Upstate News

March 30, 2006
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Callahan and Murray to receive honorary degrees at 2006 SUNY Upstate Medical University Commencement May 21

Leading expert in bioethics and developer of artificial knee to be

honored by the State University of New York

SYRACUSE, N.Y.–Daniel Callahan, Ph.D., a leading expert in bioethics, and David G. Murray, M.D., who brought distinction to SUNY Upstate Medical University by building one of the premiere orthopedic surgery departments in the world, will receive honorary degrees from SUNY Upstate Medical University at its Commencement Sunday, May 21, at 1 p.m., in the John H. Mulroy Civic Center’s Crouse Hinds Theater.

Callahan will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Murray will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Callahan, widely regarded as one of the world’s preeminent bioethicists, has excelled as an educator, a researcher, a scholar and a practitioner of ethics. He co-founded the Hastings Center in 1969, recognized as a world leader in teaching, scholarly activity and research in ethics. Its journal, The Hastings Center Report, is the leading journal in the discipline of ethics. Callahan served as the center’s president from 1969 to 1996, and since 1997 as director of the center’s international program while also serving as senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School and senior research fellow in the Department of Philosophy and Fellow in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, both at Yale University.

Callahan is the author of more than 400 essays and articles and has written or edited more than 40 books. He has served on the editorial boards or as editorial advisor of many leading journals, including Ethics in Science and Medicine; Science, Technology and Human Values; and the Encyclopedia of Bioethics. His literature has dealt with a broad range of ethical issues, including cost of health care, healthcare reform, research ethics, promotion of healthy behavior, aging, end of life and death, and ethics in higher education.

Callahan is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, regarded as the preeminent honor in American medicine and whose membership is based upon distinguished professional achievement in medicine or a related field. He served on the Advisory Committee to the director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as chair of the Ethics Subcommittee. Callahan is a former member of the Advisory Committee on Scientific Integrity of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He received the 1996 Freedom and Scientific Responsibility Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Callahan received a doctorate from Harvard University in 1965, a master’s degree in from Georgetown University in 1957, and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1952. He holds honorary degrees from Oregon State University, the University of Colorado, Williams College and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Murray brought distinction to SUNY Upstate by building one of the premiere orthopedic surgery departments in the world and by his international recognition as a gifted surgeon, physician-scientist and service to his profession. While at SUNY Upstate, Murray graduated more than 120 orthopedic surgeons from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery’s residency program. The Department now has more than 20 full-time clinical and research faculty.

As a physician-scientist, Murray is recognized for his research on general bone physiology, the use of electrical current to promote bone remodeling and healing, respiratory insufficiencies resulting from fat embolism during surgery, and total joint replacement procedures. Murray designed, developed and patented the variable-axis knee prosthesis, which for many years was referred to as the “Syracuse knee.” Murray was asked to serve as a member and chair of the National Institutes of Health Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Study Section.

Murray was elected the 77th president of the American College of Surgeons, the Orthopaedic Surgeon Research and Education Foundation, the Knee Society, the Onondaga County Medical Society, Patients Choice Inc., and the Martin Memorial Foundation. All of these organizations were the benefactor of many hands-on contributions by Murray as he served on numerous committees, councils and advisory boards before being elected as their presidents.

Internationally, Murray was elected an honorary fellow in the Royal College of Surgeons of England for his “immense contributions to orthopaedic surgical research as well as to its practice.”

In addition to his lasting contributions through published papers and his role in the development of leaders in the field of orthopedic surgery, Murray worked tirelessly to design, finance and build SUNY Upstate’s Institute for Human Performance.

Murray attended Cornell University and received a medical degree from the School of Medicine of Washington University in St. Louis in 1955. He completed a surgical internship at Vancouver General Hospital in 1956. After service in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant, Murray resumed general surgery training at SUNY Upstate from 1958 to 1959. He then completed residency training in orthopedic surgery at the State University of Iowa at Iowa City in 1962.

Murray joined the SUNY Upstate faculty in 1962 and was promoted to professor in 1969. He was named chair of the Department in 1966, a position he held for 30 years.

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