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Paul M. Kuznesof

by Susan J. Ainsworth
December 14, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 50


Paul M. Kuznesof, 68, a retired senior chemist who worked for the Food & Drug Administration, died from lung cancer on Oct. 2.

Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Kuznesof earned a B.S. in chemistry from Brown University in 1963 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University in 1967. From 1967 until 1969, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

Kuznesof then served as a professor at the State University of Campinas, in Brazil, from 1970 until 1975, helping to start its graduate research program in chemistry.

After returning to the U.S., Kuznesof worked as a lecturer or professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; at Trinity College, in Hartford, Conn.; and at Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, Ga. He was also a laboratory scientist for the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Kuznesof joined FDA in 1984, managing and directing the premarket chemistry review of food ingredients. He served in many roles before rising to the position of chief chemist in FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety in the Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition.

He received the FDA Distinguished Career Service Award. He retired in 2007, after 23 years of service, and was a retired member of ACS, having joined in 1965.

During his FDA career, Kuznesof participated in the Joint Food & Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives, the Codex Committee on Food Additives & Contaminants, and the Food Chemicals Codex.

Kuznesof had a keen interest in Brazilian culture and practiced the Japanese martial art of aikido. He was fluent in Portuguese and spoke Italian and French.

He is survived by his son, Adam, and grandchildren, Daniel and Anya.

Susan J. Ainsworth writes obituaries. Obituary notices may be sent to and should include a detailed educational and professional history.


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