Dr. Michael Gray

Paradigm-shifting biochemist

Tuesday, May 28 (9:00 a.m. ceremony — Faculty of Medicine)

In the 1950s and ’60s, one particular theory of how the mitochondria in our cells came to be, evolutionarily speaking, was considered preposterous: the endosymbiont hypothesis. That same theory is now considered textbook fact thanks to the work of Dalhousie Professor Emeritus Dr. Michael Gray, one of many impressive accomplishments Dr. Gray has achieved over the course of a storied career.

Dr. Gray began his career in biochemistry in 1962 at the University of Alberta, where he first earned his undergraduate degree, swiftly followed by his PhD. After postdoctoral work at Stanford University, he accepted a position at Dalhousie in 1970 where he remained until his retirement in 2008. During that time, he published nearly 300 papers, with his work being cited more than 24,000 times. He is known as an effective collaborator and leader who has stewarded the graduate work of many stellar students. He was instrumental in helping to establish Dal’s Centre for Comparative Genomics & Evolutionary Bioinformatics and led two pan-Canadian DNA sequencing projects for Genome Canada, where he was also Chair of the Science and Industry Advisory Committee.

Dr. Gray is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was also the Canada Research Chair in Genomics and Genome Evolution from 2001 to 2008. He was inducted into Sigma Chi, The Scientific Honor Society, in 2024.