Catherine J. Murphy is the Peter C. and Gretchen Miller Markunas Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned two B.S. degrees, one in chemistry and one in biochemistry, from UIUC in 1986. She earned her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, working under A. B. Ellis. Murphy then went to Caltech as an NSF/NIH postdoctoral fellow in the lab of J. K. Barton. She started her independent career in 1993 at the University of South Carolina. After winning numerous awards for both teaching and research (NSF CAREER Award, Sloan Fellow, Cottrell Scholar, Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, AAAS Fellow), she rose through the ranks at South Carolina, becoming the Guy F. Lipscomb Professor of Chemistry, before moving back to Urbana in 2009. Her group has published 225+ papers on inorganic nanoparticle fabrication, functionalization, and the nano-bio interface. In 2015, she was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.