Begun as a one-room Laboratory of Hygiene in
1887, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) today is one of the worldís
foremost medical research centers. An agency of the Department of Health
and Human Services, the NIH is the Federal focal point for health research.
NIH is the steward of medical and behavioral
research for the Nation. Its mission is science in pursuit of fundamental
knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application
of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness
and disability. The goals of the agency are as follows: 1) foster fundamental
creative discoveries, innovative research strategies, and their applications
as a basis to advance significantly the Nationís capacity to protect and
improve health; 2) develop, maintain, and renew scientific human and physical
resources that will assure the Nationís capability to prevent disease;
3) expand the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences in order
to enhance the Nationís economic well-being and ensure a continued high
return on the public investment in research; and 4) exemplify and promote
the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and
social responsibility in the conduct of science.
In realizing these goals, the NIH provides leadership
and direction to programs designed to improve the health of the Nation
by conducting and supporting research: in the causes, diagnosis, prevention,
and cure of human diseases; in the processes of human growth and development;
in the biological effects of environmental contaminants; in the understanding
of mental, addictive and physical disorders; in directing programs for
the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information in medicine
and health, including the development and support of medical libraries
and the training of medical librarians and other health information specialists.
< NOTE: The information
in this online version of the Almanac is current as of Dec 2000, the publication
date of the printed version. This document will be updated May 2002.