| 1800 | 1900 | 1910
| 1920 | 1930 | 1940
| 1950 | 1960 | 1970
| 1980 | 1990 | 2000
||The Marine Hospital Service
was established with the July 16 signing by President John Adams of
an act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen.
||An amending act of March 2 extended
benefits of the Marine Hospital Service to officers and men of the
||The admission of foreign seamen
to Marine hospitals on a reimbursable basis was authorized on May
|| The first permanent Marine hospital
was authorized on May 3 to be built in Boston, Mass.
|| Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse was
appointed physician in charge of the Boston Marine Hospital on November
27. He was the first to introduce interns and residents into hospitals
in the United States.
|| The Library of the Office of
the Surgeon General of the Army was established (the present National
Library of Medicine).
||John Shaw Billings, M.D., was
assigned to supervise the Surgeon General’s Library, which he built
into a national resource of biomedical literature.
||A bill dated June 29 provided
for administration of Marine hospitals within a Bureau of the Treasury
Department with a medical officer in charge.
|| Dr. John Maynard Woodworth
was appointed supervising surgeon of the Marine Hospital Service in
April, marking the beginning of central control of Marine hospitals.
|| Regulations were approved on
December 1 for appointment and promotion of physicians in the Marine
Hospital Service, establishing the first career service for civilian
employees in the Federal Government.
A bill passed on March 3 authorized admission of Navy seamen and
seamen of other government services to Marine hospitals on a reimbursable
In recognition of Dr. Woodworth’s progress in reorganizing the
Marine Hospital Service, his title was changed by law to supervising
Surgeon General on March 3.
The first Federal Quarantine Act was passed April 29.
On December 21, Congress appropriated funds “for investigating
the origin and causes of epidemic diseases, especially yellow fever
The National Board of Health was created by law on March 3. It
represented the first organized, comprehensive, national medical
research effort of the Federal Government.
Dr. John B. Hamilton was appointed Surgeon General of the Marine
Hospital Service, April 3.
|| The seamen’s hospital tax was
abolished on July 1. The cost of maintaining Marine hospitals was
paid out of a tonnage tax, which continued until 1906.
|| A bacteriological laboratory,
known as the Laboratory of Hygiene, was established under Dr. Joseph
J. Kinyoun at the Marine Hospital, Staten Island, N.Y., in August,
for research on cholera and other infectious diseases (renamed Hygienic
Laboratory in 1891.)
|| The commissioned corps was authorized
on January 4 establishing by law the policy of a mobile corps subject
to duty anywhere upon assignment.
|| Congress gave the Marine Hospital
Service interstate quarantine authority on March 27.
The Hygienic Laboratory moved from Staten Island, N.Y., to the
Butler Building, Service Headquarters, Washington, D.C., in June.
Dr. Walter Wyman was appointed Surgeon General of the Marine Hospital
Service on June 1.
|| A new Quarantine Act, passed
February 15, strengthened the Quarantine Act of 1878 and repealed
the act establishing the National Board of Health.
The Marine Hospital Service was directed by Congress on March 2
to investigate leprosy in the United States.
Dr. Milton J. Rosenau succeeded Dr. Kinyoun as director of the
Hygienic Laboratory on May 1.
The earliest studies of Rocky Mountain spotted fever took place
A bill approved July 1 changed the name of the Marine Hospital
Service to the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service and established
an advisory board for the Hygienic Laboratory. It later became the
National Advisory Health Council.
The 57th Congress enacted Public Law 244 to regulate the shipment
of biologics. The technical responsibilities of the program were
assigned to the Hygienic Laboratory.
The Advisory Board for the Biologics Control Division was established
The Pan American Sanitary Bureau was established December 2. The
Public Health and Marine Hospital Service began international health
|| The Hygienic Laboratory moved
to a new building on a 5-acre tract at 25th and E Streets NW, Washington,
D.C., on March 16.
|| Medical care for merchant seamen
and other beneficiaries of the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service
began to be supported by direct congressional appropriations, with
the repeal of the tonnage tax on June 30.
|| Dr. John F. Anderson was appointed
Hygienic Laboratory director on October 1.
