UConn Health Center Commencement Speaker 2013

Dr. Ferid Murad
Dr. Ferid Murad

A Nobel Prize winner will be the keynote speaker for the UConn Health Center’s commencement ceremony on Monday, May 13, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

Ferid Murad is a physician, pharmacologist, professor and researcher who has received many honors during his distinguished career including the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Dr. Murad has founded or co-founded eight biotechnology companies and has advised many cities and government leaders about technology development. His work has concentrated on the field of cell signaling and signal transduction systems.

In 1998, Murad received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work with nitric oxide, a colorless odorless gas that signals blood vessels to relax and widen, which in turn lowers blood pressure. His research continues to focus on a better understanding of how information is transmitted between the cells.

“I knew at the age of 12 that I was going to become a doctor,” says Murad. In eighth grade, his teacher asked students to write an essay describing their top three career choices. His choices were physician, teacher and pharmacist. Murad has accomplished all three – a board-certified physician and internist doing both basic and clinical research with considerable teaching in medicine and pharmacology, along with earning a Ph.D. in pharmacology.

Murad completed his undergraduate work at DePauw University and received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. He had a medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. He held positions at a number of prestigious universities throughout his career including the University of Virginia, Stanford University, Northwestern University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He currently is a university professor at George Washington University, and director of the Institute for Cell Signaling.

Among his many awards and honors, Murad received the prestigious Albert and Mary Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the American Heart Association Ciba Award, and the Baxter Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences from the Association of American Medical Colleges. He also received the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology Distinguished Research Prize and the President’s Scholar Award from the University of Texas Health Science Center.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the Institute of Medicine, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of many foreign academies as well as an honorary or adjunct professor at a number of universities. Murad also serves on the board of directors or scientific advisory boards of a number of public and private companies and various foundations and universities. He has received 16 honorary degrees and has published 450 manuscripts and authored or edited 28 books.

About 150 trainees have worked with him in his laboratories who are currently academic or pharmaceutical industry leaders around the world.

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