headshot of marion webster
NHLBI Celebrates Women Scientists

Marion Webster, Ph.D.


Marion Webster, Ph.D., (1921 – 1985) was a pioneering biochemist at the NHLBI and was among the first wave of women scientists at the National Institutes of Health. She was the first to isolate the Vi antigen of typhoid and determine its molecular structure, paving the way for future advancements in research on typhoid, a bacterial infection that has caused deadly disease outbreaks throughout history, including one in New York in the early 1900s that killed hundreds. Today, typhoid is rare in the United States, thanks in part to the availability of vaccines, antibiotics, and improved sanitation practices.  

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Webster completed her undergraduate education at Florida State University and earned her Ph.D. at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 1958 she joined the NHLBI, where she published extensively on the kinin-kallikrein enzyme system, an important hormonal system in the body that plays a role in inflammation, blood pressure control, clotting, and pain.      

Known as a strong advocate for women in the sciences, Webster served as president of the Association for Women in Science (1976-1978). She also served as president of the Graduate Women in Science.  She was a member of several scientific organizations, including the American Chemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Clinical Chemists, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine.       

Learn more about Marion Webster, Ph.D.         

 NIH Intramural Research Program: Early Women Scientists of NIH, Part 1 

Association for Women in Science (AWIS): Marion Webster, PhD 

The Orlando Sentinel: Dr. Marion Webster-Bukovsky obituary