David J. Sencer CDC Museum

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Ever wonder how CDC scientists merge old-fashioned detective work with high-tech science to crack the cases of mystery diseases? Get the Story! Visit the David J. Sencer CDC Museum at CDC Headquarters. This unique museum features award-winning permanent and changing exhibitions that focus on a variety of public health topics, as well as the history of CDC. The museum is free and open to the public so we would like to see you soon.

Temporary Exhibitions
Changing Winds: Public Health and Indian Country
September 21, 2019 – May 1, 2020
native americans in home

Navajo family, Chinle, Arizona, 2019. Photograph by Kiliii Yuran

Changing Winds: Public Health and Indian Country is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives to public health. Aligning good health and wellness with the traditional ways of knowing is at the forefront of culture, language, and practices across American Indian and Alaska Native communities—both rural and urban.

This exhibition demonstrates how tribal nations are addressing modern day challenges for good health and wellness while using traditional knowledge and practices for public health. Its stories provide a glimpse into the diverse cultures and continuing challenges affecting tribal communities across the U.S.

Also on view is The Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science., organized by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. From restoring ecosystems to revitalizing cultural practices, Roots of Wisdom provides examples of how traditional knowledge and Western science together create complementary solutions to contemporary concerns.

CDC's High Containment Labs: 50 Years of Excellence
Courtesy National Archives, photo no. 165-WW-269B-032

In 1967, a new hemorrhagic fever was reported in lab workers in Europe – it would come to be called Marburg, and was eventually traced back to imported African green monkeys. To safely study Marburg virus, which still has no vaccine and no cure, CDC repurposed a mobile laboratory from the National Cancer Institute. Development began almost immediately, and in 1969, the first maximum security laboratory opened on Roybal Campus. Over the past 50 years, the design and construction of high containment laboratories (HCLs) at CDC have kept pace with advances in lab technology and research methodology. Staying on the cutting edge of scientific innovation has allowed the HCLs to play a vital role in investigating and responding to newly discovered infectious diseases.

While CDC reflects on the successes of the past 50 years in the HCLs, we also look ahead to what is on the horizon: in an increasingly mobile and connected world, the next outbreak could be just a plane ride away. Thanks to state-of-the-art research facilities like the HCLs – and the dedicated laboratory scientists who work in them – CDC remains vigilant, ready to respond.

Smithsonian Museum Day

SEPTEMBER 21, 2019
10:00AM – 4:00PM
No tickets or registration required. Admission and parking are free.

Museum Day is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Admission is always free at the CDC Museum, but Museum Day is the only Saturday of the year that we open our doors to the public. Tickets and advance registration are not required for entry.

Museum Info
  • Hours
    Monday: 9am-5pm
    Tuesday: 9am-5pm
    Wednesday: 9am-5pm
    Thursday: 9am-7pm
    Friday: 9am-5pm
    Closed weekends & federal holidays
  • Location 1600 Clifton Road NE
    Atlanta, GA 30329
  • Phone 404-639-0830
  • Admission & Parking: Free
    Government–issued photo ID required for adults over the age of 18
    Passport required for non-U.S. citizens
Global Health Chronicles

Nigeria. Credit: The Carter Center/E. Staub, The Global Health Chronicles

Global Health Chronicles was launched in collaboration with Emory University’s Libraries, Global Health Institute, and Rollins School of Public Health. The web site is a series of “Chronicles,” each dealing with a different subject.

Page last reviewed: September 12, 2019