Joseph J. Kinyoun, MD (1860-1919): Historical/Archival Research Project

The Office of History and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are looking for an early career historian to work on the recently discovered papers of Joseph J. Kinyoun.

Kinyoun was a key figure in the history of late 19th and early 20th century American life sciences. From his base in the Marine Hospital Service (MHS), in 1887 Kinyoun, then a young MHS physician trained in the new bacteriological methods, set up a one-room laboratory in the Marine Hospital at Stapleton, Staten Island, New York, commonly regarded as the forerunner of the NIH and NIAID. Kinyoun called this facility a “laboratory of hygiene” in imitation of German facilities, and to indicate that the laboratory’s purpose was to serve

the public’s health. Within a few months, Kinyoun had identified the cholera bacillus in suspicious cases and used his Zeiss microscope to demonstrate it to his colleagues as confirmation of their clinical diagnoses. “As the symptoms . . . were by no means well defined,” he wrote, “the examinations were confirmatory evidence of the value of bacteria cultivation as a means of positive diagnosis.” Kinyoun went on to play major roles in other epidemics, notably of bubonic plague in San Francisco. He helped to establish scientific infectious disease control and microbiology in the U.S.

The goal of the project is two-fold: 1) to assemble in a systematic manner the major repository for primary sources related to Kinyoun and his work; 2) to develop Web-based exhibits on Kinyoun, his career, and his life and times. The historian would be supervised by Robert Martensen, MD, PhD and David Cantor, PhD, respectively Director and Deputy Director of the Office of NIH History & Museum. The incumbent would also work closely with History Office Archivist Barbara Harkins and Hank Grasso, who is responsible for Museum

interpretive materials. At NIAID, the incumbent would work with David M. Morens, MD (OD/NIAID).

The incumbent will be expected to present his/her findings in public presentations (including the 125th anniversary of NIAID and NIH in 2012) and to publish his/her findings in appropriate venues, such as the American Journal of Public Health. She/he would participate in the active seminar program of the History Office:

The appointment would be for two years, subject to review after the first 12 months. Support would be based on the IRTA scale for post-doctoral appointments and be provided by NIAID. The successful applicant should have their PhD or equivalent by the time he/she takes up the appointment.



Send the following materials via email to David Cantor, PhD – [email protected].

1. Your full name and contact information

2. A statement setting out your qualifications for undertaking this project, and how you see an historical/archival project on Kinyoun advancing historical scholarship. The statement should be no more than 2 pages in length (single spaced).

3. Your curriculum vitae

4. Names, addresses, and affiliations of two people who will provide reference letters

Send the following materials via regular mail to David Cantor, PhD:

5. Graduate transcripts.

6. Letters of reference NOTE: Please inform the two references who will write in support of your application that they may submit their letters initially via email to David Cantor, but that these letters must be received before the deadline, and that hard copies on institutional letterhead stationery must follow for your application to be considered.

Please send documents to the address listed below:

David Cantor, PhD.,

Kinyoun Project

Office of History,

Building 45, Room 3AN38 | MSC 6330

National Institutes of Health

Bethesda, MD 20892-6330