In Memoriam: Remembering Murray Sachs

Summer 2018

Murray SachsPioneering scientist Murray B. Sachs, who led the biomedical engineering department at Johns Hopkins for 16 years, died in March after a long illness. He was 77.

“Murray Sachs’ vision, his belief in the value of collaboration at the intersection of engineering and medicine, and his dedication to his department are the reasons why Johns Hopkins remains the world’s leader in biomedical engineering research and education,” says Whiting School Dean Ed Schlesinger.

Sachs joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in 1970. He spent the rest of his career at Johns Hopkins, rising to the rank of professor in 1980.

During his tenure from 1991 to 2007 as the Massey Professor and Director of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, he established the Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute in 1999, a collaboration between the school of medicine and Whiting School. This began the transition of the biomedical engineering department from one housed at the school of medicine to a unique joint affiliation with the School of Engineering. Today, the department is one of the leading biomedical engineering programs in the world, with more than 100 affiliated faculty and nearly 800 undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students.

In addition, Sachs’ research on how the brain receives and processes sound paved the way for the development of cochlear implants, electronic devices that deliver a sense of sound to people with hearing loss.