AIHP Staff

AIHP Historical Director Lucas Richert

Executive Director
Lucas Richert first became AIHP’s Executive Director in 2023. He is responsible for executing the Institute’s strategic plans, managing the Institute’s financial affairs, programs, operations, and policies, and supervising the Institute’s staff. Previously, Lucas served as the Historical Director and he was responsible for the Institute’s historical programs and programming. He also serves as a Co-Editor-in-Chief of History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals.

Lucas is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy and the George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy. Lucas was awarded graduate degrees from the University of Edinburgh and University of London after beginning his academic studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to joining UW-Madison, he was a Lecturer and then a Chancellor’s Fellow in the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare.

Read more at his official faculty page at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School Pharmacy web site.

Twitter: @LucRichert
Phone: 608-890-3676

AIHP Executive Director Dennis Birke

Executive Director (Retired)
Dennis Birke became AIHP’s Executive Director in January 2019 and he served until mid-2023. Dennis joined AIHP in January 2018 as Administrative Director. Prior to joining AIHP, Dennis was an attorney at one of Madison’s largest law firms, where his practice included the representation of nonprofit organizations. Dennis also served as the President of the Olbrich Botanical Society, which provides funding and operational support for Olbrich Gardens, a nationally-renowned public garden owned by the City of Madison. He also served as the President of the First Unitarian Society of Madison, one of the largest Unitarian-Universalist congregations in the country and the owner of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Meeting House, a National Historic Landmark. Dennis’ work with nonprofit organizations includes extensive experience with fundraising, membership development, and financial management.

Dennis earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri (Columbia) and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Washington University School of Law.

Phone: 608-262-0251

AIHP Curator Beth Fisher

Beth D. Fisher joined the AIHP in 1995. Prior to relocating to Madison, Beth was a project coordinator in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Arts and Humanities at the Smithsonian Institution. Beth began her museum career at the Detroit Institute of Arts and then the Kohl Children’s Museum in Wilmette, IL.

Beth moved to Washington, DC to attend graduate school, and she interned at the National Museum of American History registrar’s office. Beth earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Museum Studies at George Washington University.

Beth has served on the boards of the Wisconsin Federation of Museums and the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum. Beth authored A Guide to Pharmacy Museums and Historical Collections in the United States and Canada (now online). She also curates and maintains AIHP artifact and ephemera collections as well as historical exhibits in the UW School of Pharmacy.

Phone: 608-262-5378

Greg Higby

Fischelis Scholar
Greg Higby retired as AIHP’s Executive Director at the end of 2018 and assumed his new position as Fischelis Scholar. In this new part-time role, Greg curates the Institute’s collection of reference materials, books, and artifacts. He also continues to teach the pharmacy history course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy.

Greg served as AIHP’s Executive Director from 1988 through 2018, after serving as Acting Director (1986-88), Associate Director (1985-86), Assistant Director (1984-85), and Assistant to the Director (1981-84). He received his BSc in Pharmacy from the University of Michigan and PhD in Pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (under Glenn Sonnedecker). Greg served as the Editor of Pharmacy in History throughout his tenure as Executive Director.

Greg’s publications include the books, In Service to American Pharmacy: The Professional Life of William Procter, Jr. (1992) and The Spirit of Voluntarism: The United States Pharmacopeia 1820-1995 (co-authored with Lee Anderson). He has co-edited about another dozen books for the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy including Pill PeddlersAmerican Pharmacy: A Collection of Historical Essays, and Drugstore Memories.

Greg’s honors include the Edward Kremers Award, the Schelenz Medal, and the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Award. He was elected to the honorific International Academy of the History of Pharmacy in 1991. He was elected Honorary President of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) for 2021–2022.

Higby is a registered pharmacist in the state of Michigan. His hobbies include music (playing trombone and recorder), recreational biking, and watching English Premier League football.

Phone: 608-262-5841

Digitization Collections Assistant

Kristen Huset serves as a collections specialist. She focuses on digital project(s) aimed at the preservation and accessibility of a bound volumes and artifacts/objects collection by digitizing material and identifying, creating and formatting metadata. She prepares digital assets to fulfill internal and public requests and works closely with the larger collections team. Kristen also supports AIHP organizational partnerships by managing digital communication, web site content, and navigation.

Kristen has a BA in Art History and an MLIS degree from UW-Madison. She worked in the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy for seven years and has been part of the heritage for three years, serving at museums in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Operations Director
Richard Del Rio serves as the chief operating officer of the Institute. Richard is responsible for managing and overseeing the day-to-day affairs of the Institute in accordance with the policies, directives, and decision of the Board of Directors and the Executive Director. Besides serving as the Institute’s primary administrator, the OD will have key responsibilities in the development of historical publishing, archives and library initiatives, and outward-facing programming for varied audiences. 

Richard, who holds a PhD in History from the University of Chicago, also serves as a Lecturer in the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy where he teaches the history of medicine, pharmacy, and pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining the AIHP, Richard was a postdoctoral fellow at the Florida State University and the Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. 

Archives Assistant
Elizabeth Preboski joined AIHP in the Fall of 2021 as an Archives Assistant. In her role, Elizabeth supports AIHP’s curator and archivist to organize and inventory archival and manuscript materials, digitize collections, create exhibits and displays, and provide assistance at AIHP’s public events. Prior to joining AIHP, Elizabeth worked at Lakeside Pharmacy in Antigo, WI. Elizabeth is also operating as a Peer Advisor for the University of Wisconsin Madison Cross College Advising Service, where she helps incoming university students plan for their future semesters academically.

Elizabeth moved to Madison, WI to attend UW Madison in the Fall of 2021, and is majoring in History with a minor in Educational Policy. Outside the classroom, she also enjoys hiking, playing pickleball, and traveling to state and national parks.


Advancing knowledge and understanding of the history of pharmacy and medicines.

AIHP Thanks National Association Sponsors

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AIHP Wants to Document Your COVID-19 Stories and Experiences

AIHP COVID-19 ProjectThe American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is documenting and preserving pharmacy stories and experiences during the COVID-19 global pandemic for the benefit of future historians and scholars. We seek to record the effects of this public health emergency on all types of pharmacy experiences. We invite you to share your pharmacy stories, photos, videos, artifacts, and other documentation of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

You can participate in the AIHP COVID-19 Pandemic Pharmacy Historical Documentation Project either (1) by immediately sharing your thoughts/experiences and/or submitting digital materials or (2) by signifying your to intention to submit materials in the future. Please comply with all applicable local or state stay-at-home orders while self-documenting.

Please click the link below to learn more about participating in the AIHP COVID-19 Pandemic Pharmacy Historical Documentation Project.

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Join AIHP and Subscribe to History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals

Access the Pharmacy in History JSTOR Archive
All past issues of Pharmacy in History have been digitized and are text-searchable at JSTOR.

Note: Academic libraries seeking subscriptions to History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals should directly contact the University of Wisconsin Press.

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Calendar of Events

Upcoming events of interest to historians of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, medicines, science, and related fields. (Event information current when posted. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, please double-check the status of all events):

July 22-26, 2023: Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Aurora, CO.
August 30-September 2, 2023: Biennial Meeting of the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, Oslo, Norway.
November 11-14, 2023: Annual Meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Dallas, TX.
December 3-7, 2023: Midyear Clinical Meeting of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Anaheim, CA.
January 4-7, 2024: Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, San Francisco, CA.
September 4-7, 2024: 46th International Congress for the History of Pharmacy, Belgrade Serbia.

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