Memories of Hal Gray, master radiobiologist

9. Gray ResizeDid you or your colleagues work with Hal Gray, who worked at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood? A past president of the BIR, he was renowned for his work on measuring types of ionizing radiation, hence the physical unit of dose being defined as the “Gray”. Now there is a move to honour him with a blue plaque and the organizing group are keen to hear your anecdotes and memories of this remarkable man.

Louis Harold Gray (1905-1965) was a remarkable man, and was President of the BIR from 1949 to 1950. He was a physicist and radiobiologist, and worked for many years at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, Middlesex. Gray was interested in the biological effects of radiation, and in his work with John Read on neutrons he expressed dose values as energy units, and foreshadowed the adoption in 1953 of the ‘rad’ for measuring all types of ionizing radiation. Gray was honoured in 1975 when the physical unit of dose was defined as the Gray (1Gy=100rad).

It is proposed to place the plaque at the Mount Vernon Hospital site, which includes the Gray Laboratories. The group is interested to hear from anyone with anecdotes, memories  or experience of working with Hal Gray at Mount Vernon Hospital.

For more information see this biography by Sinclair Wynchank called “Louis Harold Gray: A Founding Father of Radiobiology”, published in 2016.

Please send your memories to Dr Adrian Thomas, BIR Honorary Historian

British Institute of Radiology - Cookie Disclaimer

The British Institute of Radiology website uses cookies to provide you with essential online features. If you continue to use our site without changing your browser settings, we'll assume you are happy to receive cookies. Please read our Cookie policy for more information.