Leonid Reznikov

Russian scientist was forced to leave

Telephone calls to scientist Leonid Reznikov’s apartment in
St. Petersburg, Russia, during 1992 forced him out. He remembers
the caller’s voice clearly: “Leave the country. This country is
not for you. You hold a good position, which should be for
Russians, not Jews.”

Police couldn’t guarantee his safety. And when the caller
threatened to kill his daughter, Reznikov rode a train to the U.S.
Embassy in Moscow. He moved to Colorado five months later as a
refugee and settled in Denver. Now 38, he works as an assistant
professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
He’s trying to find new ways to diagnose cancer as part of an
elite international research team led by Dr. Charles Dinarello.
Reznikov also runs the local Russian newspaper Horizon, one of
four Russian newspapers circulating in Denver, along with helping
raise two children.

“I found lots of scientific opportunities on this team. Labs
like this, they are at the same level as the most advanced labs in
the United States,” Reznikov said Thursday at work. “I hope to
continue my work here.”