- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 24, 2005

Leo F. Kazyak, 76, toxicologist

Leo Francis Kazyak, a retired toxicologist for the Department of Defense at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, died March 19 of bone cancer at his home in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. He was 76.

Born in Flint, Mich., he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Detroit and a master’s degree in music at Catholic University of America. He was certified as a forensic toxicologist by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology.

He completed training in narcotics and dangerous drug law enforcement with the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Department of Justice. He was a member of the International Association of Toxicologists and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Mr. Kazyak served in the Army Medical Corps during the Korean War.

He served 35 years as a toxicologist in the Department of Clinical Chemistry’s Biochemistry Division at Walter Reed.

In 1964, he developed a system of expediting toxicological examinations. His system of gas-liquid chromatography was widely incorporated by other toxicology laboratories and resulted in international recognition of his work.

Mr. Kazyak’s scientific findings were published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Analytical Chemistry, the Journal of Cellular and Comparative Physiology and the New England Journal of Medicine.

One of Mr. Kazyak’s most enduring research findings was discussed in “The Determination of Morphine in Urine Using Paper Ionophoresis and Ultraviolet Spectrophotometric Analysis,” an article he co-wrote for the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in December 1952.

Outside the office, Mr. Kazyak volunteered as an organist at St. Lewis Catholic Church in Howard County, Md., St. John’s Catholic Church in Ellicott City, Md., St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Hyattsville.

After retiring and also on a volunteer basis, Mr. Kazyak taught music at St. Mark’s and St. Hugh’s elementary schools in Maryland.

Gladys M. Kazyak, his wife of 51 years, died in 2003.

He is survived by four sons, Karl Kazyak, John Kazyak, Stephen Kazyak and Paul Kazyak; four daughters, Kristin Kazyak, Margaret Kazyak, Adina Kazyak Ordonez and Mary Keegan; and 16 grandchildren.

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