You don’t need to be a scientist to enter, but you’ll feel like one when you leave!

Gear up with a lab coat, gloves, and goggles and travel through experiment stations that get you up close and personal with cellular biology (available in both English and Spanish)!

This hands-on exhibit is $3 for current members and an additional $5 per person for non-members with the purchase of general admission to The Health Museum. Your Cell Lab admission ticket permits access up to 3 of the 7 lab stations per visit.

Named after the respected and accomplished cardiovascular surgeon and medical pioneer, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, this interactive bilingual lab experience is designed to make biology-based science experiments accessible to the public and inspire future scientists and science-lab leaders in the medical field.

Lab Hours & Pricing

We look forward to cell-ebrating science with you all summer long!








The Health Museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Health Museum closes at 3:00 pm on Thanksgiving Eve, 3:00 pm on Christmas Eve and 3:00 pm on New Year's Eve
(*) Last ticket sold

Admission Prices


$3 per person


$5 per person

Because of the presence of chemicals, glassware, and bacteria all guests ages 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult. It is also required that all guests be ages 7 and above in order to participate in The DeBakey Cell Lab.

Lab Experiments

DNA Extraction

Isolate and spool DNA from raw wheat germ.
This experiment takes about 15-20 minutes.

Blood Typing

See how blood type is determined using synthetic blood.
This experiment takes about 15 minutes.

Cheek Cells

(Unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions)

Find, stain, and examine cheek cells from inside your own mouth.
This experiment takes about 15-20 minutes.

Checking Hematocrit

Use real blood to determine the percentage of red blood cells in two different samples.
This experiment takes about 15-20 minutes.

Looking at Blood Cells

Use staining techniques to view what blood looks like under a microscope.
This experiment takes about 15-20 minutes.

Testing Antimicrobial Agents

See which antimicrobial agents kill microbes.
This experiment takes about 20-25 minutes.

Enzymes in Saliva

(Unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions)

See how your saliva breaks down food.
This experiment takes about 15-20 minutess.

Mystery Microbes

Identify living bacteria cultures using chemical tests, stains, and a microscope.
This experiment takes about 30-45 minutes.

Giant Chromosomes

Look at giant chromosomes from fruit flies.
This experiment takes about 25-35 minutes.

Field Trips

Students suit up like a real scientist and get up close and personal with cellular biology.

Discovery Camps

Isolate DNA from wheat germ, test microbial agents, extract and view chromosomes from real fruit flies, and more!

Birthday Parties

Get private access and party like a CELLebrity in The Health Museum’s newest permanent exhibit!


Hands-on, scientific fun for your next group outing!

DeBakey Cell Lab Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, contact

Sidebar Boxes

Please excuse our dust- we will be changing our exhibits: SEPTEMBER 19-29.

  • Members FREE
  • Children under 3 FREE
  • Children (ages 3-12) $8
  • Adults $10
  • Seniors (65+) $8
  • Masks will continue to be required in the DeBakey Cell Lab

Please pay for parking at the Ticket Desk in The Health Museum during museum hours.
You must have a token to exit the parking lot.
Parking $8
Members $5

DeBakey Cell Lab

Masks are required in the DeBakey Cell Lab.

Tickets are available on Thursdays, between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm (last ticket sold at 6:00 pm). Please check back soon for updated dates and times.
If you have questions about your tickets, please contact

Not a member?

A membership at The Health Museum provides you access to a real body of knowledge that includes interactive and educational experiences for the whole family!


Supported by:

The DeBakey Medical Foundation
George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation
Stedman West Foundation


Members get your first visit FREE, and SMITHSONIAN FAMILY MAX members get an unlimited pass for one full year!

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