Meet Dr Marylou Murray

We talk with highly-valued former staff member Dr Marylou Murray, who worked with the READ-It team as a Clinical Research Associate and CIDG author from January 2019 to January 2020

What Marylou did before joining Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG)

With 14 years in rural general practice, Dr Marylou Murray sought to develop her experience further and worked as a disability analyst, where she developed a keen interest in the relationship between work and wellbeing. This led to a Masters in Public Health in 2014. She then combined that interest with a love of primary care by undertaking doctoral research directed developing an intervention to promote mental health and prevent mental illness in GPs: how to help people build resilience whilst they are still resourceful. She then went to the World Health Organization (WHO) working on systematic reviews with the Health Workforce department.

Applying to CIDG

With this background, Marylou applied to work with us in the CIDG and READ-It: she described it as “my dream job”- to work in research in relation to development- and to be near her daughters and grandchildren in Liverpool. With such a wealth of experience and skills we welcomed Marylou with open arms, and she joined as a Clinical Research Associate in January 2019 until January 2020.

What Marylou accomplished

In one year, Marylou was a whirlwind: she made an incredible contribution to a number of CIDG projects including:

  • the link person for evidence synthesis for a guideline for the treatment of histoplasmosis in people living with HIV in collaboration with PAHO;
  • completing a Cochrane review on treating histoplasmosis in HIV;
  • helping a team in Nepal examine suicide prevention strategies after a disaster;
  • teaching on the Masters in Evidence Synthesis for Global Health;
  • co-ordinating a large, commissioned review examining suicide and suicidal behaviour in displaced persons and asylum seekers;

Here are links to her published outputs:

Below is a brief interview we conducted with Marylou.

Marylou, how did you first hear about Cochrane?

Through evidence-based medicine.

What prompted you to work with CIDG/READ-It?

My interest in the methodological excellence of this group and its application to international guideline development. I wanted to work with the team.

Please list three words you would associate with Cochrane.

Excellence. Clarity. Accessibility.

What was the most rewarding aspect of being involved with the CIDG/READ-It?

Involvement in international guideline development and teaching international students about evidence-based approaches.

Who (or what) has been the biggest influence on your career to date?

Professor Liam J Murray MD

What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you’ve got to?

Tenacity and optimism. You got to stick with things, and stay positive and the world opens up

Who or what spurs you on professionally?

Continuous personal development. I want to learn more.

What do you do in your spare time?

Road cycling and sorting out a messy garden.

Funder acknowledgement: Marylou Murray was supported by the Research, Evidence and Development Initiative (READ-It). READ-It (project number 300342-104) is funded by UK aid from the UK government; however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.

We are saddened to inform you of the death of our colleague and friend, Dr Marylou Murray, who passed away on 9 March 2022 surrounded by her loving family. Marylou's outgoing personality, energy, sense of humour, and boundless talents will be sorely missed by the CIDG/READ-It team.

CIDG/READ-It team members sending their love to Marylou from a recent staff gathering