Chemistry and Biochemistry

Robert W. Murray Biography

 

Robert W. MurrayRobert W. Murray joined the faculty at UM-St. Louis in 1968 after a very successful career at Bell Labs. He was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, and received degrees from Brown University, Wesleyan University and Yale, where he completed his Ph.D. with Professor Martin Saunders. He served as chair of the Chemistry Department at UM-St. Louis from 1975 to 1980. In 1981 he was the first chemist in the University of Missouri system to be appointed Curators' Professor and has been a visiting scholar in Karlsruhe and Cork. He has received the American Chemical Society St. Louis Award in 1974, the ACS Midwest Award in 1989, the University of Missouri Presidential Award for Research and Creativity in 1990 and the I. H. Weldon Medal of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association in 1994. Professor Murray is well known for his research in the area of oxidation chemistry, particularly that involving ozone, singlet oxygen, hydrotrioxides and dioxiranes. His many contributions have helped demonstrate the relevance of oxidation chemistry to environmental and health issues. Dr. Murray's more recent work has centered on the chemistry of dioxiranes. He devised an experimental procedure for producing solutions of methyldioxiranes. Dimethyldioxirane, DMD, referred to in the literature as "Murray's Reagent", is a remarkable reagent and has found substantial applications by others around the world. He has received federal funding for his research at UM-St. Louis every year since 1968, and has given about 300 invited lectures in the U.S. and Europe. Over the years, he has been known as a compassionate and understanding teacher of organic chemistry to graduate students, chemistry majors and health science majors. Dr. Murray assumed Curators' Professor Emeritus status in 1999.