Dr. Rupert Blue was appointed Surgeon General of the Public Health
and Marine Hospital Service on January 13.
The name Public Health and Marine Hospital Service was changed
to Public Health Service (PHS) on August 14, and the research program
was expanded to include other-than-communicable diseases field investigations,
navigable stream pollution, and information dissemination.
|| Dr. Joseph Goldberger announced
his views of pellagra as a dietary deficiency, emphasizing the importance
of dietary deficiency diseases.
|| Dr. George W. McCoy was appointed
Hygienic Laboratory director on November 20.
The Chamberlain-Kahn Act, passed July 9, provided for the study
of venereal diseases. The PHS made grants to 25 institutions, establishing
a precedent for the Federal Government to seek assistance of scientists
The PHS reserve corps was established by law on October 27, during
the influenza pandemic, as a means of coping with the emergencies.
|| Dr. Hugh Smith Cumming was
appointed PHS Surgeon General on March 3.
|| The Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Laboratory was established in a former school building in Hamilton,
Mont., on September 20 as a recognized PHS field station.
The Library of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army) was renamed
the Army Medical Library in January.
A Special Cancer Investigations Laboratory was established by PHS
investigators at Harvard Medical School on August 1.
|| On January 19, the Narcotics
Control Act was passed, authorizing construction of two hospitals
for drug addicts, and creation of a PHS Narcotics Division.
On April 9, the Advisory Board for the Hygienic Laboratory became
the National Advisory Health Council.
On May 26 the Ransdell Act redesignated the Hygienic Laboratory
as the National Institute of Health, authorizing $750,000 for construction
of two buildings for NIH, and creating a system of fellowships.
On June 14, Public Law 357 authorized creation of a separate Bureau
of Narcotics in the Treasury Department and changed the PHS Narcotics
Division to the Division of Mental Hygiene. The law gave the Surgeon
General authority to investigate the causes, treatment, and prevention
of mental and nervous diseases.
A narcotic “farm” at Lexington, Ky., was completed and opened on
On August 10, Mr. and Mrs. Luke I. Wilson made a gift of 45 acres
of their estate “Tree Tops” for use of the National Institute of
Health in Bethesda, MD.
Title VI of the Social Security Act was passed August 14 authorizing
the expenditure of up to $2 million on health grants to the states
for “investigation of disease and problems of sanitation.”
|| Dr. Thomas Parran was appointed
PHS Surgeon General on April 6.
The Rocky Mountain Laboratory became part of the National Institute
of Health in February, and was administratively made part of the
Division of Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Lewis R. Thompson was appointed director of the National Institute
of Health on February 1.
With the reorganization of the National Institute of Health into
eight divisions, the biologics control program, previously the responsibility
of the Division of Pathology and Bacteriology, NIH, was assigned
to a newly established Division of Biologics Control (redesignated
Biologics Control Laboratory, 1944).
The National Cancer Institute Act was signed on July 23.
The National Advisory Cancer Council recommended approval of the
first awards for fellowships in cancer research on January 3.
Mrs. Luke I. Wilson made a second gift of 10.7 acres, to NIH on
The cornerstone for Building 1 was laid June 30.
Congress approved construction of new, larger laboratory facilities,
and NIH moved to Bethesda, MD., in July.
Mrs. Luke I. Wilson made a third gift, 14.4 acres of land, to NIH
on September 30.
The narcotics hospital at Fort Worth, Tex., was dedicated on October
|| Under a Reorganization Act dated
April 3, the PHS was transferred from the Treasury Department to the
Federal Security Agency.
Mrs. Luke I. Wilson made a fourth gift, 11.6 acres of land, to
NIH on September 27.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the buildings and the
grounds of the National Institute of Health on October 31.
Dr. Rolla Eugene Dyer was appointed director of the National Institute
of Health on February 1.
A final gift of land was made by Mrs. Luke I. Wilson on March 17
bringing the total to 92 acres. This was the nucleus of the present
306.4-acre reservation. Additional land was acquired through a series
|| NIH was given bureau status
in the PHS on November 11.
|| The PHS act was approved on July
1, consolidating and revising existing public health legislation,
and giving NIH the legislative basis for its postwar program, with
general authority to conduct research. Under this act NCI became a
division of NIH.
