Professor John Murray remembered

We received the sad news that KNCV’s friend and Union hero Professor John Murray passed away of acute respiratory failure associated with COVID19. John made major contributions to TB and Lung Health, with remarkable achievements in the field of pulmonary medicine.

Kitty van Weezenbeek, KNCV’s Executive Director: “I have known John for almost 40 years and he became a dear friend. I was delighted that he decided to join us for The Union World Conference in The Hague in 2018. He will be missed. I will miss him. We express our sincere condolences to John’s family.”

Professor John F Murray was the former Secretary-General/Chairman of The Union’s Executive Committee and Council and former Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD).

In both aforementioned roles, Dr Murray introduced major reforms and innovations, including broadening The Union’s focus from tuberculosis (TB) to include other lung health issues. For nearly 40 years he helped disseminate the latest research on lung health through The Union’s journals, having served as associate editor to three publications: the Bulletin of the IUAT, Tubercle and Lung Disease, and the IJTLD. Amongst numerous distinctions he was awarded The Union’s highest honour, The Union Medal, in 2011.

For many years, Dr Murray was Chief of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division of the San Francisco General Hospital and a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. His years of engagement with The Union spanned many decades and continued until very recently, with his work with the IJTLD. A well-known figure around The Union’s Paris headquarters, Dr Murray was an essential part of The Union’s past and present.

Prof John F Murray was originally from Mineola, New York. His achievements extend beyond The Union and have lasting impact. To quote a few: Dr Murray’s lobbying resulted in the creation of the Division of Lung Disease (DLD) in the American National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; he was instrumental in the creation of the National Pulmonary Faculty Training Programme funded by the DLD; he was responsible for early efforts in the standardization of pulmonary training programmes; and he played an important role in the evolution of the American Thoracic Society, where he also took on editorship of the society’s journal and was a former President. Dr Murray also undertook critical work in outlining the spectrum of lung disease in HIV infection.

Dr Murray authored hundreds of papers over the course of his distinguished and prolific career. As the author of one of the leading texts in respiratory medicine, Textbook of Respiratory Medicine (Murray and Nadel), which has influenced the practice of respiratory medicine throughout the world for generations, Dr Murray continued to update the text (now in its sixth edition) throughout his retirement. (1)




Photo caption: Prof John F Murray (right) together with his wife and TB doctor Jaap Veen at the Centennial Dinner of the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health in 2018 in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Copyright: Marcus Rose/The Union

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 120 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB prevention and care, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

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