., Woschitz, V., Landeros, E.V., Osman, E.Y., Lorson, C.L. and Murray, L.M.(2022) Motor Unit Recovery Following Smn Restoration in Mouse Models of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Hum Mol Genet, in press.
  • Mole AJ., Bell S., Thomson AK., Dissanayake K., Ribchester RR., Murray LM. (2020) The rate of Wallerian degeneration following injury is influenced by postnatal maturity, motor unit specific properties and the presence of underlying pathology in mice. Journal of Anatomy, 237:263
  • Villalón E., Kline RA., Smith CE., Lorson ZC., Osman EY., O’Day S., Murray LM., Lorson CL., (2019) AAV9-Stathmin1 gene delivery improves disease phenotype in an intermediate mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Hum Mol Genet.  28:3742
  • Deguise, MO., Baranello G., Mastella C., Beauvais A., Michaud J., Leone A., De Amicis R., Battezzati A., Dunham C., Selby K.,  Warman Chardon J., McMillan HJ., Huang YT., Courtney NL., Mole AJ., Kubinski A., Claus P., Murray LM., Bowerman M., Gillingwater TH., Bertoli S., Parson SH., Kothary R (2019). Abnormal fatty acid metabolism is a core component of spinal muscular atrophy. Ann Clin Transl Neurol 6(8): 1519-1532.
  • Courtney NL, Mole A, Thomson A., Murray LM., (2019) Reduced P53 levels ameliorate NMJ loss without affecting motor neuron pathology in a mouse model of SMA. Cell Death and Disease 10:515
  • *Kline RA., Dissanayake KN., Hurtado ML., Ahl A., Lamont DJ., Ribchester RR., Court F., Wishart TM., Murray LM.,  (2019) Altered mitochondrial bioenergetics are responsible for the delay in Wallerian degeneration observed in neonatal mice. Neurobiology of Disease 130:104496
  • Walter LM, Deguise MO, Meijboom KE, Betts CA, Ahlskog N, van Westering TLE, Hazell G, McFall E, Kordala A, Hammond SM, Abendroth F, Murray LM, Shorrock HK, Prosdocimo DA, Haldar SM, Jain MK, Gillingwater TH, Claus P, Kothary R, Wood MJA, Bowerman M (2018) Interventions Targeting Glucocorticoid-Kruppel-like Factor 15-Branched-Chain Amino Acid Signaling Improve Disease Phenotypes in Spinal Muscular Atrophy Mice. EBioMedicine 31: 226-242.
  • Jn Groen E, Perenthaler E, Courtney NL, Jordan CY, Shorrock HK, van der Hoorn D, Huang YT, Murray LM, Viero G, Gillingwater TH (2018) Temporal and tissue-specific variability of SMN protein levels in mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy. Hum Mol Genet.
  • *Kline RA, Kaifer KA, Osman EY, Carella F, Tiberi A, Ross J, Pennetta G, Lorson CL, Murray LM (2017) Comparison of independent screens on differentially vulnerable motor neurons reveals alpha-synuclein as a common modifier in motor neuron diseases. PLoS Genet 13: e1006680.
  • Bowerman M, Murray LM, Scamps F, Schneider BL, Kothary R, Raoul C (2017) Pathogenic commonalities between spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Converging roads to therapeutic development. Eur J Med Genet.
  • Hall EA, Nahorski MS, Murray LM, Shaheen R, Perkins E, Dissanayake KN, Kristaryanto Y, Jones RA, Vogt J, Rivagorda M, Handley MT, Mali GR, Quidwai T, Soares DC, Keighren MA, McKie L, Mort RL, Gammoh N, Garcia-Munoz A, Davey T, Vermeren M, Walsh D, Budd P, Aligianis IA, Faqeih E, Quigley AJ, Jackson IJ, Kulathu Y, Jackson M, Ribchester RR, von Kriegsheim A, Alkuraya FS, Woods CG, Maher ER, Mill P (2017) PLAA Mutations Cause a Lethal Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy by Disrupting Ubiquitin-Mediated Endolysosomal Degradation of Synaptic Proteins. Am J Hum Genet 100: 706-724.
  • *Murray LM, Beauvais A, Gibeault S, Courtney NL, Kothary R. (2015) Transcriptional Profiling of Differentially Vulnerable Motor Neurons at Pre-symptomatic Stage in the Smn2B/- Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 3:55-72
  • Gillingwater TH, Murray LM. How far away is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Gene Therapy. (2015) Expert Rev Neurother. 2015;15:965-968
  • McFall, ER, Murray LM, Lunde JA, Jasmin BJ, Kothary R, Parks RJ. (2014) A reduction in the human adenovirus virion size through use of a shortened fibre protein does not enhance muscle transduction following systemic or localised delivery in mice. Virology.468-470C:444-453
  • Lui H, Yazdani A, Murray LM., Beauvais A., Kothary R. (2014) The Smn-independent beneficial effects of trichostatin A on an intermediate mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy. PloSone 9:e101225
  • Bowerman M, Michalski JP, Beauvais A, Murray LM, Derepentigny Y, Kothary R. (2014) Defects in pancreatic development and glucose metabolism in SMN-depleted mice independent of canonical spinal muscular atrophy neuromuscular pathology. Hum Mol Genet.  23:3432-44
  • Boyer JG, Deguise MO, Murray LM, Yazdani A, De Repentigny Y, Boudreau-Larivière C, Kothary R.  (2014) Myogenic program dysregulation is contributory to disease pathogenesis in spinal muscular atrophy. Hum Mol Genet. 23:4249-59.
