Kelly Ryan Murphy, MD

Kelly Ryan Murphy


Dr. Kelly Ryan Murphy is a fifth-year neurosurgery resident at Duke University. A native of Arizona, she completed her higher education and clinical training at Duke University. As an undergraduate, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience while participating extensively in research and service work focused on Alzheimer’s disease. In 2017, she matriculated at the Duke University School of Medicine and completed clinical research on neuromodulation under the direction of neurosurgeon Dr. Nandan Lad. She subsequently matched at Duke for residency training in neurosurgery. She has become particularly involved in education and leadership activities as a founding member of the Resident Education Council and as two-term representative in the Patient Safety & Quality Council. In her final year of training, she intends to complete an enfolded spine fellowship. Under the mentorship of neurosurgeon Dr. Rory Goodwin, her recent research seeks to optimize the perioperative course for metastasis patients and to better understand the clinical impact of steroids in spine patients. 


Duke University Medical Center, Resident Physician, 2017-2024
Duke University School of Medicine, M.D., 2017

Duke University, Neuroscience, B.S., 2013

Professional Societies

Congress of Neurological Surgeons, 2016
American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 2017
Southern Neurosurgical Society, 2020
American Medical Association, 2013
North American Spine Society, 2021

Activities, Honors & Awards

Duke GME Patient Safety & Quality Committee, 2019-2021
Duke Center for Brain & Spine Metastasis, Research Resident, 2020-2021
Research Update in Neuroscience for Neurosurgeons (RUNN Course), 2019    
Resident Education Council, Senior Representative, 2021
Future Leaders in Spine Surgery Course, 2021
Duke Women in Neurosurgery (WINS), Resident Advisor, 2020
Wilburt Davison Award, Duke School of Medicine, 2017
William G. Anlyan Senior Merit Scholarship, Duke School of Medicine, 2016-2017
Duke University's Young Trustee Finalist, 2016
Medical School Thesis Honors, 2016
Albert Schweitzer Service Fellowship, 2015-2016
Chancellor’s Service Fellowship, Duke School of Medicine, 2014-2015
AMDA Quality Improvement & Health Outcomes Innovation Award, 2016
Feagin Leadership Program Master of the Sword, 2015
Community Health Engagement Day Blue Ribbon, 2014
Elks National Foundation Medical School Merit Scholarship, 2013-2017
Elks National Foundation Alum of the Year, 2014
Editor-in-Chief, ‘Duke Science Review’ journal, 2013-2014
Graduation with Distinction, Neuroscience B.S., 2013
Howard Hughes Research Fellow, 2010
Co-founder, ‘Neurogenesis’ undergraduate research journal, 2010-2013
Duke Neuroscience Program of Research Fellow, 2012-2013
Arizona (AIA) Female Student of the Year, 2009
Everyday Hero Award, 2009
Proclamation of Recognition, City of Glendale, AZ, 2009


In her spare time, Kelly enjoys golfing, barre/Pilates, Triangle dining, hiking, indoor cycling, visiting National Parks, and spending time with friends and family

Residency Publications

Publication, co-first author: Murphy, KR, et al. (2021) Use of CPAP leading to tegmen defect causing severe intraventricular pneumocephalus successfully repaired by ‘keyhole’ approach. Journal of Clin Neuroscience. Under Review.

Publication, fifth author: Wang, TY, et al. (2021) Management of Acute Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury:  Review of the Literature. Cureus. Under Review.

Publication, second author: Wang, TY, et al. (2021) Radiographic outcomes following percutaneous lumbar interbody fusion through Kambin’s Triangle: A comparison of a synthetic mesh system (OptiMesh) versus an expandable titanium cage (ELITE). Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. Under Review.

Publication, eighth author: Adil, SM, et al. (2020) Machine Learning to Predict Successful Opioid Dose Reduction or Stabilization after Spinal Cord Stimulation. Neurosurgery. Submitted.

Abstract, oral presentation, first author: Murphy, KR, et al. (2021) Surgical Autonomy Program (SAP) for Evaluation of Resident Performance in Spine Surgery. Spine Summit. San Diego, CA.

Abstract, third author: Adil, SM, et al. (2020) Deep learning versus logistic regression to predict opioid dose reduction after spinal cord stimulation. Clinical Neurosurgery. Published in lieu of 2020 meeting.

Abstract, oral presentation, second author: Williamson, T, et al. (2021) Indications Conference for Surgical Decision-making in Complex Spine Surgery: Creating Consensus when the Stakes are High. NAAS. Boston, MA. 

Abstract, first author: Murphy, KR, et al. (2021) Spine Metastasis Patients with Peri-Operative Infections Have Longer Durations of Steroid Courses. CNS. Austin, TX. Submitted.

