Irish American Museum of Washington, D.C.
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Joseph Murray



Joesph Murray born 1919, in Millford, Mass. his Irish heritage can be traced back to 3rd generation on his father’s side. His father who was a lawyer and a district court judge imparted the importance of education to his son.

After attending Harvard Medical School he joined the army and was assigned to Valley Forge Hospital where he spent his military service and developed his fascination for burns and tissue reconstruction.

After additional training at Sloane-Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York, he returned to the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston where he remained for the rest of his professional career. He was director of the surgical laboratory at Harvard Medical School for 20 years where he worked and developed pioneering advances in transplantation.

In 1954 he performed the first human kidney transplant in identical twins. In 1959 he performed the first transplantation in dizygotic twins

In 1962 he performed the first non-related cadaveric renal transplant with the help of anti-rejection drugs he proved that transplants could technically be performed and that transplants could be successfully controlled, thus opening the door to the field of transplantation in modern medicine.

In 1990, for his pioneering contributions and exhaustive work over the course of his career, Joseph Murray was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine which he shared with Thomas E. Donnell.