Patricia Murphy

Honored by:The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Brick location:PAVER:35  map

Distinguished Professor Patricia Murphy was a member of the faculty of Food Science and Human Nutrition from 1979 to 2011. During her career at ISU Dr. Murphy gained international prominence for her advances in food chemistry. Her early work involved approaches to enhance Vitamin A fortification of foods which led her to the Philippines and Indonesia as an expert advisor. She established analytical methodology for mycotoxins and soybean isoflavones that became industry standards. Her work on quantifying soybean isoflavones in foods for the USDA nutrient database is used worldwide. Dr. Murphy served as an expert to the NIH, FDA and USDA on phytoestrogens in soy-based infant formulas, and her research on bioavailability of these compounds defined the discipline. She also created new ways to separate proteins and oils from grains. Her work was funded by the NIH, USDA, and numerous foundations and companies.

Dr. Murphy taught several courses including food analysis, food chemistry and toxicology and was widely respected by her students. She led the effort to create the Interdepartmental Minor in Food Safety, and the Toxicology Interdepartmental Graduate Program. Dr. Murphy was active in educating graduate students, and served as the Director of the Graduate Program in Food Technology for over 18 years. As a research mentor, Dr. Murphy trained over 100 undergraduate and over 30 graduate students, and numerous post-doctoral fellows during her career. She received the Regents’ Faculty Excellence Award and was twice a finalist for the Margaret White Graduate Advisor Award. Dr. Murphy gave selflessly of her time to serve on many departmental, college and university committees and was active in the Institute for Food Technologists, American Association of Cereal Chemists, American Society for Nutrition and American Chemical Society. She was an associate editor of the Journal of Food Science and was a reviewer for many journals and grant panels.

University Professor Suzanne Hendrich was a member of the faculty of Food Science and Human Nutrition from 1987 to 2017. Dr. Hendrich created a research program in human nutrition that spanned from diet and cancer relationships to bioavailability of nutrients to the role of intestinal microorganisms on health. She published over 130 manuscripts and secured over $16 million in grant funding during her career. She was a lead investigator on a USDA special grant that funded the Center for Designing Foods to Improve Nutrition and coinvestigator on a $10 million NIH-funded Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements. She received numerous awards to recognize her research contributions including the College of Family and Consumer Sciences Faculty Research Excellence Award, Baily Career Research Development Award, Regents’ Award for Faculty Excellence and the John Doull Award from the Central States Society of Toxicology. She mentored over 30 graduate students and supported many undergraduates in research.

Early in her career, Dr. Hendrich developed a passion for teaching and student learning. She was part of a team of faculty that secured a $2 million grant from the NIH to improve undergraduate education in the life sciences, and several USDA grants that developed innovative learning experiences for students. She actively participated in Project LEA/RN for 20 years. She was a Wakonse Fellow and received the Helen LeBaron Teaching Award. Dr. Hendrich held the Lura M. Lovell Faculty Fellow endowment which she used to advance public understanding of dietary supplements. Dr. Hendrich taught numerous courses during her career, including introduction to human nutrition that reached thousands of students. She created and taught courses in toxicology and several honors courses on a wide range of topics. Dr. Hendrich served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Educational Technology for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, was President of the ISU Faculty Senate, and made many other significant contributions through service on curriculum, outcomes assessment and diversity committees.

Drs. Murphy and Hendrich collaborated on many research projects and fully utilized their combined expertise to make important scientific advances. Together they defined the toxicity of fumonisins in corn, the bioavailability of isoflavones in soybeans, the role of phytoestrogens in human health, and the active compounds in Echinacea and other dietary supplements. Drs. Murphy and Hendrich were creative leaders and brought the two disciplines of food technology and human nutrition together. They and their colleagues formed the new department of food science and human nutrition which became highly productive and led the nation in research and teaching innovations. Their impact on students and this institution is a lasting legacy of their careers.