Public Health Research Institute

The Public Health Research Institute of the City of New York[1][2] (PHRI) was founded in 1942[3] by New York City's mayor, Fiorello La Guardia, who appointed David M. Heyman to lead it as an independent not-for-profit research organization. In the late 1980s it was referred to as Public Health Research Institute - New York and, in 2002, they moved to New Jersey. "PHRI became part of the New Jersey Medical School[4] in 2006 and joined Rutgers University in 2013."[5]

Their mission is still, as stated in the institute's first annual report, to serve "pressing demands of a large population" as "a vast manufacturing and dignostic enterprise."[6] Dr. Ralph Muckenfuss, director of the Bureau of Laboratories of the Department of Health, was designated as director of the Institute during the war[7] period.

Since 2013 it has been located at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey.[8]


New York CityEdit

The 1942-founded PHRI was initially housed in the New York City Department of Health's Laboratories;[1][2] the latter preceded the turn of the nineteenth century.[9]

The mission of the Institute was to conduct research in areas related to the public health problems of New York City. The Institute had three divisions—Infectious Disease, Applied Immunology, and Nutrition and Physiology (which later became the Division of Biochemistry). The institute was originally housed in simple quarters at 16th Street and the East River. As it grew in size the Institute eventually moved to a new building at 26th Street and First Avenue, across the street from the original Carnegie Laboratory of New York University. The Institute maintained close connections with NYU with most of the staff holding faculty appointments at the university.

PHRI was unique in being the only basic medical research organization in the nation that received substantial municipal support. Originally the City contributed $100,000 per year. Over time this increased to $350,000 per year with New York State contributing the same amount. This arrangement continued until the financial crisis of 1977 forced both the city and the state to end their funding for the institute. The Institute survived this loss of funding and continued to operate with funding from the National Institutes of Health and other research funders.[6]

Moving to New JerseyEdit

The transition after 60 years in New York City to the New Jersey-based Public Health Research Institute at the International Center for Public Health was initiated in 2002, when PHRI became associated with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and moved to the International Center for Public Health (IPCH) in University Heights in Newark, New Jersey, a building which it shared with the UMDNJ Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and the National Tuberculosis Center.[10] PHRI operated independently until 2006 when it merged with UMDNJ and was established as a research center of the University and New Jersey Medical School. PHRI researchers now hold faculty positions in the departments of medicine, microbiology, biochemistry and molecular genetics of New Jersey Medical School.[11] In 2013, UMDNJ and Rutgers merged to form Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Howard A. Rusk, M. D. (May 16, 1948). "Health Research Institute Sets Pattern for Future; Studies Financed by City and Supported by Officials to Protect the Public". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b "Dr. Paul Margolin, 65, Genetics Researcher". The New York Times. March 7, 1989. joined the Public Health Research Institute of the City of New York in 1967 as chairman of its genetics department.
  3. ^ "For Health Research". The New York Times. April 21, 1952. tenth anniversary of the Public Health Research Institute of the City of New York
  4. ^ part of Rutgers University
  5. ^ "Welcome to PHRI". Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Heyman, D. M. (1942). "Annual Report of the Public Health Research Institute of the City of New York, Inc.: July 1, 1941 - June 30, 1942". Public Health Research Institute. Archived from the original on January 30, 2011. Retrieved May 13, 2021. PHRI's First Annual Report 1941-1942CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ World War II
  8. ^
  9. ^ Howard A. Rusk, M. D. (July 3, 1948). "Another Milestone Reached In City's Medical Activities; Public Health Research Institute Contract Extended, With New Fund Grants". The New York Times.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Mindich, Leonard. "A Subjective History of the Public Health Research Institute". The Public Health Research Institute Center. New Jersey Medical School. Archived from the original on January 30, 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)

External linksEdit