The Research Grants Office was created at NIH in January to administer
the Office of Scientific Research and Development projects transferred
to the PHS at the end of World War II and to operate a program of
extramural research grants and fellowship awards.
The National Mental Health Act was passed July 3.
On August 12, the Research Grants Office became the Research Grants
Division (later renamed Division of Research Grants). The division
was instructed by the National Advisory Health Council to establish
study sections for scientific and technical review of research grant
applications, and to explore neglected areas of research in the
The Hospital Survey and Construction Act, introduced by Senators
Lister Hill and Harold H. Burton, was passed on August 13, authorizing
the Hill- Burton program.
Dr. Leonard A. Scheele was appointed PHS Surgeon General on April
On June 16 the National Heart Act was signed. It authorized the
National Heart Institute and changed the name of the National Institute
of Health to National Institutes of Health.
The National Dental Research Act, passed June 24, authorized the
National Institute of Dental Research.
The National Heart Institute was established August 1.
The National Institute of Dental Research was established September
Construction of the Clinical Center was started in November.
The National Microbiological Institute and the Experimental Biology
and Medicine Institute were established on November 1.
The Rocky Mountain Laboratory and Biologics Control Laboratory
became two of the four components of the National Microbiological
Institute on November 1.
The purchase of 115.8 acres from the Town & Country Golf Club,
Inc., for $600,000 was concluded February 11.
The purchase of 47.9 acres of land from Mr. and Mrs. G. Freeland
Peter for $505,000 was concluded on February 14.
The National Institute of Mental Health was established on April
15, with the abolishment of the Division of Mental Hygiene.
The first issue of The NIH Record was published May 20.
The purchase of 50.2 acres of land from the Sisters of the Visitation
for $173,058 was concluded on June 28.
Dr. Frank B. Rogers became director of the Army Medical Library
The Omnibus Medical Research Act, signed August 15, authorized
the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness and
the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, the
latter absorbing the Experimental Biology and Medicine Institute.
The act also gave the Surgeon General authority to establish new
Dr. William H. Sebrell, Jr. was appointed NIH director on October
The National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness and
the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases were
established November 22.
The first R. E. Dyer Lecture was given by Dr. George W. Beadle,
California Institute of Technology, June 21.
President Harry S. Truman laid the Clinical Center cornerstone
on June 22.
|| The Army Medical Library was
renamed Armed Forces Medical Library in April.
The first NIH Lecture was given on January 21 by Dr. Severo Ochoa
of New York University College of Medicine.
PHS became part of the newly created Department of Health, Education,
and Welfare on April 11.
The Clinical Center was dedicated on July 2, extending the clinical
dimension of PHS research programs.
The first patient was admitted to the Clinical Center on July 6.
A central data processing facility was established in the Office
of the Director, NIH.
The NIH Graduate School Program began on September 27.
The biologics control function was placed in the newly formed Division
of Biologics Standards in June. The Division of Research Services
and Division of Business Operations were also formed.
The Cancer Chemotherapy National Service Center was established
April 1 to coordinate the first national cancer chemotherapy program.
The Mental Health Study Act was passed July 28.
Dr. James A. Shannon was appointed NIH director on August 1.
The National Microbiological Institute became the National Institute
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) by order of the Surgeon
General on December 29. The Biologics Control Laboratory was detached
from the institute and expanded to division status within NIH.
In January the biometric facility became the Biometrics Branch
in the new Division of Research Services.
Dr. Leroy E. Burney was appointed PHS Surgeon General August 8.
The Armed Forces Medical Library was designated the National Library
of Medicine (NLM) and placed under PHS October 1.
|| The Center for Aging Research
was established November 27 as the focal center for NIH extramural
activities in gerontology.
On July 16 the Division of General Medical Sciences was established
by order of the Surgeon General, extending research into noncategorical
areas covered until that time by the Division of Research Grants.
The Center for Aging Research was transferred from the National
Heart Institute to the Division of General Medical Sciences on November
The Office of Administrative Management was formed July 15, consolidating
the Division of Business Operations and other managerial responsibilities.
