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NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NIDDK/      

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases : Important Events in NIDDK History


August 15, 1950--President Harry S. Truman signed the Omnibus Medical Research Act into law establishing the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases in PHS. The new institute incorporated the laboratories of the Experimental Biology and Medicine Institute and initiated plans for an expansion to include clinical investigation in rheumatic diseases, diabetes, and a number of metabolic, endocrine and gastrointestinal diseases.

November 15, 1950--The National Advisory Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases Council held its first meeting and recommended approval of NIAMD’s first grants.

November 22, 1950--NIAMD was established by Surgeon General Scheele.

1959--Dr. Arthur Kornberg, former chief of the institute’s enzyme and metabolism section, won the Nobel Prize for synthesizing nucleic acid.

The institute initiated an intramural research program in gastroenterology and launched an intramural research program in cystic fibrosis with the establishment of the Pediatric Metabolism Branch.

1961--Laboratory-equipped, mobile trailer units began an epidemiological study of arthritis among the Blackfeet and Pima Indians in Montana and Arizona, respectively.

October 16, 1969--The Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr. Marshall W. Nirenberg of the National Heart Institute who reported his celebrated partial cracking of the genetic code while an NIAMD scientist (1957-1962).

November 1970--The institute celebrated its 20th anniversary. Leaders in the department, representatives from voluntary health agencies and professional biomedical associations, as well as past and present institute National Advisory Council members, were addressed by Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird.

May 19, 1972--The institute name was changed to the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases.

October 1972--Christian B. Anfinsen, chief of the institute’s Laboratory of Chemical Biology, shared a Nobel Prize with two other American scientists for his demonstration of one of the most important simplifying concepts of molecular biology, that the three-dimensional conformation of a native protein is determined by the chemistry of its amino acid sequence. A significant part of this research cited by the award was performed while with NIH.

September 1973--The institute’s diabetes centers program was initiated with the establishment of the first Diabetes-Endocrinology Research Centers.

November 1975--After 9 months of investigation into the epidemiology and nature of diabetes mellitus and public hearings throughout the U.S., the National Commission on Diabetes delivered its report, the Long-Range Plan to Combat Diabetes, to Congress. Recommendations encompassed expansion and coordination of diabetes and related research programs the creation of a diabetes research and training centers program acceleration of efforts in diabetes health care, education, and control programs and the establishment of a National Diabetes Advisory Board.

April 1976--After a year of study and public hearings, the National Commission on Arthritis and Related Musculoskeletal Diseases issued the Arthritis Plan--its report to Congress which called for increasing current arthritis research and training programs conducted by NIH the creation of multipurpose arthritis centers throughout the country the initiation of epidemiologic studies and data systems in arthritis a National Arthritis Information Service and establishment of a National Arthritis Advisory Board.

October 1976--The National Diabetes Advisory Board was established to review and evaluate the long-range plan recommended by the National Commission on Diabetes.

The National Arthritis Advisory Board was established to review and evaluate the Arthritis Plan--formulated by the National Commission on Arthritis and Related Musculoskeletal Diseases.

Dr. Baruch Blumberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on the hepatitis B virus protein--the "Australia antigen"--which he discovered in 1963 while at the institute. This advance has proven to be a scientific and clinical landmark in detection and control of viral hepatitis and led to the development of preventive measures against hepatitis and liver cancer.

April 19, 1977--The director, NIH, established a trans-NIH program for diabetes, with lead responsibility in NIAMDD.

September 1977--Over $5 million in grants was awarded to five institutions to establish Diabetes Research and Training Centers.

October 1977--In response to the recommendation of the National Commission on Diabetes, the National Diabetes Data Group was established within the institute to collect, analyze, and disseminate data on this disorder to scientific and public health policy and planning associations.

December 1977--Three scientists won the Nobel Prize for work supported partly by NIAMDD grants. Drs. Roger C. L. Guillemin and Andrew V. Schally were recognized for discoveries concerning peptide hormone production in the brain, and Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow shared the prize for her work in the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones.

December 1978--A study of cystic fibrosis focused on the need for future research activities, including increased support for clinical and basic research, expansion of specialized CF research resources, emphasis on training of scientific personnel, and coordination of public and private cystic fibrosis research activities. Prepared by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis--State of the Art and Directions for Future Research Efforts, was commissioned by the NIAMDD and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

January 1979--Following 2 years of study and public hearings, the National Commission on Digestive Diseases issued its report, The National Long-Range Plan To Combat Digestive Diseases. Recommendations to Congress included the establishment of a National Digestive Diseases Advisory Board, an information clearinghouse, and increased emphasis on educational programs in digestive diseases in medical schools.

November 1979--Dr. Jesse Roth, chief of the Diabetes Branch of NIAMDD intramural research, was named the first winner of the Lita Annenberg Hazen Award for achievement in medical research and teaching.

December 1979--A task force completed its study and submitted the report, An Evaluation of Research Needs in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases.

September 1980--Dr. Joseph E. Rall, director of NIAMDD intramural research, became the first person at NIH to be named to the distinguished executive rank in the Senior Executive Service. The award was presented by President Carter in ceremonies at the White House on September 9.

October 15, 1980--NIAMDD celebrated its 30th anniversary with a symposium, "DNA, the Cell Nucleus, and Genetic Disease," and dinner at the National Naval Medical Center. Dr. Donald W. Seldin, chairman of the department of internal medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, was guest speaker.

June 23, 1981--The institute was renamed National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

April 1982--HHS Secretary Richard S. Schweiker elevated NIADDK’s program clusters to division status, creating five extramural divisions and the Division of Intramural Research.

November 1982--Dr. Elizabeth Neufeld received a Lasker Foundation Award. She is cited, along with Dr. Roscoe E. Brady of NINCDS, for "significant and unique contributions to the fundamental understanding and diagnosis of a group of inherited diseases called mucopolysaccharide storage disorders (MPS)."

November 1984--Grants totaling more than $4 million were awarded to six institutions to establish Silvio O. Conte Digestive Disease Research Centers. The research centers investigate the underlying causes, diagnoses, treatments, and prevention of digestive diseases.

April 8, 1986--The institute’s Division of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases became the core of the new National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The NIADDK was renamed the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

June 3, 1986--The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Advisory Board was established to formulate the long-range plan to combat kidney and urologic diseases.

August 1, 1987--Six institutions were funded to establish the George M. O'Brien Kidney and Urological Research Centers. The research centers study diseases of the kidney and urinary tract, which are among the Nation’s most critical health problems.

December 25, 1987--In response to congressional language on the FY 1988 appropriation for the NIDDK, the institute established a program of cystic fibrosis research centers.

September 16, 1990--NIDDK celebrated its 40th anniversary. Dr. Daniel E. Koshland, Jr., editor of Science, was guest speaker.

September 30, 1992--Three Obesity/Nutrition Research Centers and an animal models core to breed genetically obese rats for obesity and diabetes research were established.

October 12, 1992--Drs. Edwin G. Krebs and Edmond H. Fischer were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on "reversible protein phosphorylation." They have received grant support from NIDDK since 1955 and 1956, respectively.

October 30, 1992--In response to congressional language on the institute’s FY 1993 appropriation, the NIDDK initiated a program to establish gene therapy research centers with emphasis on cystic fibrosis.

November 1, 1993--The functions of the NIH Division of Nutrition Research Coordination, including those of the NIH Nutrition Coordinating Committee, were transferred to NIDDK.


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