Professor John F. Murray (USA) was awarded The Union’s highest honour – The Union Medal – at the General Assembly closing the 42nd Union World Conference on Lung Health in Lille, France on 30 October 2011. The Union Medal is conferred by the Board of Directors on individuals in recognised of highly distinguished careers contributing to the fight against tuberculosis and lung disease.
Prof. John F Murray is a native of Mineola, New York, who received both his undergraduate education and medical training at Stanford University in California. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds Subspecialty Board Certification in Pulmonary Disease. His postdoctoral training was at San Francisco General, King’s County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, and in the UK.
Prof Murray’s academic career has spanned some 50 years with faculty positions at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1957 to 1964, and, the University of California, San Francisco from 1964 to 1994, when he became an Emeritus Professor. During this time, he was also a visiting professor at the Brompton Institute of Diseases of the Chest in London; a visiting and consulting scientist at Hôpital Claude Bernard and Hôpital Saint Antoine in Paris, and a Senior International Fellow at the Fogarty Institute of the US National Institutes of Health.
In great demand as a consultant, advisor, and special lecturer, Prof Murray has received numerous awards, including the Edward Livingston Trudeau Medal from the American Thoracic Society in 1994; the President’s Award from the European Respiratory Society in 1999 and the first John F. Murray Award, created in his honour, from San Francisco General Hospital in 2003. He has also received honorary doctor of science degrees from both the University of Paris VII and the University of Athens.
Prof Murray served as editor for several editions of such essential resources as the Cecil Textbook of Medicine, as well as the Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. He has published hundreds of papers over the course of his distinguished and prolific career. Indeed, in just the years since he became an Emeritus Professor, he has published more than 30 chapters and books and some 35 papers.
Active in a number of professional societies, Prof Murray has held leadership positions in the American Heart Association, the American Thoracic Society, the California Thoracic Society, and the Fleischner Society, as well as The Union.
For more than 30 years he has helped disseminate the latest research on lung health through The Union’s journals. He served as associate editor of the IUAT Bulletin from 1979-1991, Tubercle and Lung Disease from 1991-1996, and, since 1997, he has served the IJTLD. In 2010, he was the editor for a series of articles in honour of the Year of the Lung.
In addition, Prof Murray was chairman of The Union’s Committee on Respiratory Disease from 1986-1988, chairman of Scientific Committees in 1991-92; and Chairman of the Executive Committee and Council from 1992 to 1994.
A well-known figure around The Union’s Paris headquarters, “John”, as he is familiarly known, is an essential part of The Union’s history and present – shaping its values, goals and achievements.
Photo credit: Jens Jeske