Congress appropriated $2 million for the establishment of one or
two private research centers on August 19.
On March 8 the Surgeon General approved establishment of a Computation
and Data Processing Branch in the Division of Research Services.
NIH acquired 513 acres of farmland near Poolesville, MD., on May
6. This land became the site of the NIH Animal Center.
The International Health Research Act was passed July 12, extending
NIH international programs.
The Surgeon General established the Center for Research in Child
Health in the Division of General Medical Sciences on February 17.
Dr. Luther L. Terry was appointed PHS Surgeon General March 24.
On May 26, DHEW Secretary Abraham A. Ribicoff dedicated the new
The first Jules Freund Lecture was given by Dr. Merrill W. Chase
of the Rockefeller Institute on November 15.
The NIH European Office was established in Paris, France, on December
The NIH Latin American Office was established in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, July 1.
The Division of Research Facilities and Resources was established
Public Law 87-838, passed October 17, authorized the National Institute
of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute
of General Medical Sciences.
Five acres of land for a Gerontology Research Center were donated
by the City of Baltimore in December.
The NIH Pacific Office was established in Tokyo, Japan, on January
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and
the National Institute of General Medical Sciences were established
on January 30.
The Center for Research in Child Health and the Center for Research
in Aging (established in 1956) were transferred from NIGMS to NICHD.
The surgical wing for the Clinical Center was dedicated September
The first NIH International Lecture was given October 31 by Dr.
Walsh McDermott of Cornell University Medical College.
The Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS)
became operational at the NLM in January.
The Division of Computer Research and Technology was established
on April 16.
On September 19 Congress authorized planning funds for a central
environmental health research facility.
A special virus-leukemia program was initiated under a special
appropriation, included in the FY 1965 appropriation signed into
law on September 19.
On January 7, the Surgeon General announced that the National Environmental
Health Sciences Center would be located in Research Triangle Park,
The NIH Animal Center, Poolesville, MD., officially opened May
27 with 2 days of orientation for NIH employees, area residents
and the press after completion of the first of three phases of an
$18 million construction program.
NIH received a $20,250,000 supplemental appropriation on August
31 to intensify and expand support of research in heart disease,
cancer, stroke and related diseases.
Dr. William H. Stewart, appointed PHS Surgeon General September
24, took office on October 2.
A reorganization of the DHEW provided for an expansion of the secretary’s
office with the creation of three new assistant secretaries, including
an assistant secretary for health and scientific affairs.
Dr. Philip R. Lee was appointed to the new position of assistant
secretary for health and scientific affairs on November 2.
The Division of Regional Medical Programs was created on February
1 to administer grants under the Heart Disease, Cancer and Stroke
Amendments of 1965. Dr. Robert Q. Marston was appointed NIH associate
director for regional medical programs and chief of the division.
At a White House meeting June 27, the NIH director and institute
directors discussed with the President how the benefits of research
findings in health could be brought more rapidly to all the people.
Later in the year, a report to the President described current NIH
research efforts on the major U.S. disease problems and set forth
the status of those problems, the nature of present and planned
investigative efforts and the problems of and opportunities for
A Division of Environmental Health Sciences was established in
NIH November 1 to conduct, foster and coordinate research on the
biological, chemical, and physical effects of environmental agents.
Dr. Paul Kotin, scientific director for etiology, NCI, was named
director of the new division.
An advisory committee to the NIH director was appointed on November
9 to provide advice on the further development of NIH research and
The National Institute of Mental Health was separated from NIH
and raised to bureau status in PHS by a reorganization that became
effective January 1. NIMH’s Division of Clinical, Behavioral and
Biological Research, within the mental health Intramural Research
Program, comprising activities con- ducted in the Clinical Center
and other NIH facilities, continued here under an agreement for
joint administration between the two companion bureaus. The Toxicology
Information Program was established at NLM, January 1, in response
to recommendations of the President’s Science Advisory Committee.
The program includes the entire range of chemical effects on living
The PHS Audiovisual Facility, renamed the National Medical Audiovisual
Center, became an NLM component July 1.
