Noreen Murray was one of the architects of the recombinant DNA revolution that transformed the study of biology from the early 1970s. Her particular prowess for genetic manipulation of bacteria and their phage was critical in developing the bacteriophage lambda vectors that were a vital part of the early genetic engineering toolbox. Her skill as a microbial geneticist had earlier become apparent through her work on genetic recombination and complementation in the fungus Neurospora, especially as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford where her work brought her to the attention of some of the giants of early molecular biology. Back in the UK, first at Cambridge and then, for the bulk of her career, at Edinburgh, she produced a remarkable body of work focused on uncovering the mechanisms and biology of restriction enzymes, and their adaptation as tools underpinning modern biological research and the rise of the biotechnology industry. Much of this work was done in collaboration with her husband Ken Murray FRS, whose biographical memoir accompanies this one. Together they were known not only for the quality of their research but also for their vast generosity both on a personal level and on a larger canvas through their philanthropy.
- © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal society