Dr. Richard J. McMurtrey, MD, MSc is the medical director of AAMI and an accomplished physician, scientist, and engineer, holding degrees with highest honors in medicine and surgery, biomedical engineering, and neuroscience. He has expertise in sports medicine, critical care medicine, regenerative medicine, and minimally-invasive surgical procedures. He was distinguished as one of the top innovators for his work at the University of Oxford (including the Oxford Institute of Biomedical Engineering, the Department of Engineering Science, and the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable), where he pioneered new tissue engineering techniques, studied new applications of ultrasonics in tissue healing and regeneration, and won top awards for his innovative design of novel medical devices. He has led significant research in both academics and private industry, including work in molecular signaling pathways in cellular regeneration and tissue formation, tissue engineering, electrophysiologic modeling, and exercise pathophysiology, and he has published work in prestigious academic journals including Tissue Engineering, Stem Cells & Development, Brain Research, Journal of Neural Engineering, Journal of Tissue Engineering, and Neural Regeneration Research. He also co-authored the textbook Organoids and Mini-Organs (Elsevier Academic Press, University of Edinburgh) and he has held an adjunct professorship in neuroscience for the last 6 years. He trained in neurosurgery, general surgery, anesthesiology, and critical care, with significant time spent working in trauma surgery, spine surgery, intensive care, and interventional surgical procedures at the University of Virginia Medical Center, the University of Colorado Hospital, and Denver Health County Hospital. He enjoys keeping up to date with the latest cutting-edge research, treatments, and techniques in a variety of disciplines, and he is licensed to practice medicine and surgery in both Utah and Colorado.
Dr. McMurtrey (aka "RJ") also has the unique perspective of being an athlete who has suffered numerous athletic injuries himself. He is an alpine climber and ultra-marathon runner who most loves trail running through remote mountains (with harrowing and improbable dreams of someday returning to Chamonix to run the UTMB... although he says running becomes a lot less fun after 70 miles). He also participated in intercollegiate and professional club rugby in his younger years (flanker and wing positions). He has broken bones, dislocated shoulders, herniated discs, torn tendons, and just about every other conceivable injury, which gave him immense compassion for his own patients and set him on a path to study new approaches that better heal and regenerate tissue function. He has since worked with professional athletes across the globe, from Europe and the U.K. to the U.S., and he currently holds the 35+ age division record in the Utah Valley 10K race (39:28) and won 2nd place in his age division in the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship. Dr. McMurtrey has also completed the entire Cirque of the Towers traverse through the Wind River range, climbed the Diamond of Longs Peak (D7, Yellow Wall, etc.), summited the Grand Teton via Direct Petzoldt and Exum ridges, climbed one of the longest sport routes (Squawstruck), climbed classic routes like the Rainbow Wall Original Route, Levitation 29, and Resolution Arete at Red Rock Canyon, completed several technical alpine climbs (e.g., Stairway to Heaven in Utah, Mixed Master in Canada), trekked over 100 miles through Patagonia, and many other alpine and expedition medicine experiences. He believes anyone can reset their life to achieve new goals despite age or ailments, and he is continually fascinated and intrigued by the physiologic mechanisms that enable extraordinary athletic performance, with many interesting questions still remaining to be explored. Besides helping to bring relief and healing to his patients, his greatest joy is introducing his three children to the wonders of nature.
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