On September 26, the deed for 509.25 acres of Research Triangle
Park, N.C., to serve as a permanent site for the Division of Environmental
Health Sciences, was presented to the Surgeon General.
Establishment of the John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced
Study in the Health Sciences (FIC) was given departmental approval
February 26. The center became operational on July 1, at which time
the NIH Office of International Research was abolished and certain
of its functions were transferred to FIC and NIAID.
Under a reorganization of health activities announced on April
1, NIH assumed status as a new operating agency within the department,
with the NIH director reporting directly to the assistant secretary
for health and scientific Affairs. Under the reorganization, the
Bureau of Health Manpower and the National Library of Medicine became
components of NIH.
On June 15 the four-story $7.5 million Gerontology Research Center
building, located at and operated in cooperation with Baltimore
City Hospitals, was officially opened.
A proposed facility to house the biomedical communications network
was designated the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications
by passage of P.L. 90-456 on August 3.
Established by the DHEW secretary on August 9, the Center for Population
Research conducts a contract and grant program in population and
reproduction research. The center was designated by the President
as the primary Federal agency responsible for population research
On August 16 the National Eye Institute was created to build an
enlarged program based on blindness research formerly conducted
in the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness.
The legislation also changed the NINDB name to the National Institute
of Neurological Diseases.
Dr. Robert Q. Marston was sworn in as NIH director on August 29.
A Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded on October
16 to Dr. Marshall W. Nirenberg, chief of NIH’s Laboratory of Biochemical
Genetics, for discovering the key to deciphering the genetic code.
He was the first NIH Nobel laureate, and the first Federal employee
to receive a Nobel Prize.
On October 24 the President signed into law (P.L. 90-639) legislation
changing the name of the NIND to the National Institute of Neurological
Diseases and Stroke.
The National Eye Institute was established on December 26.
A further reorganization of the NIH internal structure announced
January 4 renamed the Bureau of Health Manpower as the Bureau of
Health Professions Education and Manpower Training and expanded
it to include seven divisions, one of which was the Division of
Research Resources (DRR).
The Division of Environmental Health Sciences was elevated to institute
status on January 12, thus becoming the 10th NIH institute.
Dr. Roger O. Egeberg was named DHEW assistant secretary for health
and scientific affairs on July 14, succeeding Dr. Lee.
On November 10, the DHEW secretary redesignated the National Heart
Institute as the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI).
|| A reorganization of the Bureau
of Health Professions Education and Manpower Training renamed it the
Bureau of Health Manpower Education on September 18. DRR was separated
from the bureau and became a division within NIH.
Dr. Merlin K. DuVal was appointed DHEW assistant secretary for
health and scientific affairs on July 1, succeeding Dr. Egeberg.
The White House Conference on Aging recommended creating a separate
National Institute on Aging on December 2.
On December 23 the President signed the National Cancer Act of
1971 initiating a National Cancer Program, establishing the President’s
Cancer Panel, a National Cancer Advisory Board and 15 new research,
training and demonstration cancer centers.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases was
renamed the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive
Diseases on May 19. On July 1, DBS transferred from NIH and officially
became a sixth bureau, the Bureau of Biologics in the Food and Drug
Administration. The bureau continues to use NIH facilities and buildings.
The DHEW secretary approved a reorganization of NHLI on July 14,
elevating the institute to bureau status within NIH. A bureau-level
organization was established for the National Cancer Institute on
On October 25 Public Law 92-564 established a temporary National
Commission on Multiple Sclerosis (supported by NINDS).
Dr. Christian B. Anfinsen, NIAMDD, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
for his work on ribonuclease.
Dr. Charles C. Edwards was appointed DHEW assistant secretary for
health on April 18, succeeding Dr. DuVal.
Dr. Robert S. Stone was sworn in as the 10th NIH director on May
The Bureau of Health Manpower Education was transferred from NIH
to the new Health Resources Administration on July 1 and renamed
the Bureau of Health Resources Development.
The National Institute of Mental Health rejoined the National Institutes
of Health on July 1. On September 25, NIMH became part of the new
Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration.
The Research on Aging Act of 1974, creating the National Institute
on Aging, was signed into law on May 31.
