{ "" }
Share MARY's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
MYCEK--Dr. Mary J., passed away on Wednesday June 2, 2021 at Bishop Wicke Nursing Home in Shelton. She was born in Shelton, CT on Sunday, December 19, 1926, to the late John and Joanna (Dziuba) Mycek. She graduated from St. Michael's School in Derby and from Shelton High School in 1944 as class valedictorian. While in high school and college she worked part-time in Slipco and the B.F. Goodrich Rubber Products Company. In 1948, she received an Artium Baccalaureus Degree in Chemistry from Brown University and in 1955, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Yale University. After spending two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University in New York City, she took a position at the New York State Psychiatric Institute of Columbia University in the laboratory of Dr. Heinrich Waelsch. It was there that she identified and named the enzyme, transglutaminase, and characterized the reaction it catalyzed. Transglutaminase is now recognized to be a family of enzymes that includes Factor XIII in blood coagulation. In 1961, she accepted a position in the Department of Pharmacology at the Seton Hall College of Medicine, which became the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - New Jersey Medical School (Newark Campus). As of July 2013 it is a part of Rutgers University. She rose to the rank of Professor and, after retiring in 1991, continued in an adjunct capacity for thirteen years. Her research centered on the mechanism of tolerance to barbiturates in the brain. She was the mentor for 2 Ph.D. students. Professionally, Dr. Mycek authored many publications among them three editions of the widely used Lippincott review text, Pharmacology, which has been translated into many languages. She served on several study sections at the National Institutes of Health, and chaired the Committee on Pharmacological Sciences in 1980-82. She was the secretary of the Biochemical Pharmacology Discussion Group at the New York Academy of Sciences from 1961-71. In addition, she was an emeritus member of the honorary science fraternity, Sigma Xi, the American Chemical Society, the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, chairing its Sub- committee on Women in Pharmacology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. In 1994, she was presented with the Outstanding Woman in Science Award from the Metropolitan Chapter of the American Women in Science in New York City. She was a member of The Yale Club of New York City, the Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America and the Kosciuszko Foundation. Among her other activities she particularly enjoyed her association with the Derby Historical Society, where she was a Life Member, serving on its Board of Directors and editing its Newsletter for 10 years. The Society honored her with its Dorothy Larson Award in 2004. Her interests in history led to a collaboration with Marion O'Keefe and Carolyn Ivanoff in writing a booklet about Ebenezer Bassett, a Derby man who was the first black man to serve as a United States ambassador. In 2010, the Ebenezer Bassett booklet received the Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations. At various times Dr. Mycek volunteered in the cardiac rehabilitation unit of Griffin Hospital, in the Vertebrate Paleontology Section of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale and Recording for the Blind in New Haven. Among her interests were travel especially to see her family in Poland, music, archaeology and genealogy. She took special delight in feeding the birds on her property. Dr. Mycek loved teaching and interacting with students. Over the years, she was fortunate to have had many dear friends and colleagues and is survived by a number of godchildren and many cousins both here and in Poland. A member of St. Michael's Parish in Derby, she belonged to its Ladies Guild and chaired the Jubilee Book Committee on the occasion of St. Michael's Centennial. Friends may call on Wednesday June 9, 2021 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the Edward F. Adzima Funeral Home, 253 Elizabeth St., Derby. On Thursday June 10, 2021, her funeral procession will leave the funeral home at 10:30 m for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00am at St. Michael Church. Burial will follow in the family plot at Mt. St. Peter Cemetery, Derby. At the request of her family if you are not vaccinated, masks are required for attendance. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael's Church, 75 Derby Ave. Derby, CT 06418, or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Friends may leave condolences online at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times on Jun. 6, 2021.
Calling hours
05:00 - 07:00 PM
Funeral Mass
11:00 AM
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
7 entries
June 11, 2021
Mary was a volunteer in the Cardiac Rehab department at Griffin Hospital while I was the director there. We had many, many lengthy conversations. She was a brilliant woman and I enjoyed learning from her. She always encouraged me to read, research and never stop learning. She was tough and pushed through pain as she exercised into her early 90’s. She was thoughtful and cared deeply about others. We shared emails up until about 6 months ago. I’ll miss her ♥
Eunice Lisk
June 10, 2021
Only time separates us now.
Teraz dzieli nas tylko czas.
Joanna Tkaczyk-Nowakowska
June 9, 2021
Dr Mary
Mycek was a new faculty member at Seton Hall College of Medicine and I a summer medical student researcher in about 1961 and 1962. She was a respected department member and contributor. Lunch time was a gathering of professors with free wheeling discussion; professional, personal and social. She was a welcome contributor to the group. I recall her commute from Greenwich Village and engagement in the life of NYC.

Only now have I learned of the wide range of her professional and personal activities and accomplishments, with interest but not surprise. Dr Mycek clearly was a special person who added a great deal to our society. I mourn her loss and celebrate her life.
Lloyd I. S. Zbar, MD
June 9, 2021
Eternal Affection Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Batory Family from Kolbuszowa
June 8, 2021
Mary was a true pioneer and a role model for younger scientists, especially women scientist. She consistently maintained the highest standards in her research. She was an internationally well respected scientist as evidenced by being awarded multiple National Institutes of Science (NIH) grants and by serving as a reviewer on NIH study sections (two years as chair) Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School was most fortunate to have Mary as a faculty member. I was most fortunate to have known Mary as a colleague. She was an inspiration to all of us. Sylvia Christakos Distinguished Professor, Rutgers, NJMS
Sylvia Christakos
June 8, 2021
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
BJ Wagner
June 7, 2021
I will miss your company, dear friend. Our trips, lunches, and NY Phil.rehearsals will always be happy memories. Rest In Peace.
Lin Mulford
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences