Marek Pienkowski

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Marek Maria Pienkowski
Marek Pienkowski in 2010
Born(1945-09-08)8 September 1945
CitizenshipUnited States and Poland
Known forInnovations in diagnosis and treatment of immunological deficiencies and asthma/allergic disorders
AwardsKosciuszko Foundation Eminent Scientist
Scientific career
FieldsImmune disorders, Allergy, and Asthma

Marek Maria Pienkowski (born 8 September 1945) is a Polish-American medical researcher and clinician focused on broad aspects of immunological diagnosis and treatment. He collaborated in important discoveries related to immunology, viral oncogenes, genetic engineering, and cloning and has implemented desensitization treatments for allergic disorders based on this research into his clinical practice.

He is also recognized as a cultural ambassador for the propagation of artistic, scientific, and business dialogue between the U.S. and Poland and has been appointed by the government of Poland and accredited by the U.S. State Department as an Honorary Consul. He authored the biographical memoir Iron or Steel: A Memoir on Living Dreams.

Medical research and practice[edit]

Pienkowski has made important contributions to biomedical research and development as well as to immunological clinical practice as related to immune disorders, allergy, sinusitis, and asthma. He has published more than fifty scientific papers[1] as well as two books[2][3] including the handbook for human embryology employed by medical students in Poland for over a decade. His first scientific contribution was published at age 21 in the prestigious journal Nature.[4] He has since published highly cited[5] research on mechanisms for allergic disease,[6][7][8] desensitization treatments for anaphylactic shock,[9] viral causes of cancer,[10][11][12] culturing of human tumors in nude mice,[13][14] genetic engineering to produce human proteins of therapeutic value in domestic animals,[15] propagation of engineered genes via cloning,[16][17] and management of COVID-19 vaccination of patients with anaphylactic syndrome.[18]

He was founder and chairman of the board for Piengen Biomedical Corporation, which developed novel cloning technology and produced human proteins in the milk of transgenic domestic animals. Piengen represented the collaboration of a number of noted scientists, including Ryszard Słomski, Zdislaw Smorag, and Piotr Sicinski. Pienkowski has served on the boards of Pro2Serve Corporation and EcoSMART Technologies.[19]

Pienkowski established a clinical practice in 1984 to serve patients with allergies, asthma, and immunological disorders. His clinic has employed his research on immunoglobulin treatments for patients with immunological deficiencies. In one notable case, he pioneered use of plasma from a hyper-immunized honeybee keeper to protect a patient who was severely allergic to honeybee stings. His practice has also pioneered treatments for peanut allergies.[20]

Pienkowski was born in Poland and earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in immunology from the Medical University of Warsaw from 1963 to 1971, where he studied and worked under the direction of the distinguished Polish scientist Kazimerz Ostrowski.[21] He served as visiting scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Wistar Institute from 1972 to 1973. Working under the direction of Hilary Koprowski (inventor of the world's first live Polio vaccine), Pienkowski was one of Koprowski's "hand-picked staff of. . . extraordinary scientists. . . [who] had one or more talents other than science. They were creative. They were cultured."[22] At Wistar, Pienkowski collaborated with Koprowski on research into cancer-causing viruses. Upon returning to Poland, Pienkowski became an associate professor and chairman in the Division of Immunology at the Medical Center of Postgraduate Education in Warsaw.

In 1974, Pienkowski moved to the U.S. to become associate professor in the Department of Anatomy at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Lansing. Upon receiving nostrification of his medical degrees in the U.S., Pienkowski became a resident in internal medicine at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan in 1979 and furthered his education as a post-doctoral fellow in clinical immunology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland under the mentorship of Professor Phillip S. Norman.[19]

Cultural ambassador[edit]

Pienkowski has been engaged in propagating cultural, artistic, scientific, and business dialogue between the U.S. and Poland since the early 1990s. He authored a biographical memoir Iron or Steel: A Memoir on Living Dreams to share "the opportunities I've had, the choices I made, and the motivating factors and values that have driven me."[23]

Pienkowski was designated an Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland by the U.S. State Department in 2011. In this role he facilitates business relationships and economic cooperation between Poland and the U.S. and assists in cultural exchanges.[24]

He established the Marek Maria Pienkowski Foundation in 2006 "to foster the development of fine art as a means of human expression in today's world while widening the definition of art to all realms of the human experience."[25] The foundation's ongoing activities encompass organizing educational and cultural exchanges, including biannual exchanges for students and faculty of the School of Art at the University of Tennessee, the Poznan Academy of Fine Arts, and the Wroclaw Academy of Fine Arts; annual international workshops in Poland for young artists; and exhibitions of student work in both Poland and the U.S. It also funds and awards sponsored scholarships: the Stefan Pienkowski Scientific Award issued by the University of Warsaw for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Poland and the Marek Maria Pienkowski Award presented by the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw to an Outstanding First Year Student. The foundation has established galleries in Knoxville, Tennessee[26] and Chelm, Poland[27] that feature contemporary Polish art.

He founded PolandNow in 2013, a civic organization based in Knoxville, Tennessee to promote and strengthen Polish-American cooperation and relationships. PolandNow hosted its first public event in downtown Knoxville on May 3, 2012, in celebration of contemporary Polish culture and to commemorate Poland's Constitution Day.[28]

Pienkowski led establishment of Knoxville's Sister City relationship with Chelm, Poland through the Sister Cities International organization with Victor Ashe (Mayor of Knoxville from 1987 to 2003 and U.S. Ambassador to Poland from 2004 to 2009).[29]

Pienkowski supported Friendship Force International, an organization that strives to build "global goodwill through personal friendships," with a cultural exchange to Poland for members of the organization's Knoxville chapter.[19]

Pienkowski utilized his background in science and research to implement a collaborative project between the University of Tennessee's Department of Animal Science and the University of Life Sciences in Lublin to pioneer large-animal embryo transfer technology in Poland. This project resulted in the introduction of American Angus beef to that country. The cattle farm that grew out of this project generates high-quality beef, sufficient fertilizer to sustain the farm, and ethanol for fuel and cattle feed.[30]


Pienkowski's achievements as a medical researcher and clinician as well as cultural ambassador have received recognition. He has been named a Kosciuszko Foundation Eminent Scientist[31] and named a member of the Kosciuszko Foundation board of trustees.[32] He was honored by the Tennessee House of Representatives in a House Joint Resolution of Commendment.[33] He has been designated colonel, aide-de-camp, governor's staff in both Tennessee and Kentucky. He has also been recognized by U.S. political figures and groups. He was named Physician of the Year by the National Republican Congressional Committee Physicians Advisory Board, was awarded the Republican senatorial Medal of Freedom,[19] and recognized in the US House of Representatives Congressional Record.[34]

He was recognized by the Polish news and opinion magazine Przegląd in 2004 as one of the "100 Most Influential Polish Citizens Abroad."[35]