On July 23, the National Cancer Act Amendments of 1974 were signed
by the President to improve the National Cancer Program. It also
established a President’s Biomedical Research Panel.
The National Institute on Aging was established on October 7.
The Interagency Primate Steering Committee was established by the
DHEW assistant secretary for health with NIH as the lead agency.
Institutional Relations Branch was transferred on October 27 from
DRG to the immediate Office of the Director, NIH, and renamed the
Office for Protection From Research Risks.
On March 13 the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and
Stroke was renamed the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative
Disorders and Stroke.
Dr. Theodore Cooper was appointed DHEW assistant secretary for
health on July 1, succeeding Dr. Edwards.
Dr. Donald S. Fredrickson was sworn in as the 11th NIH director
on July 1.
The Adult Development and Aging Branch and the Gerontology Research
Center were separated from NICHD to become the core of the National
Institute on Aging, also on July 1.
On June 25, the National Heart and Lung Institute was renamed the
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Dr. D. Carleton Gajdusek, NINCDS, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology
or Medicine with Dr. Baruch Blumberg, Institute for Cancer Research.
Dr. Gajdusek was honored for his research on kuru and Dr. Blumberg
for his work on the Australia antigen at the National Institute
of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases (1957-1964).
Construction of the Ambulatory Care Research Facility was started
On July 13, Dr. Julius B. Richmond took the oath of office as DHEW
assistant secretary for health and Surgeon General, becoming the
first person to hold both offices simultaneously.
|| On November 15 the DHEW secretary
announced the establishment of the National Toxicology Program under
the direction of NIEHS.
Dr. Hans J. Muller Eberhard, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation,
delivered the first Kinyoun Lecture on April 24.
A protocol of cooperation in the exchange of information on medicine
and public health between the United States and China was signed
on June 22 in Beijing’s historic Great Hall. The DHEW secretary
signed on behalf of the United States.
On July 18 NCI and the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda,
MD., agreed to cooperate in a cancer treatment research program.
DHEW became the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
on May 14.
A separate Department of Education was established.
On May 22, the Lister Hill Center for Biomedical Communications
was dedicated as part of NLM.
On May 14 Dr. Edward N. Brandt, Jr., was sworn in as assistant
secretary for health.
The National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolic, and Digestive Diseases
was renamed the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive
and Kidney diseases on June 23.
On June 30 Dr. Fredrickson stepped down as NIH director. Dr. Thomas
E. Malone was appointed acting director.
The Ambulatory Care Research Facility was officially dedicated
on October 22. The research hospital was renamed the Warren Grant
Magnuson Clinical Center in honor of the former chairman of the
Senate Committee on Appropriations. Sen. Magnuson was involved in
support of biomedical research at NIH since 1937.
Dr. C. Everett Koop became PHS Surgeon General on November 16.
On April 22 NIADDK was converted to bureau status, joining NCI,
NHLBI, and NLM. Dr. James B. Wyngaarden, chairman of the Duke University
department of medicine, was appointed NIH director on April 29.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development marked
its 20th anniversary on September 20.
NIGMS celebrated its 20th anniversary by establishing the DeWitt
Stetten, Jr., Lectureship. Dr. David S. Hogness, Stanford University,
gave the first lecture, October 13.
The National Institute on Aging opened its first on-campus research
unit in the NIH Clinical Center.
The NIEHS facility in Research Triangle Park, N.C., was dedicated
on November 15.
Lasker Foundation Awards were presented on November 17 to three
NIH scientists: Dr. Elizabeth Neufeld, NIADDK; Dr. Roscoe O. Brady,
NINDS; and Dr. Robert C. Gallo, NCI.
On January 18, Building 1 was officially named the James A. Shannon
Building in honor of the former NIH director (1955-1968).
The first multidisciplinary pain clinic in the United States devoted
exclusively to research was opened in the Clinical Center March
21 by NIDR.
NCI dedicated its R.A. Bloch International Cancer Information Center
on October 2. The building houses the institute’s information programs
that serve health professionals and scientists.
