Gordon Murray Lecturers

Gordon Murray was born in 1897, one of six children.  He was brought up in an interesting, healthful and stimulating environment in a rural setting near Stratford, Ontario.  His father was musical.  His mother was probably the profound influence in Gordon Murray’s life.  She must have been a remarkable woman, with unusual imagination and knowledge and a never-ceasing interest in nature.  She always had time to demonstrate its wonders first-hand to her children and ask them why, how and where, on subjects ranging from rocks, plants and animals to insects.

A healthy, active, athletic school life brought him to medical college in Toronto.  He interrupted his medical training to join the army in 1915 as an artillery man.  All four Murray brothers joined up – three were old enough for overseas duty, one was killed and Gordon, who experienced Ypres, Somme and Vimy Ridge, was blown up and buried with major wounds.  It is said that the site in which he was buried was taken by the Germans, then recaptured before he was disinterred and discovered to be alive.  He advanced from being the rider of the lead horse in a gun carriage to the rank of sergeant major.

Returning from war, he finished his medical training in 1921 and after a short time in practice, set off for England for postgraduate training in anatomy and surgery, ending up as Registrar at the London Hospital and acquiring his F.R.C.S. London.  On returning to Toronto in 1928, he was taken on by Professor C.L. Starr as resident in general surgery, eventually moving on to the staff at the General Hospital.  He became one of the most renowned surgeons in the history of the General Hospital.  He retired from the University staff in 1953 and from the hospital staff in 1967.

Dr. Murray’s contributions in medicine are well known.  His most notable work was with Heparin.  This had been purified by Dr. Charles and Dr. Scott under Professor Best in the Department of Physiology in Toronto.  Dr. Murray was one of the first in the world to demonstrate its use in patients in the prevention of thrombosis and embolism and its use in maintaining patency following arterial suture and vein grafts to arteries.  Anyone practicing in this era will recall the grave problem of morbidity from phlebitis and the constant risk to life that was present from pulmonary embolism. He studied this subject thoroughly and over a prolonged period of time.  He became the international authority on its use in surgery. 


1981     Dr. Raymond O. Heimbecker

1982     Dr. Stanley Crawford

1983     Sir Roy Calne

1984     Dr. Charles G. Drake

1985     Dr. Judah Folkman

1986     Dr. Tom Starzl

1987     Dr. Martin Allgower

1988     Dr. Joel Cooper

1989     Dr. Michael R. Harrison

1990     Dr. D. Eugene Strandness

1991     Dr. Richard Simmons

1992     Dr. Bryce Weir

1993     Dr. Jonathan Meakins

1994     Col. Basil A. Pruitt Jr., M.D.

1995     Dr. Samuel A. Wells Jr.

1996     Dr. Douglas Wilmore

1997     Dr. Ronald Folse

1998     Dr. Alan Hudson

1999     Dr. A.W. Clowes

2000     Dr. E. Darracott Vaughan Jr.

2001    Dr. Timothy J. Eberlein

2002    Dr. Ara Darzi

2003    Dr. David L. Dunn

2004    Dr. Shafique Pirani

2005    Dr. David N. Herndon

2006    Dr. Michael Apuzzo

2007    Dr. Timothy Buchman

2008    Dr. Randy Rosier

2009    Mr. Oscar Traynor

2010    Dr. Joseph Vacanti

2011    Dr. Inderbir Gill

2012    Dr. Philippe Menasche

2013    Dr. John Niederhuber

2014    Dr. Geoffrey Gurtner

2015    Dr. Clifford Ko 

2016    Dr. Mohit Bhandari

2017    Dr. Allan Kirk

2018    Dr. Susan Mackinnon

2019    Dr. Diane M. Simeone

2020    Dr. David A. Rogers