Newswise — A noted authority on infectious diseases, Dr. Henry W. Murray has been appointed the first Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Named for the tennis legend who died of AIDS in 1993, the professorship will support Dr. Murray's work as director of the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS, a Weill Medical College program.

"Arthur Ashe was my patient, a friend and an inspiration. As the first Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. Professor of Medicine, I will continue the work he started -- directed at education, training and treatment trials, and eventually eradicating AIDS," says Dr. Murray, who is also associate chairman in the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Dr. Murray is director of the Arthur Ashe Endowment together with Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Mr. Ashe's widow, and Dr. Ralph L. Nachman, chairman of the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Despite remarkable advances in HIV/AIDS treatment over the past 10 years, AIDS continues to be an international killer. While new drug regimens have reduced AIDS mortality for many people living in the industrialized world, the disease continues to claim the lives of millions in Africa and other developing, resource-deprived regions. More than 600 persons are infected with HIV/AIDS every hour.

Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS

The Arthur Ashe Endowment was established in 1995 at Weill Cornell Medical College to support education, medical training and clinical trials focused on the disease, with the goal of eradicating AIDS.

The Endowment's International Healthcare Worker Training Program selects eight physicians, nurses or nurse-midwives who provide AIDS care in countries especially hard hit by the disease, where there is little training in HIV medicine available. Those selected are trained in a four-week intensive program in the clinical management of HIV. To date, the Endowment has trained a total of more than 70 health-care workers originating from more than 20 countries around the world.

The Endowment also funds other programs, including the annual Arthur Ashe Endowment Lecture, for which an internationally recognized individual in the field of AIDS is invited to speak at Weill Cornell, and the Senior Medical Resident's Education Program, which funds the travel of a physician-in-training to international HIV/AIDS meetings. Finally, the Endowment supports HIV clinical trials at Weill Cornell by helping to promote patient recruitment.

Although Arthur Ashe first gained recognition as a world-class tennis player, winning titles at the U.S. Open, he further distinguished himself as a truly great humanitarian. Using his stature as a consummate sportsman and gentleman, Mr. Ashe had an impact on the world around him far beyond the tennis courts. He will be remembered well into the future for campaigning on behalf of those causes in which he believed strongly: in addition to the fight against AIDS, these included the elimination of discrimination, the importance of education, and the livelihood of inner-city youth.

Dr. Henry W. Murray

Dr. Murray received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Cornell University. He completed residency in internal medicine at New York Hospital (now NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell) and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Following fellowships in infectious diseases and immunology at The George Washington University Hospital and The Rockefeller University, he was appointed in 1979 as assistant professor of medicine at Cornell University Medical College (now Weill Cornell Medical College) and assistant attending physician at New York Hospital. At the Medical College, he was Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases from 1983 to 1995, and he is currently professor and associate chairman in the Department of Medicine and Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Beginning in 1980, he has also served on the adjunct faculty of The Rockefeller University, and is past president of the New York Society of Tropical Medicine. In 1995, he was named director of the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS. He is the recipient of numerous honors -- including the 1980 Andrew W. Mellon Teacher-Scientist Award, the 1981 Rockefeller Foundation Research Career Development Award in Geographic Medicine, the First Centocor Award for Research in Immune Regulation (1986), and the 1989 Squibb Award for outstanding achievement in infectious diseases from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He was named as one of "America's Top Physicians" by the Research Council of America in 2003.

Dr. Murray's research and clinical interests include the immunology and treatment of infectious diseases, primarily leishmaniasis, an international parasitic infection; AIDS; and travel medicine. Since 1980, the research projects he has directed at Weill Cornell and abroad in India have been awarded more than $14 million in federal and non-federal grants. Dr. Murray is also an authority on travel medicine, and he is editor of Tropimed-U.S. (, an international travel medicine Web site. Dr. Murray is the author of 205 original research and clinical publications and review articles, nine invited editorials, and 63 books and book chapters.