  • Murray, LM., Gillingwater TH., Kothary R., (2013) Dissection of the mouse transversus abdominis muscle for whole-mount neuromuscular junction analysis. J Vis Exp. 83:e51162
  • Boyer JG., Murray LM, Scott K., De Repentigny Y., Renaud JM., Kothary R., (2013) Early onset muscle weakness and disruption of muscle proteins in mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy. Skeletal Muscle.3:24.
  • Sanchez G., Dury A., Murray, LM., Biondi O., Tadesse, H., Kothary R., Khandjian E., Charbonnier F., Côté Jocelyn. (2013) A Novel Function for the Survival Motoneuron Protein as a Translational Regulator. Hum Mol Genet. 22:668-84.
  • *Murray LM., Beauvais A., Bhanot K. and R., K. (2012) Defects in Neuromuscular Junction Remodelling in the Smn2B/- Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Neurobiology of disease, 49C: 57-67
  • Bowerman M., Murray LM., Anderson CL., Kothary R.  (2012) Fasudil increases survival and restores neuromuscular junction and skeletal muscle development in a spinal muscular atrophy mouse model. BMC Medicine. 2012 10:24-38
  • Bowerman MB., Murray LM., Beauvais A, Pinero B, Kothary R. (2012) A critical Smn threshold dictates onset of an intermediate Spinal Muscular Atrophy phenotype associated with a distinct neuromuscular junction pathology. Neuromuscular Disorders. 22:263-76
  • Mutsaers C, Wishart TM, Lamont DJ, Riessland M, Schreml J, Comley LH, Murray LM, Parson SH, Lochmüller H, Wirth B, Talbot K, Gillingwater TH. (2011) Reversible molecular pathology of skeletal muscle in spinal muscular atrophy. Hum Mol Genet. 20:4334-44
  • Comley LH., Wishart TM., Baxter B., Murray LM., Nimmo A., Thomson D., Parson SH., Gillingwater TH., (2011) Induction of cell stress in neurons from transgenic mice expressing yellow PLoSOne 6:e17639
  • *Murray LM., Comely LH., Gillingwater TH., Parson SH. (2011) The response of neuromuscular junctions to injury is developmentally regulated. FASEB J. 25:1306-13
  • Wishart TM*., Huang JPW*., Murray LM*., Lamont DJ., Mutsaers CM., Ross J., Geldsetzer P., Ansorge O., Talbot K., Parson SH., Gillingwater TH. (2010) SMN deficiency disrupts brain development in a mouse model of severe spinal muscular atrophy. Hum Mol Genet. 19:4216-28           
  • Murray LM.,Gillingwater TH., Parson SH. (2010)  Using mouse cranial muscles to investigate neuromuscular pathology in vivo. Neuromuscular disorders. 20: 740-743
  • *Murray LM, Lee S, Bäumer D, Parson SH, Talbot K, Gillingwater TH.(2010) Pre-symptomatic development of lower motor neuron connectivity in a mouse model of severe spinal muscular atrophy.Hum Mol Genet.19:420-423
  • Murray, LM., Gillingwater TH., Parson SH (2010). Using mouse cranial muscles to investigate neuromuscular pathology in vivo. Neuromuscul Disord 20(11): 740-743.
  • Murray LM, Talbot K, Gillingwater TH. (2010) Neuromuscular Synaptic Vulnerability in Motor Neuron Disease: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. NeuropatholApplNeurobiol. 36:133-156
  • Bäumer D, Lee S, Davies J, Nicholson G, Parkinson NJ, Murray LM, Gillingwater TH, Davies KE, Talbot K. (2009) Alternative splicing events are a late feature of pathology in a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. PLoS Genetics. 5:e1000773
  • Soriano FX, Baxter P, Murray LM, Sporn MB, Gillingwater TH, Hardingham GE.(2008) Transcriptional regulation of the AP-1 and Nrf2 target gene sulfiredoxin.Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.27:179-283.
  • *Murray LM, Thomson D, Conklin A, Wishart TM, Gillingwater TH (2008) Loss of translation elongation factor (eEF1A2) expression in vivo differentiates between Wallerian degeneration and dying-back neuronal pathology. J Anat. 213:633-45.
  • *Murray LM, Comley LH, Thomson D, Parkinson N, Talbot K, GillingwaterTH (2008) Selective vulnerability of motor neurons and dissociation of pre- and post-synaptic pathology at the neuromuscular junction in mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy. Hum Mol Genet.17:949-62.