The son of Fraser Baillie Gurd, M.D., and Jessie Gibson Newman, Frank R.N. Gurd was born in Montreal, Canada, on Jan. 20, 1924. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and then McGill University, where he received first-class honors in biochemistry and won the Hiram Mills Gold Medal in Biology with a BSc in 1945. He was awarded an MSc in 1946 from McGill. He received his PhD from Harvard in 1949 for work involving the fractionation of serum proteins and for determining the physical structure of LDL. Gurd was visiting professor at Washington University School of Medicine and taught at Cornell University Medical School, Indiana University School of Medicine at Indianapolis, and Indiana University Chemistry Department in Bloomington where he rose to the rank of IU Distinguished Professor. He retired from IU as a distinguished professor emeritus.
In 1989, he moved to Albuquerque, N.M., with his late wife, IU Professor Emerita Ruth S. Gurd, M.D. Gurd published more than 160 scientific papers and review articles. He was a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and other scientific societies, served on research funding agency study sections, and served as a reviewer for a number of scientific journals. He was proud of his contributions as an associate editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Throughout his academic career, Gurd emphasized the relationship of structure and function in plasma proteins, enzymes, myoglobin, and hemoglobin. Along with his late wife, Gurd taught many students in the chemistry and biochemistry department at Indiana University and at the IU Medical School (they were enormously proud of their active involvement in the combined degree program). Many of Gurd's students have gone on to have outstanding careers in the field of medicine and science.
In addition to being a first-class scientist and science educator, Gurd and his late wife were very active in the music scene, both in Indiana and in Albuquerque. His knowledge of classical composers and their compositions was breathtaking. Both husband and wife were active supporters of the arts, humanities, and science. Gurd had a dry wit, was enormously considerate to others, and was a loving father, grandfather, and husband. He was enormously proud of his four children, four grandchildren, and other members of his immediate and extended family.