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Axelrod | Berliner | Bowman | Brodie | Shannon | Udenfriend
image of molecule Robert L. Bowman (1916-1995)

r. Robert L. Bowman invented the practical spectrophotofluorometer (SPF). Born in New York City in 1916, Bowman tinkered with crystal radio sets, cameras, spare parts, and chemicals as a youth. He received his M.D. degree from the New York University College of Medicine in 1942 and went on to serve in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II. After the war he returned to New York to work at Goldwater Memorial Hospital.

When James Shannon of Goldwater was named the head of the new National Heart Institute (NHI), Bowman-newly discharged from the Army-joined him and moved on to the Laboratory of Technical Development at the National Heart Institute. There he worked with Drs. Brodie, Berliner, Udenfriend, and others to develop the SPF.

Link to a selected scans from Dr. Bowman's notebook

Click on notebook to flip through the pages of Dr. Bowman's laboratory notebook


During his career at NHI, Dr. Bowman worked with other scientists to develop instruments that would help them do their research. Trained as a doctor and possessing a special knack for instrument manufacture, Dr. Bowman had an unusual mixture of talents and was honored with many awards including the 1967 American Chemical Society award in chemical instrumentation.


Dr. Bowman receiving award

Dr. Bowman receiving the 1967 American Chemical Society award in chemical instrumentation


Article about award

Bowman won the American Chemical Society Award in 1967

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