In December, the Clinical Center celebrated its 30th anniversary
NIH purchased the Convent of the Sisters of the Visitation of Washington
along with about 11 acres of land for $4.5 million.
In May NCI scientists headed by Dr. Robert C. Gallo, Jr., uncovered
strong evidence that variants of a human cancer virus called HTLV-III
are the primary cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
DCRT celebrated its 20th anniversary in May.
NIH and Howard Hughes Medical Institute launched a multimillion
dollar cooperative program in August to help increase the vigor
of American biomedical research and continue the flow of new doctors
into research areas.
The former Convent was dedicated September 19 as the Mary Woodard
Lasker Center for Health Research and Education.
NIH and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute chose the first 25
HHMI-NIH research scholars in June.
In July the NIA celebrated its 10th anniversary.
In May the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
and Skin Diseases became a separate institute separated from its
parent NIADDK – now called the National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Also created was the National Center
for Nursing Research.
NIH held the First Intramural Research Day on September 25 featuring
symposia and poster sessions.
In June NIAID funded 14 centers to evaluate experimental drugs
in the treatment of AIDS.
NIH opened its year-long centennial celebration – A Century of
Science for Health – on October 16.
NIH scheduled monthly events, hosted by individual components throughout
the year, to commemorate its 100th anniversary.
NIAID awarded contracts to five medical centers to establish AIDS
treatment evaluation units.
NIEHS celebrated its 20th anniversary, while NIGMS and DRR marked
Fifty-six promising science students – one from each state and
U.S. possession – were honored by NIH as centennial scholars.
On July 23 President Reagan named a 13-member Commission on the
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic, which held its first meeting
following the announcement.
NIH became a smoke-free agency on September 1, banning smoking
in all buildings.
Hundreds of NIH alumni from the United States and abroad returned
to the campus on October 15-16 to help close out the year-long celebration
of the NIH centennial.
NIH was honored by Spain with the presentation of the Grand Cross
of the Civil Order of Health.
The NICHD celebrated its 25th anniversary and NIAID and NIDR marked
The Children’s Inn at NIH, a temporary home away from home for
NIH pediatric patients, was dedicated. A gift of $2.5 million from
Merck and Co., Inc. was donated toward the construction of the building.
“Sky Horizon,” a sculpture created by Louise Nevelson, was given
to NIH by Edwin C. Whitehead, founder of the Whitehead Institute
of Biomedical Research.
Officials from NICHD, NINDS, and NIMH broke ground for a facility
they will share – Building 49, the Child Health and Neurosciences
November marked the establishment of the National Institute on
Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The parent institute
was renamed the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
On May 10, Building 31 was named the Claude Denson Pepper Bldg.
to honor NIH’s “legislative father.”
The NIH Record marked its 40th year of publication in May.
On May 22, NIH conducted its first gene transfer in humans. A cancer
patient was infused with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) that
had been altered by insertion of a gene. This allowed scientists
to track the special cancer-fighting cells in the body to increase
the understanding of TIL therapy.
The National Center for Human Genome Research was established in
DRR and DRS merged in March and named the National Center for Research
On June 21 the Children’s Inn at NIH opened its doors to pediatric
patients and their families. The President and Mrs. Bush attended
The Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee approved the first experiments
involving transfer of human genes for therapeutic purposes on July
31. The treatment was initiated on September 14 in a 4-year-old
girl with adenosine deaminase deficiency.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and
the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
marked their 40th anniversaries.
It was announced in September that the gene that caused osteoarthritis
was isolated by scientists supported by the National Institute of
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases.
The Office of Research on Women’s Health was established to strengthen
NIH’s efforts to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment
of illness in women and to enhance research related to diseases
and conditions that affect women.
On January 29, NIH scientists treated the first cancer patients
with human gene therapy. Two patients received transfusions of special
cancer-killing cells removed from their own tumors and armed in
the laboratory with a gene capable of producing a potent antitumor
toxin, tumor necrosis factor.
Dr. Bernadine Healy was confirmed as NIH’s 13th director on March
21. She was the first woman appointed to this post.
In August the National Center for Human Genome Research announced
the start of a new, unified effort to develop a ‘’framework’’ map
of the human genome – expected to take 2 to 3 years to complete.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol
Abuse and Alcoholism, and National Institute of Mental Health were
transferred from the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration
to become part of the NIH.
