Office of NIH History Skip Navigation
Page Banner: Dr. Joseph Goldberger & the War on Pellagra
Next Page (1 of 8) Dr. Joseph Goldberger & the War on Pellagra  
  Dr. Joseph Goldberger &
the War on Pellagra

Pellagra no longer stalks the nation as it once did. But during the early part of the 20th-century, pellagra, a disease that results from a diet deficient in niacin killed, many poor Southerners. Dr. Joseph Goldberger, a physician in the U.S. government's Hygienic Laboratory, the predecessor of the National Institutes of Health, discovered the cause of pellagra and stepped on a number of medical toes when his research experiments showed that diet and not germs (the currently held medical theory) caused the disease. He also stepped on Southern pride when he  linked the poverty of Southern sharcroppers, tenant farmres, and mill workers to the deficient diet that caused pellagra.

Back To Top | Photography Credits

  Dr. Joseph Goldberger
Dr. Joseph Goldberger
Next Page (1 of 8) Back to Exhibits | Office of NIH History | NIH | DHHS

508 UsableNet Approval Icon with link to