NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NIEHS/      

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences : Important Events in NIEHS History

June 7, 1960--The study group on the PHS Mission and Organization final report stated that environmental health problems would require increased public and private effort, and predicted that a central laboratory facility would be needed.

January 1961--A proposal prepared by PHS recommended the establishment of an environmental health center.

November 1, 1961--The Committee on Environmental Health Problems recommended to PHS that a national center be established to undertake integrated research and other activities related to environmental health.

September 1964--Congress authorized planning funds for a central environmental health research facility.

January 7, 1965--The Surgeon General announced, following a site selection committee’s recommendation, that Research Triangle Park in North Carolina would be the location of the National Environmental Health Sciences Center.

April 13, 1965--A National Environmental Health Advisory Committee group recommended to the Surgeon General that the proposed center be operated by PHS.

November 1, 1966--The Surgeon General announced the establishment of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences as a part of NIH.

September 26, 1967--The deed for 509.25 acres within Research Triangle Park, N.C., to serve as a permanent site for the Division of Environmental Health Sciences was presented to the Surgeon General.

January 12, 1969--The DHEW secretary elevated the division to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

April 1972--The first edition of Environmental Health Perspectives, an NIEHS scientific journal, was issued.

April 1977--Construction was begun on NIEHS' $65.7 million facility.

November 15, 1978--HEW Secretary Joseph A. Califano announced the establishment of the National Toxicology Program.

July 14, 1981--HHS Secretary Schweiker approved the reorganization of NIEHS. The NCI Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention bioassay program transferred to NIEHS, and four program areas were established: intramural research; extramural research; biometry and risk assessment; and toxicology research and testing.

October 5, 1981--The National Toxicology Program was made a permanent activity of DHHS.

November 20, 1985--NIEHS was established in law by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-158).

October 10, 1994--Dr. Martin Rodbell, NIEHS scientist emeritus and former scientific director, was named corecipient of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in discovering G-proteins, which transmit signals between cells.

September 14, 1994--NIEHS and collaborators at the University of Utah announced identification of the first breast cancer gene, BRCA1.

May 12, 1995--NIEHS announced isolation and cloning of a gene that suppresses the spread of prostate cancer.

December 6, 1995--Experiments conducted by NIEHS researchers show that phenolphthalein, a widely used laxative, cause ovarian and other cancers in laboratory rats and mice.

February 6, 1996--NIEHS scientists report that people who are missing the gene GST11 are more likely to get myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS--a serious, often fatal, bone marrow disease.

July 2, 1996--NIEHS researchers find that women who douche more than once a week are about 30 percent less likely to conceive in a given month than those who do not.

October 29, 1996–The newly completed four-story laboratory "F Module" was dedicated on the celebration of its 30th anniversary.


National Institutes of Health