Why Gray?

It's not a spelling mistake, the Institute is named after Hal Gray.

Hal Gray










This picture of Hal Gray was taken just before his death in 1965.  Hal Gray devoted his working life to studying cancer and radiation.  He was instrumental in setting up the original Gray Cancer Institute in 1953 at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood London.   The Gray Cancer Institute became part of a larger Gray Institute in 2008.

Hal Gray was so famous in the cancer world that the unit of radiotherapy was named after him.  If you ever have to have radiotherapy, you will be given a number of Gray (Gy for short) of therapy.

Our 'G' logo is based on his signature.

We've included a history of his life here:


The Life of Hal Gray

1905 Hal Gray was born 10th November.

1924-1927 Trinity College Cambridge (Senior Scholar), gaining a First Class Degree in Natural Science.

1927-1930 PhD Cavendish Labs, Cambridge.

1930 Married Freye Picot on 11th June.

1933-1940 Worked at Mount Vernon as a physicist supported by British Empire Cancer Campaign (which became the Cancer Research Campaign, now part of Cancer Research UK).

An old fund raising poster from the BE Cancer Campaign which became ...
... The Cancer Research Campaign now part of CRUK.
This CRC logo is made of colony plates. Each purple dot is a group of 50+ cancer cells.
CRUK funds us from charity donations
CRUK funds us from charity donations











1936 Developed the Bragg-Gray equation, for measuring gamma-ray energy absorption by materials.

1946-1953 Senior physicist and Deputy Director Radiotherapy Research Unit at Hammersmith Hospital.

1953 Established the Gray Laboratory at Mount Vernon Hospital.

The former Gray Lab at Mount Vernon.









1953-1960 Under Gray’s direction, Jack W. Boag developed pulse radiolysis.

1961 Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (The highest honour for scientists in the UK).

1962 Awarded Doctor of Science from the University of Leeds.  Doctor of Science is another step up from PhD!

1962 Ed Hart and Jack Boag discover the hydrated electron at Gray Lab.

1965 Died 9th July following a stroke.

2008 Gray Lab moves to Oxford to become part of the Gray Institute.

The young Hal Gray was a Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge.