Peter M. Steinert, 57, a Bethesda resident and skin biologist who had worked for the National Institutes of Health since coming to the Washington area in 1973, was pronounced dead April 7 at a hospital in Palm Springs, Calif.

Dr. Steinert, who was in California to attend conferences, and another man were found at the bottom of a swimming pool at a Palm Springs resort club.

The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs quoted deputy coroner Warren Horton, who told the paper that the deaths were not considered suspicious and that autopsies and other tests were pending.

Since 1990, Dr. Steinert had been skin biology laboratory director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

He was the author of more than 200 technical articles dealing with such research interests as structural biology, molecular and cellular biology and muscular, skeletal and skin sciences.

Dr. Steinert served on the editorial boards of such publications as the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Cell Death and Differentiation and Experimental and Molecular Medicine.

He was a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Society for Cell Biology.

He was a supporter of the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types and did research for the organization.

Dr. Steinert, a native of Australia, was a 1966 graduate of the University of Adelaide, where he also received a doctorate in biochemistry. He came to the United States in 1972 and worked for Boston University's medical school.

He was a research associate with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to the Washington area.

Before becoming lab director, he worked in the dermatology branch of the National Cancer Institute.

Survivors include his companion, Mario Anzano of Bethesda; and two brothers.