In Memoriam: Murray Gruber

April 2012 | Volume 11 | Issue 4 | Editorials | 453 | Copyright © 2012


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Dermatology has lost a great friend. On January 10th of this year, Murray Gruber passed away at the age of 94. As a young man, Murray Gruber worked for Schering as a Sales Representative. Calling on one of America's most prestigious dermatologists, Marion Sulzberger, he met Sulzberger's Secretary Lila and married her shortly thereafter. With her encouragement, Murray started a dermatology company, Dermik Labs, specializing in products for the dermatologist, starting with Sulfacet-R, Rezamid, and Zetar shampoo.

Zetar Shampoo

In 1951, Murray Gruber developed the first crude coal tar shampoo on the market, Zetar. Thus was born Dermik Laboratories, an innovative pharmaceutical company specializing in dermatologics. He believed strongly in producing innovative products exclusively for dermatologists. Small in size, he always managed to help the young doctors in management of patients. Through the years there was always a friendly competitive rivalry between Dermik and Stiefel.

His wife Lila Gruber passed away as a young woman. In 1972, Murray Gruber established the Lila Gruber Cancer Research Award to honor the memory of his first wife. He entered into an agreement with the AAD to endow a permanent annual lectureship. These lectureships create a forum for presentations to the Academy by outstanding cancer research specialists.

The Award

The Lila Gruber Memorial Cancer Research Award is one of the most prestigious medical awards. The cash award of $10,000 will be made in recognition of the investigator's lifetime achievements in the field of cancer research.

In 1980, the AAD honored Murray Gruber by awarding him the presidential citation in recognition of his contribution to dermatology. Ronald L. Moy, MD, President of the American Academy of Dermatology and Senior Editor for the JDD wrote "On behalf of the more than 17,000 members of the American Academy of Dermatology, I would like to recognize the profound contributions of Murray Gruber to the field of dermatology."

In 1993, he established the Alexander Fisher Resident Award Program. Murray Gruber held honorary memberships in the AAD, Noah Worcester, Pacific Derm, and the Contact Dermatitis Society.

Murray was very philanthropic, endowing programs in cancer research and supporting many worthwhile causes. He will be sorely missed by his family and many friends.

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