Dr. Jane Hinton

Dr. Jane Hinton was an African American vet who invented a special agar to test antibiotic susceptibility. Following in the footsteps of her prominent bacteriologist father, William Augustus Hinton who developed a test for syphilis, and her mother, a high school teacher, she graduated from high school at 16 and obtained her BS from Simmons College at 20. Before this she traveled all over Europe and studied with her sister and parents. Later she worked in her father’s lab at Harvard University in the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology. It was here that she co-developed the Mueller-Hinton agar, the standard method for testing antibiotic susceptibility in pathogens, including meningococcal meningitis and STIs like gonorrhea.

Due to the start of WWII, she served as a medical lab technician for the U.S. War Department few years. After the war, she enrolled in the Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her and Dr. Alfreda Webb (Tuskegee) became the only two African American women to graduate with a DVM (1949). She was also the fifth DVM at Penn. They were also the first African American members of the Women’s Veterinary Medicine Association. Upon graduation, she joined the Department of Agriculture in Massachusetts and researched outbreaks of disease amongst livestock. Dr. Hinton retired in 1960 and passed away in 2003.


  1. https://blog.eoscu.com/blog/jane-hinton
  2. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/jane-hinton-1919-2003/
  3. https://rmamp.colostate.edu/people-of-color-in-stem-jane-hinton/
  4. https://www.ontheshoulders1.com/the-giants/a-pioneer-in-sti-testing-dr-jane-hinton#/
  5. https://asm.org/articles/2021/february/a-better-future-for-black-scientists-lessons-past