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National Institutes of Health – United States

National Institutes of Health: Research & Training

NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. NIH leadership plays an active role in shaping the agency’s activities and outlook.

NIH Offices

NIH Office of the Director (OD)

The Office of the Director is the central office at NIH for its 27 Institutes and Centers. The OD is responsible for setting policy for NIH and for planning,  managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components. OD’s program offices include the Office of AIDS Research and the Office  of Research on Women’s Health, among others.

NIH Institutes

National Cancer Institute (NCI) — Est. 1937

NCI leads a national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to   cancer. Through basic and clinical biomedical research and training, NCI   conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can   prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions,  and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

National Eye Institute (NEI) — Est. 1968

The National Eye Institute’s mission is to conduct and support research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, mechanisms of visual function, preservation of sight, and the special health problems and requirements of the blind.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) — Est. 1948

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides global leadership for a research, training, and education program to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. The NHLBI stimulates basic discoveries about the causes of disease, enables the translation of basic discoveries into clinical practice, fosters training and mentoring of emerging scientists and physicians, and communicates research advances to the public.

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) — Est. 1989

NHGRI is devoted to advancing health through genome research. The Institute   led NIH’s contribution to the Human Genome Project, which was successfully completed in 2003 ahead of schedule and under budget. Building on the foundation  laid by the sequencing of the human genome, NHGRI’s work now encompasses  a broad range of research aimed at expanding understanding of human biology  and improving human health. In addition, a critical part of NHGRI’s mission continues to be the study of the ethical, legal and social implications  of genome research.

National Institute on Aging (NIA) — Est. 1974

NIA leads a national program of research on the biomedical, social, and behavioral aspects of the aging process; the prevention of age-related diseases and disabilities; and the promotion of a better quality of life  for all older Americans.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) — Est. 1970

NIAAA conducts research focused on improving the treatment and prevention  of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems to reduce the enormous health,  social, and economic consequences of this disease.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — Est. 1948

NIAID research strives to understand, treat, and ultimately prevent the   myriad infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases that threaten millions of human lives.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) — Est. 1986

NIAMS supports research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis  and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical  scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) — Est. 2000

NIBIB improves health by promoting fundamental discoveries, design and development, and translation and assessment of technological capabilities in biomedical imaging and bioengineering, enabled by relevant areas of  information science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials science, and computer sciences.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) — Est. 1962

NICHD research on fertility, pregnancy, growth, development, and medical rehabilitation strives to ensure that every child is born healthy and wanted  and grows up free from disease and disability.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) — Est. 1988

NIDCD conducts and supports biomedical research and research training on  normal mechanisms as well as diseases and disorders of hearing, balance,  smell, taste, voice, speech, and language that affect 46 million Americans.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) — Est. 1948

NIDCR provides leadership for a national research program designed to understand,  treat, and ultimately prevent the infectious and inherited craniofacial-oral-dental   diseases and disorders that compromise millions of human lives.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) — Est. 1950

The  mission of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is to conduct and support medical research and research training and to   disseminate science-based information on diabetes and other endocrine and   metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutritional disorders, and obesity; and   kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases, to improve people’s health and quality of life.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Est. 1974

NIDA leads the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction through support and conduct of research across a broad range of disciplines and rapid and effective dissemination of research results to improve prevention and treatment and to inform policy as it relates to drug abuse and addiction.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) — Est. 1969

NIEHS reduces the burden of human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes by, defining how environmental exposures, genetic susceptibility, and age interact to affect an individual’s health.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) — Est. 1962

NIGMS supports basic biomedical research that is not targeted to specific  diseases. NIGMS funds studies on genes, proteins, and cells, as well as on fundamental processes like communication within and between cells, how  our bodies use energy, and how we respond to medicines. The results of  this research increase our understanding of life and lay the foundation  for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. NIGMS also  supports research training programs that produce the next generation of  biomedical scientists, and it has special programs to encourage underrepresented  minorities to pursue biomedical research careers.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) — Est. 1949

NIMH provides national leadership dedicated to understanding, treating, and preventing mental illnesses through basic research on the   brain and behavior, and through clinical, epidemiological, and services research.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) — Est. in 1993

The mission of NIMHD is to promote minority health and to lead, coordinate,   support, and assess the NIH effort to reduce and ultimately  eliminate health disparities. In this effort NIMHD will conduct and support basic, clinical, social, and behavioral research, promote research infrastructure  and training, foster emerging programs, disseminate information, and reach  out to minority and other health disparity communities.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) — Est. 1950

The mission of the NINDS is to reduce the burden of neurological   disease—a burden borne by every age group, every segment of society, and people all over the world. To accomplish this goal the NINDS supports and conducts basic, translational, and clinical research on the normal and diseased nervous system. The Institute also fosters the training of investigators in the basic and clinical neurosciences, and seeks better understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of neurological disorders.

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) — Est. 1986

NINR supports clinical and basic research to establish a scientific  basis for the care of individuals across the life span—from the management of patients during illness and recovery to the reduction of risks for   disease and disability; the promotion of healthy lifestyles; the promotion   of quality of life in those with chronic illness; and the care for individuals at the end of life. This research may also include families within a   community context, and it also focuses on the special needs of at-risk  and under-served populations, with an emphasis on health disparities.

National Library of Medicine (NLM) — Est. 1956

NLM collects, organizes, and makes available biomedical science information to scientists, health professionals, and the public. The Library’s  Web-based databases, including PubMed/Medline and MedlinePlus, are used extensively around the world. NLM conducts and supports research in biomedical  communications; creates information resources for molecular biology, biotechnology, toxicology, and environmental health; and provides grant and contract support   for training, medical library resources, and biomedical informatics and  communications research.

NIH Centers

Center for Information Technology (CIT) — Est. in 1964

CIT incorporates the power of modern computers into the biomedical programs   and administrative procedures of the NIH by focusing on three  primary activities: conducting computational biosciences research, developing computer systems, and providing computer facilities.

Center for Scientific Review (CSR) — Est. in 1946

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is the portal for NIH grant  applications and their review for scientific merit. CSR organizes the peer review groups or study sections that evaluate the majority (70%)   of the research grant applications sent to NIH. CSR also receives all  grant applications for NIH, as well as for some other components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Since 1946,   the CSR mission has remained clear and timely: to see that NIH grant applications receive fair, independent, expert, and timely reviews — free   from inappropriate influences — so NIH can fund the most promising  research.

John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences (FIC) — Est. in 1968

FIC promotes and supports scientific research and training internationally to reduce disparities in global health.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) — Est. in 1999

The mission of NCCAM is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) — Est. in 2011

The mission of the NCATS is to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing, and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions.

NIH Clinical Center (CC) — Est. in 1953

The NIH Clinical Center, America’s research hospital, provides a versatile clinical research environment enabling the NIH mission to improve human health by investigating the pathogenesis of disease; conducting first-in-human clinical trials with an emphasis on rare diseases and diseases of high public health impact; developing state-of-the-art diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic interventions; training the current and next generations of clinical researchers; and, ensuring that clinical research is ethical, efficient, and of high scientific quality.

Research in NIH Labs & Clinics

Training Opportunities

Research Resources

Clinical Research Resources

Safety, Regulation & Guidance

Other Resources

National Institutes of Health (2013) Research and training.  Retrieved January 25, 2013 from