Remembering Murray Goodman

The UC San Diego community suffered a great loss with the unexpected passing of Professor Murray Goodman on June 1, 2004. Professor Goodman began his career at UC San Diego in 1970, when he joined the faculty as professor of chemistry. Throughout the ensuing years at the university, Professor Goodman was an exemplary teacher, providing guidance and inspiration to numerous students and scholars. In 2004, he received the UCSD Chancellor’s Associate Recognition Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, training 89 graduate students as well as 200 postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists.

Along with his passion for teaching, Professor Goodman was a prolific researcher and pioneer in the field of peptide chemistry, authoring nearly 500 publications, serving as editor for several journals, chairing the Department of Chemistry for six years, acting as Provost of Revelle College for two years, and fulfilling one term as chair of the Academic Senate. Goodman’s work was not limited to just academia: his other professional activities included memberships in Sigma Xi, American Chemical Society, A.A.A.S., American Institute of Chemists, The Chemical Society (England), The Protein Society, and the American Peptide Society. He was honored with numerous awards throughout his illustrious career and was sought after for his expertise by private companies and other institutions, collaborating with industry scientists. He also served on scientific and technical advisory boards, while sharing his insight and experience in peptide and polymer chemistry to advance research.

“Murray Goodman’s enthusiasm for discovery had no limits,” said Joseph Taulane, Laboratory Director for Goodman for over two decades. “With a goal to discover new molecules that could be used in the treatment of pain and the control of cancer, his laboratories also carried out programs to make synthetic biomaterials for replacement therapies as well as molecular transporters for drug delivery,” Taulane added.

Just prior to his death last year, Professor Goodman’s latest innovation, “TRANSPORT MOLECULES FROM DENDRITIC OLIGO-GUANIDINES” was licensed to a UCSD-startup, Avicule Incorporated. This innovation of new transport molecules can enhance drug delivery or for therapeutics with poor bioavailability. The novel non-peptoid transport molecules facilitate the crossing of coupled molecules across cell membranes into the cytoplasm.

In addition to mentoring graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, Professor Goodman influenced thousands of undergraduates. He left a lasting impression on many in the greater UC San Diego community and is fondly remembered as teacher, mentor, friend, advisor, and innovator.