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NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NIAID/      

National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases: Important Events in NIAID History


1948--The National Microbiological Institute was established November 1. The Rocky Mountain Laboratory and the Biologics Control Laboratory, both dating to 1902, were incorporated into the new institute, together with the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Division of Tropical Diseases of NIH.

1951--An institute-supported grants program was initiated, and a branch was established to administer research, training, and fellowship grants. Grant applications were reviewed by the National Advisory Health Council until 1956.

1953--The Clinical Research Branch was renamed the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation.

1955--The National Microbiological Institute became the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on December 29. The Biologics Control Laboratory was detached from the institute and expanded to division status within NIH.

1956--The first meeting of the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council was held March 7-8.

1957--The Laboratory of Immunology was established in January to meet the growing need for research on the mechanisms of allergy and immunology.

The Middle America Research Unit was established in the Canal Zone jointly by NIAID and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research as a temporary field station, made permanent in 1961. Important tropical diseases studies were done there for 15 years. NIAID transferred its part of the program to the Gorgas Memorial Institute in 1972.

1959--The Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases was established, formerly a part of the Division of Tropical Diseases.

1962--A collaborative research program funded mainly by contracts was established within the institute to plan, coordinate, and direct nationwide projects on infectious diseases, vaccine development, transplantation immunology, research reagents, and antiviral substances.

1967--The Laboratory of Viral Diseases was established.

1968--With the dissolution of NIH’s Office of International Research and creation of the Fogarty International Center on July 1, 1968, programs formerly managed by OIR were transferred to NIAID to be administered by the Geographic Medicine Branch. These included the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program--initiated in 1965 by the President and the Japanese Prime Minister to explore the health problems of Asia, and the International Centers for Medical Research and Training--a 1960 congressional initiative to advance the status of U.S. health sciences through international research.

1971--The first seven Allergic Disease Centers were established to translate basic concepts of the biomedical sciences into clinical investigations.

1974--The first centers for the study of sexually transmitted diseases and of influenza were established.

1977--The NIAID Extramural Research Program was reorganized into three areas: Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; Immunology, Allergic and Immunologic Diseases; and Extramural Activities. An intramural Laboratory of Immunogenetics was formed.

1978--The first maximum containment facility (P4) for recombinant DNA research was opened in Frederick, Md. International program project grants and international exploratory/development research grants programs were established. Centers were created for interdisciplinary research on immunologic diseases.

1979--The Office of Recombinant DNA Activities was transferred from the NIGMS to NIAID. The International Collaboration in Infectious Diseases Research Program superseded the International Centers for Medical Research and Training established in 1960.

The Rocky Mountain Laboratory was reorganized into the Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases to deal with both host and viral mechanisms leading to slow or persistent viral infections; the Laboratory of Microbial Structure and Function, directed at bacterial diseases, particularly sexually transmitted diseases; and an Epidemiology Branch.

1980--The Laboratory of Immunoregulation was established to provide a means for applying new knowledge in immunology to the clinical diagnosis and treatment of patients with immunological disorders.

1981--The Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology was created to exploit new techniques in recombinant DNA methodology and other molecular studies to expand the institute’s interests in both bacterial and viral pathogenesis and virulence.

1984--The Office of Tropical Medicine and International Research (OTMIR) was established to coordinate NIAID’s intramural and extramural research activities in tropical medicine and other international research. OTMIR works with other Federal agencies and international organizations active in these areas.

1985--The Laboratory of Immunopathology was established. At Rocky Mountain Labor-atories, the Epidemiology Branch was renamed the Laboratory of Pathology.

1986--An Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Program was established in January to coordinate the institute’s extramural research efforts in HIV/AIDS.

1987--The Laboratory of Cellular and Mo-lecular Immunology was established.

1988--The Immunology, Allergic and Immu-nologic Diseases Program was reorganized and renamed the Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Program.

The Office of Recombinant DNA Activities transferred from NIAID to the NIH Office of the Director.

1989--NIAID’s programs became divisions: Intramural Research; Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; and Extramural Activities.

1990--At Rocky Mountain Laboratories, a section of the Laboratory of Microbial Structure and Function became the Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites. The name of the Laboratory of Pathobiology was changed to the Laboratory of Vectors and Pathogens.

1991--The Laboratory of Host Defenses was established.

1994--The Laboratory of Allergic Diseases was established.

The Office of Research on Minority and Women's Health was created.

At Rocky Mountain Laboratories, the Laboratory of Vectors and Pathogens was renamed the Microscopy Branch.


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