Dr. Terry Sharrer

Curator of Health Sciences, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History

Terry SharrerTerry Sharrer is the Curator of Health Sciences at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, where he has worked for thirty-seven years. He speaks and writes about a range of life science subjects.

In 1987, he co-organized an exhibition titled “The Search for Life: Genetic Technology in the 20th Century.” This show also was the inaugural exhibition for the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. He has done video documentaries on the Human Genome Project, the beginning of gene therapy, and the molecular biology of cancer.

He holds a PhD in history from the University of Maryland, has authored some three dozen publications—including A Kind of Fate, Agricultural Change in Virginia, 1861-1920 (about the biological consequences of the Civil War and the beginning of germ theory practices, Iowa State University Press, 2000)—and currently is writing a history of molecular medicine.

For outreach work, he has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (Bethesda, MD), board member of the Carilion Biomedical Institute (Roanoke, VA), board member, Immune Deficiency Foundation (Towson, MD), and board member, Inova Fairfax Hospital Cancer Advisory Committee (Fairfax, VA). Currently, his public service includes: board member of the Fund for Inherited Disease Research (Bryn Mawr, PA); and Science Advisor, for the Loudoun County, VA Department of Economic Development, the Clarke County VA Education Foundation, and the Arizona Science Alliance. Last summer, he moderated the Albert Einstein Centennial in Berlin, and earlier this month (April 2006), he was keynote speaker of the National Science Industry Awards in Washington.

With his wife Patty, and sons Alex, age 14, and Nicholas, age 18, he lives in Hamilton, Loudoun County, VA.