Research ProjectInterconnected Health Initiative

  • Dr. Wolz at Front Royal

    Dr. Carly Muletz Wolz at Front Royal collecting salamanders to test for fungal disease.

  • Intern looking for parasitized shrimp

    Coastal Disease Ecology Laboratory intern Annette Curry using a dip net to catch parasitized shrimp from Muddy Creek. Photo Credit: K Lohan

  • Smithsonian led training in Uganda

    Dr. Neel Aziz of the National Zoological Park Pathology Department presenting to veterinarians in Uganda. 

  • Collecting ballast water from cargo ship

    Drs. Jenny Carney and Katrina Lohan collecting water from a ballast tank on a cargo ship to test for the presence of microscopic parasites. Photo Credit: K. Holzer

Affiliated Labs

Project Goal

To study and protect the health of wildlife and humans by illuminating the interconnectedness of life using a transdisciplinary approach of science, culture, and education that translates to real-world impact


The Smithsonian Interconnected Health Initiative advances transdisciplinary research to improve human and wildlife health through catalyzing research and action globally. Leveraging Smithsonian expertise, resources, facilities, and partnerships around the world, we aim to promote healthy people, wildlife, and environments. Through our museums and digital assets, we develop and disseminate educational materials and content so that the results of our research can be transformed into global actions.
Where and How do we do this?picture1.jpg
  • Smithsonian research occurs across 140 countries and international projects (e.g., Global Health Program, Marine Global Earth Observatories, Forest Global Earth Observatories).
  • Smithsonian health-related research and collections span an incredible range: 1) biological samples collection and research at NMNH, NZP-SCBI, and SERC; 2) living collections at NZP-SCBI and Smithsonian Gardens; 3) historical and cultural artifacts at NMNH, NMAH, and NMAI.
  • Smithsonian researchers use the most advanced technologies including cutting-edge molecular tools, microscopy, modeling, and scanning equipment.

Why is the Smithsonian unique?

  1. The depth and breadth of health and disease-related programs across the Smithsonian in science, history, and culture.
  2. We are a leader in training and education programs in health and disease.
  3. Our excellence in exhibit and outreach programs.
Dr. Brian Coyle (Conservation Commons)
Dr. Victoria Hall (Wildlife Health Services, NZP)
Advisory Committee:
Smithsonian Units Included:
National Museum of Natural History (NMNH): Departments of Anthropology, Invertebrate Zoology, Botany, Entomology, Vertebrate Zoology, and SMS Fort Pierce
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC): Coastal Disease Ecology, Fisheries Conservation, Marine Invasions Research, Microbial Ecology, Molecular Ecology, Plant Ecology, and Nutrient Laboratories
National Museum of American History (NMAH): Divisions of Medicine and Science, Work and Industry
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
National Zoological Park (NZP) and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI): Center for Conservation Genomics, Global Health Program, Wildlife Health Services, Conservation Ecology Center, Center for Conservation and Sustainability, Center for Species Survival, and the Migratory Bird Center
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI): Plant Ecology, Marine Parasitology, and Terrestrial Vector-borne diseases
National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)