NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Did You Recognize Them All?

Women at NIH Who Made History

In the Mar. 15 issue, the Record published an image featuring eight history-making NIH women. How many were you able to identify? 

Collage of images of eight women. Some are grayscale and some are in color; some are headshots and some show the women in scientific occupations.

Shown (clockwise from top l): Dr. Marilyn Gaston, at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, led research team that found it crucial to screen (and subsequently treat) newborns at birth for sickle cell disease; Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, in 2023 became the first surgeon to be appointed NIH director and, in 2022, the first woman to lead the National Cancer Institute (NCI); Dr. Bernadine Healy, first woman to be appointed director of the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, first woman to be named director of an NIH institute—the National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Dr. Margaret Pittman, became in 1957 the first woman to hold the position of lab chief at NIH—Laboratory of Bacterial Products, Division of Biologics and Standards; at NCI, Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal was the first scientist to clone human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and determine the function of its genes; former deputy director at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Dr. Antonia Novello became the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as U.S. surgeon general; and at the then-National Heart Institute, Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald, in the early 1960s, one of few women in the United States to perform open heart surgery and the first to be certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. 

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

Assistant Editor: Eric Bock (link sends e-mail)

Staff Writer: Amber Snyder (link sends e-mail)