AACC Remembers Past President Dr. Kurt M. Dubowski

Kurt M. Dubowski, PhD, LLD, DABCC, DABFT, an AACC member since 1950 and a leader in toxicology and forensic science, passed away on October 23, 2017 at the age of 95.

Dr. Dubowski served as AACC president in 1985 and was the George Lynn Cross Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma (UO) College of Medicine in Oklahoma City. He also previously served as a professor of pathology and director of the toxicology and forensic science laboratories at UO, and played a pivotal role in the creation of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology.

Among Dr. Dubowski’s many achievements, some of his most noteworthy include his pioneering contributions to substance abuse testing. Methods that he developed for blood- and tissue-alcohol analysis have been used by the FBI, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the National Police of France. His work advanced breath-alcohol analysis and workplace alcohol testing, and he was active in developing federal workplace drug testing regulations. In Oklahoma, he also made invaluable contributions to public safety and impaired driving prevention as the first chairman and state director of the Oklahoma Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence, and as the founder of the toxicology laboratory of the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office and the forensic laboratory system of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Dr. Dubowski’s expertise led to his involvement in many high-profile forensic toxicology cases, including the investigation of Marilyn Monroe’s death and the court cases that followed the Exxon Valdez oil spill; the fatal 1987 Amtrak-Conrail crash in Baltimore County, Maryland; and the 1988 bus crash outside Carrollton, Kentucky that to date is still the deadliest drunk-driving collision in U.S. history.

AACC honored Dr. Dubowski in 1973 with the AACC Award for Outstanding Contributions Through Service to the Profession of Clinical Chemistry, and again in 1996 with the AACC Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine.

Dr. Dubowski’s full obituary can be read here.