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In Memoriam: Professor Emerita Maria Tomasz

In Memoriam: Professor Emerita Maria Tomasz

Maria Tomasz

Hunter mourns the loss of Maria Tomasz, distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and biochemistry. Professor Tomasz and her husband moved to Whitingham, Vermont, two years ago, and she died at their home there on November 16. She was 84.

A valued teacher and groundbreaking medical researcher, Professor Tomasz joined the Hunter faculty in 1966. Born in Hungary, she’d come to the U.S. in 1957 and earned her PhD five years later at Columbia University. She then spent a few years at NYU Medical School before arriving at Hunter – the campus that would be her professional home for the next four decades.

At Hunter, Professor Tomasz played a significant role in curriculum development, designing the biochemistry major in 2002 and creating a new biochemistry lab course. Her own research contributed to the development of chemotherapeutic agents more effective than earlier ones in fighting cancer, and for this vital work she won several million dollars in funding from the National Institutes of Health. She also received the National Cancer Institute’s MERIT Award. Widely esteemed by her peers, she was an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Hunter community extends its condolences to Professor Tomasz’s husband, sister, children and grandchildren. The family will hold a private memorial at a future date; friends and colleagues seeking more information are asked to email

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