Murray Goodman

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Murray Goodman memorial - June 7, 2004 - Edward A. Dennis


University professors are supposed to teach, carry out research, and perform professional and community service.  For over 50 years, first at Brooklyn polytech and then at UCSD, murray goodman did not simply fulfill each requirement; he excelled at each and every one of them!

Not only was Murray an outstanding classroom lecturer, but he also trained over 80 ph.d?s, over 100 postdoctoral students and hosted in his laboratories over 50 visiting scientists from around the world. Just last month, his distinguished teaching was applauded with the UCSDchancellor?s associates outstanding teaching award.

Murray ?s research accomplishments and contributions to the fields of organic, polymer, and the biochemistry of peptides and peptidomimetics are formidable and have resulted in over 500 scientific publications.

As a leader in his chosen field, Murray also authored textbooks and monographs, led the international peptide society, and served for decades as editor-in-chief of the leading journal in his field, ?biopolymers?.

He was a sought after consultant to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and played key roles in many biotech startups using his peptide chemistry to create new drugs.

For his outstanding research and professional service, murray received numerous awards including the american chemical society?s Hirschmann, cope scholar, and Hermann Mark awards, just to name a few.

Despite all of his professional commitments, most significantly, Murray led his community - in fact - all of his communities.  You already know of his involvement with the Jewish community.


At UCSD, he mentored younger faculty like myself, he led the organic chemistry division, he chaired the chemistry department for two terms, and he served as provost of revelle college when paul saltman became vice chancellor. In fact, I can just hear Murray and Paul together up there continuing to plot the future of Revelle.

Murray was elected to be chair of the faculty academic senate and served with distinction, and he helped lead the founding of the faculty club which was so critical to creating community at ucsd, and he served as its president.

Even with all of his enthusiam, drive and energy, Murray had a light side. I?ll never forget his performance as a stand-up comedian in the lajollywood review at the faculty club when he took such great aim at the architectural design of the buildings on the ucsd campus.  He had a realistic and wise view of the world, but he was consistently warm and friendly to all. He was a steadfast and supportive friend who performed significant deeds for those he loved like helping David Kearns recouperate and seeing to it that he could remain professionally active after his stroke.  Murray was the very definition of a mensh.

Last July 6, Martha and I had the personal joy of sharing with Murray, Zelda and his family his 75th birthday.  This was an occasion at which mickey fredman and rao makineni and several of his other close friends in the La Jolla community celebrated the completion of a campaign to raise the murray goodman endowed chair in chemistry and biochemistry at UCSD.  This will be a fitting and lasting tribute to Murray . 

As we all know, Murray was the essense of the modern Renaissance man.  At 75 he was still very much in his prime and we will all miss him dearly.