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NIH 1998 Almanac/      

6. Field Units


Gerontology Research Center, NIA
Baltimore, Md.

The Gerontology Research Center, initially part of the National Heart Institute, was transferred to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in December 1965 and to the new National Institute on Aging in July 1975. It is the setting for the bulk of the NIA intramural research programs. With the transfer of this center, aging and research training activities of NIH, except neurosciences, were consolidated in NIA.

Located on the Johns Hopkins Bayview medical campus, GRC's laboratories emphasize investigation of the molecular and genetic mechanisms of aging, interpretation of age-related changes in various organ systems as correlated with normal aging and age-related disease. GRC investigators also examine the behavioral aspects of aging as they relate to personality and cognition. Its programs encompass a longitudinal study of normal aging among some 1,100 healthy men and women, ranging in age from the twenties to the nineties.

The Gerontology Research Center building opened in June 1968. The facilities and resources available at this center are the most comprehensive in the country committed to research in aging. The center serves as a regional and national focal point for research in aging, and training in gerontology and geriatrics.

Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID
Hamilton, Mont.

The earliest studies of Rocky Mountain spotted fever were begun at this laboratory in 1902. It was formally established as a PHS field station in 1921. The Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) has continued to be a center for the study of medically important arthropod-borne diseases and diseases transmissible from animals to man. Following World War II the scope of the research at RML was broadened to include programs in virology, immunology, molecular biology, endotoxins, leptospirosis and tuberculosis.

In March 1979 three new laboratories were established: the Laboratory of Microbial Structure and Function, the Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, and the Laboratory of Pathobiology. In 1990 the latter was renamed the Laboratory of Vectors and Pathogens, and a new Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites was established. In 1994 the Laboratory of Pathobiology was changed to the RML Microscopy Branch. Scientists in these laboratories conduct studies on the natural history and epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases, slow virus diseases, rickettsial diseases and immunologic disorders. RML investigators are also carrying out research at the molecular level on problems of host-microbe relationships, as well as developing new diagnostic techniques and vaccines for a variety of infectious diseases.

NIH Animal Center, NCRR
Poolesville, Md
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The Veterinary Resources Program operates a specialized laboratory animal center situated on 513 acres of farmland located 8 miles southwest of Poolesville, Md., near the Potomac River. The cost of the land, purchased in 1960, was $146,689. A construction program, ultimately to provide permanent buildings and associated facilities costing $18 million, began in 1963. The first phase was completed in May 1965 and included a farm animal building, a kennel building, and a powerplant, together with necessary water, sewers, electric power, steam, chilled water, and paved access roads. Two dwellings were also constructed for resident personnel. A building for research holding as well as quarantine and conditioning of nonhuman primates was completed in May 1971. Also finished were buildings being used by the National Institute of Mental Health for its Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior.

The Animal Center is a major extension of animal holding and production facilities at Bethesda. Programs of the institutes include studies of animal behavior, conduct of immunologic procedures and sampling, and surgical investigation in larger animals. The size and character of the animal population varies in response to changes in research programs. The species kept at the NIH Animal Center (in descending order of population size) are nonhuman primates, dogs, sheep, swine, cats, goats, birds, burros, horses, and cattle.

Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, NIDDK
Phoenix, Arizona

The Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch was opened in 1965 in Phoenix, Arizona, and investigates diabetes and its complications, obesity, and digestive and kidney diseases, all of which are particularly prevalent among southwestern American Indians. The facilities include a field clinic located in the Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital at Sacaton, Arizona, on the Gila River Indian Reservation and a 24-bed clinical research unit and basic science research laboratories located within the Phoenix Indian Medical Center. The branch has three sections, the clinical diabetes and nutrition; diabetes and arthritis epidemiology; and biometry and data management. The branch also serves as a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Design, Methodology and Analysis of Epidemiological and Clinical Investigations in Diabetes. Research focuses on searching for genes that predispose a person to diabetes and obesity and studies cover insulin resistance, energy expenditure and metabolism, and complications of diabetes such as kidney disease and retinopathy; and the Diabetes Prevention Trial for Type 2, or noninsulin-dependent, diabetes.

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