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KORNETSKY, Dr. Conan Renowned Psychopharmacologist Age 92, of Newton, formerly of Lexington, passed away peacefully from complications of Alzheimer's Disease on Friday, December 21, 2018. Devoted husband of the late Marcia (Smargon) Kornetsky; he is survived by son David Kornetsky & wife Beth Siegel of Newton; daughter Lisa Kornetsky & wife Julie Anding of Milwaukee, WI; grandchildren Adam, Emma, and Rachel; several nieces and nephews; and his dear friend Meredith Shapiro. Dr. Kornetsky was a renowned scientist who undertook pioneering research in drug addiction. Born in Portland, ME, he spent his early childhood in Roxbury and Chelsea and then returned to Portland at age 9. He was a flight mechanic in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After graduating from the University of Maine, he received his doctorate at the University of Kentucky, where he undertook seminal research on addiction at the Federal Narcotics Hospital (Narcotic Farm) in Lexington, KY. After completing his graduate studies, he worked for the Public Health Service in New York and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda. In 1959 he and his family moved to Boston, where he was a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at Boston University School of Medicine for almost 60 years. His contributions to the field of drug abuse include studies on the causes of juvenile heroin abuse, the effects of LSD on cognitive function, and the effects of drugs of abuse on brain reward systems. He received multiple awards and accolades including distinguished alumnus awards from both the University of Maine and the University of Kentucky. In addition he received the prestigious Nathan B. Eddy Memorial Award for research in the field of drug dependence. He took tremendous pleasure in mentoring his many graduate and undergraduate students. He was a strong proponent of social justice and racial equity, and he broke new ground in the 1950s by being the first person to hire an African-American female scientist at NIMH. An avid skier, runner, and bicyclist, he enjoyed these sports well into his eighties. Graveside services at Westview Cemetery, 520 Bedford St., Lexington on Sunday, December 23 at 10:00am. Memorial observance following the burial will be held at the home of David Kornetsky & Beth Siegel from 12:30pm through 8pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hebrew Senior Life Hospice, Hebrew SeniorLife Development Office, 1200 Centre St., Roslindale, MA 02131 or the Geriatrics Clinic at Boston Medical Center, Geriatrics Section, 72 E. Concord Street, Robinson 2600, Boston, MA 02118. Levine Chapels, Brookline 617-277-8300 www.levinechapel.com
Published in The Boston Globe on Dec. 23, 2018
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