Abstract, first author: Murphy, KR, et al. (2021) Validation of an Online Calculator to Predict Short-term Postoperative Outcomes in Patients with Metastatic Brain Tumors. CNS. Austin, TX. Submitted.

Carré, J.M., Murphy, K.R., Hariri, A.R. What Lies Beneath the Face of Aggression? Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2013, Feb; 8(2): 224-9. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 22198969.

Murphy, K.R., Landau, S.M., Choudhury, K.R., Hostage, C.A., Shpanskaya, K.S., Sair, H.I., Petrella, J.R., Wong, T.Z., Doraiswamy, P.M. Mapping the Effects of ApoE4, Age and Cognitive Status on 18F-Florbetapir PET Measured Regional Cortical Patterns of Beta-Amyloid Density and Growth. Neuroimage. 2013, Sep; 78(-): 474-80. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 23624169.

Shpanskaya, K.S., Choudhury, K.R., Hostage, C. Jr., Murphy, K.R., Petrella, J.R., Doraiswamy, P.M. Educational Attainment and Hippocampal Atrophy in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative Cohort. J Neuroradiology. 2014, Dec; 41(5): 350-7. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 24485897.

Zannas, A.S., Doraiswamy, P.M., Shpanskaya, K.S., Murphy, K.R., Petrella, J.R., Burke, J.R., Wong, T.Z. Impact of (1)(8)F-Florbetapir PET Imaging of Beta-Amyloid Neuritic Plaque Density on Clinical Decision-Making. Neurocase. 2014, Aug; 20(4): 466-73. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 23672654.

Lad, S.P., Petraglia Iii, F.W., Kent, A.R., Cook, S., Murphy, K.R., Dalal, N., Karst, E., Staats, P., Sharan, A. Longer Delay From Chronic Pain to Spinal Cord Stimulation Results in Higher Healthcare Resource Utilization. Neuromodulation. 2016, Jul; 19(5): 469-76. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 26923728.

Verla, T., Adogwa, O., Toche, U., Farber, S.H., Petraglia, F., Murphy, K.R., Thomas, S., Fatemi, P., Gottfried, O., Bagley, C.A., Lad, S.P. Impact of Increasing Age on Outcomes of Spinal Fusion in Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis. World Neurosurgery. 2016, Mar; 87(-): 591-7. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 26546999.

Murphy, K.R., Han, J.L., Hussaini, S.Q., Yang, S., Parente, B., Xie, J., Lad, S.P. The Volume-Outcome Effect: Impact on Trial-to-Permanent Conversion Rates in Spinal Cord Stimulation. Neuromodulation. 2016, Oct 3. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 27696607.

Murphy, K.R., McManigle, J.E., Wildman-Tobriner, B.M., Jones, A.L., Dekker, T.J., Little, B.A., Doty, J.P.,Taylor, D.C. Design, Implementation, and Demographic Differences of HEAL: a Self-Report Health Care Leadership Instrument. Journal of Healthcare Leadership. 2016, Aug.

Murphy, K.R., Han, J.L., Yang, S., Hussaini, S.Q., Elsamadicy, A.A., Parente, B., Xie, J., Pagadala, P., Lad, S.P. Prevalence of Specific Types of Pain Diagnoses in a Sample of United States Adults. Pain Physician. 2016, Aug.

Han, J.L., Murphy, K.R., Hussaini, S.Q., Yang, S., Tybout, C., Parente, B., Xie, J., Lad, S.P. Patient Outcomes and Healthcare Resource Utilization Following Spinal Cord Stimulator Explantation. Neuromodulation. 2016, Sep.

Farber, S.H., Murphy, K.R., Suryadevara, C., Babu, R., Huang, K., Yang, S., Feng, L., Xie, J., Perfect, J.R., Lad, S.P. Comparing Outcomes of Early, Late, and Non- Surgical Management of Intraspinal Abscess. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2016, Sep.

Hussaini, S.Q., Murphy, K.R., Han, J.L., Elsamadicy, A.A., Yang, S., Premji, A., Parente, B., Xie, J., Lad, S.P. Specialty-Based Variations in Spinal Cord Stimulation Success Rates for Treatment of Chronic Pain. Neuromodulation. 2016, Sep.

Elsamadicy, A.A., Farber, S.H., Hussaini, S.Q., Murphy, K.R., Sergesketter, A., Suryadevara, C.M., Yang, S., Xie, J., Pagadala, P., Parente, B., Lad, S.P. Impact of Insurance Provider on Overall Costs in Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS): A Cost Study of 122,827 Patients. Neuromodulation. 2016, Aug.