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Marian Fischman, 62; Psychologist Paid Drug Users in Her Research

November 15, 2001

Marian Fischman, 62, a psychologist who studied drug addiction in people she paid to take heroin and cocaine, died of colon cancer Oct. 23 in New York.

Born in Queens, N.Y., she earned her successive psychology degrees at Barnard College, Columbia University and the University of Chicago. Her doctoral thesis examined the effects of methamphetamine on rhesus monkeys.

Later moving her research to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, she focused on human subjects, studying how cocaine users become increasingly tolerant to larger doses.

The addicts she recruited for her experiments were given drugs, food, hospital rooms with sound and video equipment, and pay. She also made an open offer to help any addict get treatment, but none of her subjects accepted.

With her husband, Dr. Herbert Kleber, Fischman co-directed Columbia University's substance abuse program from its inception in 1992. In addition to studying addiction, she tested drugs designed to combat the effects of cocaine and heroin.

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