Dr. Nicholas Michael Ponzio

November 12, 1944 ~ March 6, 2021 (age 76)


Dr. Nicholas Michael Ponzio, 76

Westfield, NJ resident Nicholas Ponzio gently passed March 6, 2021.

He was born November 12, 1944 in Summit, NJ to Michael and Ann Ponzio.

After graduating from Summit Highschool, Nicholas furthered his educational journey by studying at Seton Hall University where he earned his B.A. and M.S. Fully immersed in scientific exploration, Nicholas continued his academic enrichment by achieving his Ph.D. from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, while performing postdoctoral studies at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and New York University Medical Center. After some time as a faculty member at Northwestern University Medical School, Dr. Ponzio return to his home state of New Jersey in 1981, joining the faculty at New Jersey Medical School as a model educator and scientist.

In addition to his numerous and significant contributions to the educational programs of these universities in their medical, dental, and graduate school programs, Dr. Ponzio is described as a, ‘scientific trail-blazer,’ for dedicating a major part of his research career investigating B-cell lymphomas. He also applied his strong background in cellular immunology to show the possible origin of autism in the fetus.

Dr. Ponzio was the model of academic collaboration in teaching, research and service. He was adamant that scientists must communicate their research findings with the public, devoting recent years, championing scientific communication among trainees through the first scientific communication course at Rutgers. Dr. Ponzio’s stellar method in teaching is underscored by induction as a Master Educator. Dr. Ponzio can identify future need in technology, developing a course in molecules to medicine which provides students the knowledge of drug development. Dr. Ponzio was a superb mentor, training the next generation of scientists for academia and the pharmaceutical companies. More recently, Dr. Ponzio acted on diversifying clinician scientists through a grant award from the National Institute of Health. This will ensure the training of 50 underrepresented minority as clinician scientists. If this was not sufficient enough, Dr. Ponzio just led a team to submit a Rutgers-wide training grant to support future scientists.       

Outside of his professional brilliance, Dr. Ponzio cared deeply for his family and friends (who he also considered family) by always devoting his time to their interests. His love of travel took he and his wife, Patricia, around the globe with several stops at their favorite spots in Italy.

At home he was a rock. Dependable, strong and the cornerstone of a loving family who cherish time spent with him and recognize his impact on anyone who was fortunate to have crossed his path.

Nicholas Ponzio is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Patricia Duffy Ponzio, daughter Sarah (John), son Josh (Kerri) and grandchildren, Brooks (7), Amelia (5), Tatum (5) and Maeve (1) and sister Diane Ponzio.

Memorial Service – 3/15/21 at 10:45AM – St. Teresa of Avila Parish, Summit, NJ

Livestream link:

In lieu of flowers, the family of Dr. Nicholas Ponzio asks that donations be made here. All monies collected will be donated in his name to Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and be put towards furthering the research and education to which he dedicated his life.


Mass of Christian Burial
March 15, 2021

10:45 AM
St. Teresa of Avila RC Church
306 Morris Ave.
Summit, NJ 07901

© 2021 Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy