Professor Murray's research interests are in mathematical biology, mainly the application of mathematical modelling in medicine, psychology, ecology, epidemiology and developmental biology. Prior to coming to Washington, he was Professor of Mathematical Biology and founding Director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Oxford.
Professor Murray holds a large number of honors and visiting professorships, a selection of which are: Guggenheim Fellow 1968; Fellow of the Royal Society (Edinburgh) 1979; Ulam Visiting Scholar, Los Alamos National Laboratory 1985; Fellow of the Royal Society (London) 1985; Fellow of the Institute of Biology (Great Britain) 1988; Foreign Member Academy of Sciences (France) 2000; London Mathematical Society Naylor Prize for Applied Mathematics 1989; University of Washington donor endowed chair in perpetuity: James D. Murray Chair of Applied Mathematics in Neuropathology 2006; Royal Society Bakerian Medal and Prize Lecture (Physical Sciences premier prize lecture) 2009; IMA Gold Medal 2009, Eur. Acad. Sci. Leonardo da Vinci medal 2011, William Benter Prize in Applied Mathematics, 2012; President, European Society for Mathematical & Theoretical Biology, 1991-1994; invited plenary speaker at many international conferences; PBS program Patterns in Nature Life by the Numbers 1998; many public lectures such as Bakerian Lecture (http://royalsociety.org/Prize-lectures-events/#); EBS (Educational Broadcast System) Korean Public Television: 3 hour series on the biological work of Alan M. Turing and James D. Murray 2010; Sears Public lecture 2010, 2009; Honorary degrees:D.Sc. University of St. Andrews 1994, D.Sc. University of Strathclyde (Scotland) 1999, Dott.Mat. Laurea Honoris Causa, University of Milan (Italy) 2004, D. Maths. University of Waterloo, 2006, LLD. University of Dundee 2011. Honorary Fellow, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford 2000. Visiting Professorships: National Tsing Hua University 1975; University of Florence 1976; University of Utah 1979; Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1979; University of Heidelberg 1980; California Institute of Technology 1983; Los Alamos National Laboratory 1985; University of Angers, 1993; University of Paris, 1994, 1995, 1996 and others.
In his spare time, Professor Murray enjoys mediaeval art and architecture, 19th century English watercolour paintings. He and his wife, Sheila, now live in New Hope, PA.