It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our friend and colleague Murray Grossman on April 4. Murray Grossman, neurologist and cognitive neuroscientist, has been a pioneer in the field of neurobiology of language. His work in defining non-fluent progressive aphasia within the spectrum of frontotemporal dementia is one of most important early contributions to the field. A FTD researcher from the beginning of his professional trajectory, he co-authored all the three consensus meetings on the classification of frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia. Murray together with John Trojanowski and Virginia Lee organized in Philadelphia the first large US conference on FTD, at the campus of UPenn in 2004. Several of us remember the wonderful cocktail party, which he and his wife Fran organized at his home during the conference. Murray also played an important role in a number of FTD conferences, in particular he is remembered for his role in the Rotterdam ISFTD meeting in 2008. He was one of the founding fathers of the International Society of Frontotemporal Dementia.
Over the past twenty years, Murray has initiated several national and international collaborations on fluid biomarkers and state-of-art neuroimaging (connectome consortium and the 7T MRI project). He always developed new initiatives and collaborations enriching them with empathy, warmth and modesty. In collaborations for which Murray was often a principal investigator, he was always very attentive to the individual efforts of PhD students, a style that ensured the success of the projects. Murray’s visits to other FTD centers at home and abroad had a special flavor given by his kindness and the open scientific discussion. The experience of his presence left a lasting impression on younger colleagues.
We will remember Murray as a wonderful colleague and friend, who with his typical thoughtful way of speaking clarified for all of us the most important clinical aspects of the frontotemporal dementias. The FTD research field and ISFTD is indebted to him for his vision and steadfast intellectual contribution.
We have lost a great colleague and close friend, and wish his wife Fran, sons and close colleagues much strength and wisdom to overcome an enormous loss.
The Executive Board of ISFTD:
John van Swieten