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Rolla Eugene Dyer, M.D.
Director, National Institute of Health, February 1, 1942 - September 30, 1950
Dr. Rolla E. Dyer's major research contributions were in the field of infectious diseases; in particular, endemic typhus. He demonstrated how endemic typhus is spread and helped develop a vaccine to protect against the disease.
Dr. Dyer received his M.D. from the University of Texas and joined PHS in 1916.
His first assignment involved fieldwork on bubonic plague in New Orleans. Five years later he joined the staff of the Hygienic Laboratory, became chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in 1936, and director of NIH in 1942.
As director, Dr. Dyer organized the Division of Research Grants, assisted in planning the Clinical Center, and helped establish three new institutes: the National Heart Institute, the National Institute of Dental Research, and the National Institute of Mental Health.
After retiring from active duty on September 30, 1950, Dr. Dyer served as a member of the scientific board of directors of the international health division of the Rockefeller Foundation.
This page last reviewed on August 6, 2015