Dr. Marilena Fotino

July 30, 1924 - June 23, 2019

Visitation will be held for her at Dorsey Funeral Home, Ossining at 8:30 a.m. Friday, July 12
followed by interment at 9:30am at Dale Cemetery in Ossining.

Dr. Marilena Fotino
July 30, 1924 - June 23, 2019
Transplant pioneer Dr. Marilena Fotino died on June 23, 2019 near Boulder, CO. She was 94 years old.
A long-time resident of Ossining, NY, Marilena Epure was born on July 30, 1924 in Bucharest, Romania to Cesar Epure and Elena Ghimuş.
She developed a passion for animals and research early on, which she funneled into both a medical degree and a doctoral degree in immunohematology from the University of Bucharest School of Medicine and Pharmacy. Due to the severe constraints imposed by the communist regime in Romania, she emigrated in 1965 to the United States with her husband, Dr. Şerban Fotino. Her initial work at the New York Blood Center paved the way for her co-founding in 1985 with Dr. Manikkam Suthanthiran of the Rogosin Institute's Immunogenetics and Transplantation Laboratory, which she co-directed until her retirement in 2008. The Immunogenetics and Transplantation Laboratory was among the first laboratories to conduct testing for organ transplants and it provides testing for thousands of transplants to this day. Colleagues describe her as a pioneer, the "Queen of Tissue Typing", who urged them to treat the samples they were handling as if they belonged to a family member; as someone with kindness, patience, and a deep dedication to passing her knowledge on to others.
She also had a strong artistic bent visible in her numerous and varied drawings, sweaters and vests knitted on her train commutes to the city, regular trips to the Metropolitan Opera, and boundless appreciation for food. Her modesty belied her talents and achievements, and she often emitted a youthful sweetness and enthusiasm.
She is survived by brother-in-law Mircea Fotino, sister-in-law Ingrid Fotino, nieces Domnica and Adriana Fotino and great-niece and great-nephew Alina and Adrian Fotino-Montoya.
Visitation will be held for her at Dorsey Funeral Home, Ossining at 8:30 a.m. Friday, July 12
followed by interment at 9:30am at Dale Cemetery in Ossining.

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