Murray Elias Jarvik

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 19 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1442
  1. Ned Stafford

    Psychopharmacologist who studied the effects of LSD and co-invented the nicotine patch

    As a scientist, Murray Jarvik never grew up. He bubbled with curiosity and was like a boy in the laboratory. He once brought in snails collected at home to his laboratory at UCLA (University of California-Los Angeles) “so we could run experiments like turning them on with LSD,” says Ronald Siegel, a former student and now associate research professor in the department of psychiatry and biobehavioural sciences at UCLA. “I saw him smile like a schoolboy.”

    Murray’s father, an upholsterer, died when he was 11. Murray’s lifelong heart problems began at 12, when he contracted rheumatic fever. He developed other health problems, including polio when he was 28 and lung cancer in 1992, although he did not smoke cigarettes.

    He earned an undergraduate degree in 1944 at City College of New York and then a masters degree in psychology at UCLA. In the early 1950s he received a medical degree from the University of California-San Francisco and PhD from the University of California-Berkeley. Siegel says that …

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