James A. Shannon buildingOFFICE OF NIH HISTORY and museum

The Office of NIH History and Museum at the National Institutes of Health advances the historical understanding of the biomedical research conducted at the National Institutes of Health by documenting, preserving, and interpreting records and artifacts. The office creates exhibits and other products, and helps scholars and researchers to navigate the rich history of the National Institutes of Health.



Bob Berger, Ph.D.

The Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum is sad to announce the death of one of its most important benefactors, Dr. Robert L. Berger. Besides inventing many research instruments, Berger lent his expertise to the NIH Stetten Museum staff, helping to identify instruments and scientists of importance.  Berger, a physicist, worked in the Laboratory of Technical Development at the NHLBI, becoming chief of the Section on Biophysical Instrumentation and serving as Invention Development Coordinator for NHLBI from 1988-1994.  His family has set up a fund in his memory at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) Inc., a non-profit foundation located at the National Institutes of Health, and will designate those funds to the Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum.  You may contact FAES at P.O. Box 62861, Baltimore, MD 21264-2861.


Happy 130th birthday, NIH!  All this month we’ll be celebrating by telling some stories about Dr. Joseph Kinyoun, who became the first (and only) member of the Hygienic Laboratory of the Marine Hospital Service in August 1887.  From his one-room laboratory at the Staten Island Marine Hospital, Kinyoun employed the new bacteriological methods he learned in Europe – and his trusty microscope – in the service of protecting Americans’ health, and he taught federal, state, and local public health officers how to do the same. 

His Hygienic Laboratory grew in responsibility and staff, becoming the National Institute of Health in 1930 and National Institutes of Health (plural) in 1948.  The over 20,000 employees of the current NIH salute you!'



Oral histories are added on a regular basis.

Robert Berger
Interview date: October 1, 2002 

Roy Hertz
Interview date: February 2, 1998

The Office of NIH History holds photograph collections cataloged and uncataloged. Many can be found in on our Flickr site and in Search Our Collections. To request images for use in publications or presentations contact the Office of NIH History. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.


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Office of History and Stetten Museum | Bldg 60 | Suite 230 | National Institutes of Health | Bethesda, MD 20814-1460
Phone: 301.496.6610 | Email: history@nih.gov

Last updated: 04 August 2017
First published: 2 February 2005
Permanence level:
Permanent: Dynamic Content