In Memoriam: Professor Dr. Juan Murube del Castillo (1934-2024)
It is with deep sorrow that we share the news of the passing of Professor Dr Juan Murube del Castillo. Today, our hearts are heavy as we reflect on the loss of an exceptional individual—a distinguished scholar, mentor, and revered figure within the medical community. His departure leaves an irreplaceable void in our hearts and minds.
Professor Murube played a pivotal role as one of the founders of the European Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ESOPRS). Born in Gijón (Spain), he undertook a significant portion of his academic pursuits in different locations, contributing to the field of ophthalmology through his practice, learning, and teaching in various locations across Spain, including the Canary Islands, Zaragoza, and Madrid, where he became a Professor of the University of Alcalá and Head of the Ophthalmological Department of Hospital Ramón y Cajal.
A disciple of Dr. Ramón Castroviejo, another luminary in Spanish ophthalmology, Prof. Murube del Castillo leaves behind a legacy of numerous contributions and advancements in the realm of ophthalmology. His profound studies and groundbreaking publications have not only enriched the medical community but have also set the stage for enhanced global patient care.
Beyond his professional accomplishments, Professor Murube del Castillo was celebrated for his innate ability to motivate and guide aspiring ophthalmologists. As a charismatic and empathetic educator, he left an indelible mark on the lives of numerous students and colleagues, fostering in them a profound love for ophthalmology and a dedication to excellence. His supportive demeanour and unwavering encouragement empowered many to pursue greatness in their careers.
Examining his extensive body of work, which spans several decades of meticulous contributions to scientific journals and authored books, we find a true reflection of his professional journey. He was an ophthalmologist, especially interested in oculoplastics, dacryology, and dry eye, pioneering the description of new diseases and surgical techniques, such as carunculorrhinostomy for canalicular obstructions or the Murube tube for the performance of dacryocystorhinostomies, salivary gland transplantation in the conjunctival fornix, Stenon’s duct transpositions to the conjunctival fornix, subcutaneous dacrioreservoir implants in the abdomen, occlusion of the lacrimal puncta with conjunctival or autologous cutaneous patches, the performance of Z-plasties and Y-V-plasties for the treatment of conjunctivochalasis, or the use of amniotic membrane in ophthalmology. In addition to his expertise in ophthalmology, he was a linguist, exploring the etymology of words related to eye care, introducing new terminologies, and maintaining a critical approach, always questioning the rationale behind practices and staying ahead of contemporary ophthalmological knowledge.
Attempting to enumerate the accolades and honours Prof. Murube received throughout his life would be an exhaustive task, mirroring the richness of his professional, familial, and personal aspects. A dedicated husband and parent to six children, he served as a mentor and inspiration for thousands of students across different generations. A trailblazer in modern ophthalmology and an advocate for sub-specialization, he was also recognized for his passion for sports, excelling in rugby, athletics, and even parachuting. A profound thinker, an effective communicator, and a true gentleman!
With profound sympathy, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Professor Murube’s family, friends, colleagues, and the countless individuals he influenced. May his soul find eternal peace, and may we honour his memory by continuing his noble pursuits, striving for excellence, and making a lasting impact on the lives of others, just as he did during his remarkable tenure with us.
Today, the tears that Professor Murube loved so much and researched about in his life are shed by his loved ones in his memory. Rest in peace, Professor Juan Murube del Castillo. You will forever be missed, but your legacy will illuminate the path for future generations.
Dr. Santiago Ortiz-Perez MD, PhD
ESOPRS committee member
Head of the Ophthalmology Department
Hospital Virgen de las Nieves
University of Granada, Andalusia, Spain