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Robert Q. Marston, M.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health, September 1, 1968 -January 21, 1973
Dr. Robert Quarles Marston became director of NIH on September 1, 1968, after serving for 5 months as administrator of the Health Services and Mental Health Administration.
He received his B.S. degree in 1943 from the Virginia Military Institute, and his M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia in 1947. As a Rhodes scholar, he worked for the next 2 years with Nobel prizewinner Howard Florey at Oxford University, Oxford, England, earning a B.Sc. from that institution in 1949.
After an internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a year's residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., he was stationed at NIH from 1951 to 1953 as a member of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, conducting research on the role of infection after whole body irradiation. He completed his residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond the following year.
While a Markle fellow, he served as assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College of Virginia from 1954 to 1957, and as assistant professor of bacteriology and immunology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for 1 year. He returned to the Medical College of Virginia in 1959 as associate professor of medicine and assistant dean in charge of student affairs.
In 1961, Dr. Marston became director of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and dean of the School of Medicine in Jackson, Miss., and was appointed vice chancellor there in 1965.
He became an associate director of NIH and director of the newly created Division of Regional Medical Programs on February 1, 1966.
On April 1, 1968, Dr. Marston was named administrator of the Health Services and Mental Health Administration, under a departmental reorganization.
He became acting director of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke on January 21, 1973. He left the Federal service in April 1973 to become a scholar-in-residence at the University of Virginia. He also was named the first distinguished fellow of the Institute of Medicine, NAS.
On January 11, 1974, Dr. Marston was named president of the University of Florida at Gainesville, a position he held until 1984, after which he sat on the governing board of Virginia Military Institute while continuing his work with graduate students at the University. He retired in the late 1980's.
This page last reviewed on August 6, 2015