Joseph E. Murray


Joseph E. Murray

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Joseph E. Murray
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1990

Born: 1 April 1919, Milford, MA, USA

Died: 26 November 2012, Boston, MA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Prize motivation: “for their discoveries concerning organ and cell transplantation in the treatment of human disease”

Prize share: 1/2


The human body has many different organs with different tasks. If an organ is unable to perform its task, a person cannot live normally without external help. Because the immune system rejects foreign bodies, transferring organs from one person to another was long thought impossible. However, in 1954 Joseph Murray avoided rejection using radiotherapy and immunosuppressants, successfully transplanting a kidney between identical twins. This paved the way for other organ transplants.

To cite this section
MLA style: Joseph E. Murray – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Sat. 20 Jul 2024. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.