Pienkowski is a member of the American Medical Association, Tennessee Medical Association, American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and Knoxville Academy of Medicine.[19] He is a member of the board of trustees of the Kosciuszko Foundation.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Marek M. Pienkowski, M.D., Ph.D. Personal Publications." Pienkowski, M.D. Clinic. Web. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  2. ^ Ostrowski, K., T. Krassowski, and M.M. Pienkowski. Handbook of Human Embryology for Medical Students (Three editions, in Polish). Warsaw, 1970, 1974, 1977. Print.
  3. ^ Chayen, J., E.F. Denby, and M.M. Pienkowski. Biophysical Techniques as Applied to Cell Biology (in Polish). Warsaw, 1977 Edition. Print.
  4. ^ Darzynkiewicz, Z., V.K. Dokov, and M.M. Pienkowski. "Dry mass of lymphocytes during transformation after stimulation by phytohaemagglutinin." Nature 214 (1967): 1265. Print.
  5. ^ For example, several of Pienkowski's papers have been cited over 100 times in peer-reviewed journals and scholarly books, and "Virus particles in early mouse embryos" is still being cited 40 years later, according to Web of Science.
  6. ^ Warner, J., M.M. Pienkowski, M. Plaut, P. Norman, and L. Lichtenstein. "Identification of histamine releasing factor(s) in the late phase of cutaneous IgE-mediated reactions." Journal of Immunology 136, 7 (1986): 2583-2587. Print.
  7. ^ Pienkowski, M.M., P. Norman, and L. Lichtenstein. "Suppression of late-phase skin reactions by immunotherapy with ragweed extract." Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology 76 (1985): 729-34. Print.
  8. ^ Pienkowski, M.M., N.F. Adkinson, Jr., M. Plaut, P.S. Norman, and L.M. Lichtenstein. "Prostaglandin D2 and histamine during the immediate and late-phase components of allergic cutaneous responses." Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology 82 (1988): 95-100. Print.
  9. ^ Pienkowski, M.M., W. Kazimierczak, and N.W. Adkinson, Jr. "Basophil histamine-release remains unaffected by clinical desensitization to penicillin." Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology 82 (1988): 171-179. Print.
  10. ^ Biczysko, W., M.M. Pienkowski, D. Solter, and H. Koprowski. "Virus particles in early mouse embryos." Journal National Cancer Institute 51 (1973): 1041-1050. Print.
  11. ^ Lewandowski, L.J., F.S. Lief, M.A. Verine, M.M. Pienkowski, V. ter Meulen, and H. Koprowski. "Analysis of a viral agent isolated from multiple sclerosis (MS) brain tissue: Characterization as a parainfluenza virus type I." Journal Virology 13 (1974): 1037-1045. Print.
  12. ^ Biczysko, W., D. Solter, M.M. Pienkowski, and H. Koprowski. "Interactions of early mouse embryos with oncogenic viruses—Simian virus 40 and polyoma. I. Ultrastructural studies." Journal National Cancer Institute 51 (1973): 1945-1954. Print.
  13. ^ McManus, M.J., S.E. Patten, M.M. Pienkowski, T.J. Anderson, L.C. Mann, J.S. Schuster, L.L. Vollwiler, and C.W. Welsch. "Successful transplantation of human benign breast tumors in athymic nude-mouse and demonstration of enhanced DNA synthesis by human placental lactogen (HPL)." Cancer Research 39 (1978): 2343-2349. Print.
  14. ^ Associated Press. "Research scientists make cancer gains." The State Journal 29 January 1976, p3. Microfiche.
  15. ^ Szalata, M., D. Lipinski, R. Kalak, P. Tobola, J. Lehmann, K. Wielgus, J. Jura, Z. Smorag, M.M. Pienkowski, and R. Slomski. "Purification and characterization of the human growth hormone obtained in the milk of transgenic rabbits." Annals of Animal Science 4 (2004): 351-362. Print.
  16. ^ Skrzyszowska, M., R. Smorag, R. Slomski., L. Katska-Ksiazkiewicz, R. Kalak, E. Michalak, K. Wielgus, J. Lehmann, D. Lipinski, S.M. Plawski, J. Jura, B. Gajda, B. Rynska, and M.M. Pienkowski. "Generation of transgenic rabbits by the novel technique of chimeric somatic cell cloning." Biology of Reproduction 74 (2006): 1114-1120. Print.
  17. ^ Skrzyszowska, M., L. Kajska, B. Rynska, G. Kania, Z. Smorag, and M.M. Pienkowski. "In vitro developmental competence of domestic cat embryos after somatic cloning." Theriogenology 58 (2002): 1615-1621. Print.
  18. ^ M.M. Pienkowski and S. Pienkowski. "Evaluation of anaphylaxis risk by skin testing with coronavirus disease 2019 messenger RNA vaccines on patients with anaphylaxis." Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology 128 (2022): 101-103. Print.
  19. ^ a b c d e "Marek M. Pienkowski, M.D., Ph.D. Curriculum Vitae." Pienkowski, M.D. Clinic. Web. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  20. ^ Nelson, Kristi L. "Treatment could offer freedom from food allergies." Knoxville News-Sentinel 11 June 2015. Web. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Professor Kazimierz-Ostrowski Obituary" (in Polish). Wiara 9 January 2010. Web. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  22. ^ Vaugh, Roger. Listen to the Music: The Life of Hilary Koprowski. New York, 2000, p96.
  23. ^ Pienkowski, Marek Maria with Linda M. Best, Iron or Steel: A Memoir on Living Dreams. Bloomington, IN, 2018, p193.
  24. ^ "Poland's Consulates, Consulate Generals and Honorary Consulates in the U.S." Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington DC. Web. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  25. ^ Marek Maria Pienkowski Foundation. 2006. Web. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  26. ^ Pienkow Art Gallery. 2006. Web. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  27. ^ Barczynski, Jacek. "Marek Pieńkowski of the US opens magnificent Pieńków Gallery" (in Polish). Dziennik Wschodni 18 September 2011. Web. Retrieved 30 June 2015.,1000136747,marek-pienkowski-z-usa-otworzyl-luksusowa-galerie-pienkow.html
  28. ^ "Polish festival in downtown Knoxville tonight."Knoxville News-Sentinel 3 May 2013. Web. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  29. ^ "Victor Ashe served nation well in Poland." Knoxville News-Sentinel 19 August 2009. Web. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  30. ^ Grimes Alberston, Julie. "Beyond U.S. Borders." ANGUSJournal Jun/Jul (1997): 275-278. Print.
  31. ^ "Eminent Scientists of Polish Origin and Ancestry." The Kosciuszko Foundation. Web. Retrieved 30 June 2015. Archived 2015-09-19 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "The Board of Trustees." The Kosciuszko Foundation. Web. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  33. ^ State of Tennessee, 1994 Resolution of Commendment, Joint Resolution #509.
  34. ^ "In honor of Dr. Marek Pienkowski." Congressional Record volume 168, Number 13 (Thursday, January 20, 2022). Web. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  35. ^ "100 Most Influential Poles Abroad" (in Polish). Tygodnik Przeglad 10 May 2004. Web. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  36. ^ "Board of Trustees." The Kosciuszko Foundation. Web. Retrieved 24 September 2016.

External links[edit]

  • [1] Pienkowski, M.D. Clinic.
  • [2] Marek Maria Pienkowski Foundation.
  • [3] Iron or Steel: A Memoir on Living Dreams.