Dr. Roderick Murray, 70, a biochemist who served for 16 years as director of the National Institutes of Health's old division of biologics standards, died Wednesday at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda after a heart attack. He lived in Bethesda.

Dr. Murray headed the division, which regulates biological drugs, from 1956 until 1972, when it was transfered to the Food and Drug Administration. 1He remained with NIH National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases until retiring in 1973 as an assistant Surgeon General.

He joined the division's precessor, the old laboratory of biologics control, in 1947 and became assistant chief of the laboratory in 1949.

Dr. Murray was born in Christ-church, New Zealand, and reared in Scotland and South Africa. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He earned a master's degree in organic chemistry from the University of South Africa and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, having come to the United States in 1937.

A former Army major, he served with a medical laboratory in the South Pacific for five years during World War II as a specialist in infectious disease control.

Dr. Murray was a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Public Health Association and a member of the American Association of Immunologists and the American Medical Association.

He was the author and coauthor of more than 50 scientific papers in his field and served on numerous scientific and advisory committees and panels. In 1965, he received the U.S. Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara, and a son, Richard, both of Bethesda; a daughter, Joanne, of Davis, Calif.; a brother, Dr. Kenneth A. Murray of Johannesburg, and two sisters, Anne Jenner of Somerset, England, and Margaret Wilkinson of Capetown, South Africa.

The family suggests that experessions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Harvard Medical School or to Navy Relief, National Naval Medical Center Bethesda. CAPTION: