From Tinkerer To Titan

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 9 2011 @ 10:36am


by Chris Bodenner

Christina Luiggi recounts the incredible story of Joseph Kinyoun, the young doctor whose one-room lab gave birth to the National Institutes of Health:

In his first year on the job, he became the first person in the United States to isolate the gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae—providing his American colleagues with their first glimpse of the microorganism responsible for tens of thousands of deaths since it had first reached US shores in the 1830s. This and other successes were duly noted by Congress, which by 1902 had expanded the laboratory to include other divisions, such as chemistry and zoology.

(Hat tip: Chris Blattman; Photo via Alexis)