Kenneth Murray (biologist)

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Kenneth Murray
Kenneth Murray (1983).jpg
Kenneth Murray (1983)
Born(1930-12-30)30 December 1930
Died7 April 2013(2013-04-07) (aged 82)
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham (BSc, PhD)
Spouse(s)Noreen Murray[1]
Scientific career
FieldsMolecular biology
InstitutionsUniversity of Edinburgh

Sir Kenneth "Ken" Murray FRS[2] FRSE FRCPath (30 December 1930 – 7 April 2013) was an English molecular biologist and the Biogen Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Edinburgh.[3] His wife was Lady Noreen (née Parker), also a biologist. The team of Kenneth Murray developed the vaccine against hepatitis B and he is one of the founders of Biogen.

This was the first vaccine made using genetic engineering. Kenneth Murray was also founder and Chairman of the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh, a charity supporting young biologists in their doctoral studies.[4]

Education and career[edit]

Murray achieved a 1st class honours degree in chemistry followed by PhD from the University of Birmingham. From 1960 to 1964 he was a researcher at Murray Luck's laboratory at Stanford University and from 1964 to 1967 he was a researcher at Fred Sanger's laboratory at Cambridge University. In 1967, he was appointed lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and in 1976 he became Head of Molecular Biology. In 1984 he was appointed Biogen Professor of Molecular Biology, a post which he retained until his retirement.

Personal life[edit]

Murray was born in Yorkshire and brought up in the Midlands. He left school at the age of 16 to become a laboratory technician at Boots in Nottingham. He studied part-time and obtained a degree in chemistry and then a PhD in microbiology from University of Birmingham.

Sir Kenneth's wife, Noreen, died on 12 May 2011 aged 76.[5]


  1. ^ Gann, A.; Beggs, J. (2014). "Noreen Elizabeth Murray CBE. 26 February 1935 -- 12 May 2011". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2014.0009.
  2. ^ a b Brammar, W. J.; Gratzer, W. (2014). "Sir Kenneth Murray 30 December 1930 -- 7 April 2013". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2014.0008.
  3. ^ ‘MURRAY, Sir Kenneth’, Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012 ; online edn, Nov 2012 accessed 11 April 2013 (subscription required)
  4. ^ Obituaries : Professor Sir Kenneth Murray, The Telegraph, 14 April 2013
  5. ^

External links[edit]