Two components – NICHD and NIGMS – celebrated their 30th anniversaries
on September 21 and October 17, respectively.
NIH Director Bernadine Healy stepped down to return to the Cleveland
The Clinical Center celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Sixteen university medical programs were launch sites for the 15-year,
$625 million Women’s Health Initiative. About 3,000 women will be
enrolled at each center to investigate women’s most common causes
of death and disability.
Dr. Harold Varmus was appointed NIH’s 14th Director.
FIC noted its 25th anniversary.
The National Center for Nursing Research became the 16th institute.
Former director, Dr. James Shannon, died.
NHLBI scientists for the first time successfully transferred a
normal cystic fibrosis gene into the cells lining a CF patient’s
Researchers at NIEHS isolated the BRCA1 gene – responsible for
about 5 percent of all breast cancers and 25 percent in women under
Dr. Martin Rodbell, NIEHS, shared the Nobel Prize in physiology
or medicine for research on G proteins, key components of the communication
system that regulates cellular activity.
NLM unveiled the “Visible Man,” a detailed atlas of human anatomy
created from thousands of images of a human body collected by radiographic
and photographic techniques.
NIAAA celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The first multicenter trial of bone marrow transplantation in children
with sickle cell disease demonstrated that the procedure can provide
a cure for young patients that have a matched sibling, according
to NHLBI-supported scientists.
DRG celebrated its 50th anniversary and NIEHS noted its 30th.
Researchers with NHGRI completed a map of chromosome 7, an important
milestone within the Human Genome Project.
DRG was renamed the Center for Scientific Review and DCRT became
the Center for Information Technology.
Vice President Al Gore performed an “inaugural search,” opening
up free access on the world wide web to NLM’s MEDLINE.
Results from the NIH-supported Dietary and Systolic Hypertension
trial indicated that blood pressure can be swiftly and significantly
lowered through a diet low in fat and high in vegetables, fruits,
and low-fat dairy foods.
A team led by NHGRI scientists identified a defective gene that
causes some inherited cases of Parkinson’s disease.
Results from an NIH trial showed that a low-dose diuretic cuts
by half the chance that an older person with high systolic blood
pressure will develop heart failure. In those who had already had
a heart attack, their chance of developing heart failure dropped
by 80 percent.
A team led by NIH-funded scientists determined the complete genome
sequence of the E. coli bacterium, a laboratory workhorse.
This accomplishment gives researchers a powerful new tool for understanding
fundamental questions of biological evolution and function.
On November 4, Vice President Al Gore and Senator Mark O. Hatfield
attended the groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Clinical Center,
which will be called the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center.
Building 20, NIH’s apartment building, was carefully demolished
to make way for the new Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center.
NICHD’s new zebrafish facility opened. Zebrafish have become the
mainstay of developmental biologists for studying the development
of the vascular system and central nervous system, as well as the
functional genomics of the zebrafish.
A large prevention trial conducted by NCI showed that long-term
use of a moderate-dose vitamin E supplement substantially reduced
prostate cancer incidence and deaths in male smokers.
In a cooperative endeavor (Neurolab) between NASA, NIH and others,
astronauts on Space Shuttle Columbia conducted research on how the
neurological system responds to the challenges of space flight.
Results from a NCI-sponsored clinical trial showed that women at
high risk of developing breast cancer who took the drug tamoxifen
had 49 percent fewer cases of breast cancer than those who didn’t.
Tamoxifen was hailed as the first drug to prevent breast cancer
in women at high risk for the disease.
The new NIH Intramural Sequencing Center opened in Gaithersburg.
NISC is a 14-institute consortium that is dedicated to large-scale
sequencing of human and animal DNA.
NIDR celebrated its 50th anniversary, with a name change to the
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Building 16, known as the Stone House, was renamed the “Lawton
Chiles International House”; it will be the locus for international
activities supported by FIC and other NIH and DHHS components.
Between 1992 and 1996, the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
(SIDS) dropped by 38 percent, much of that likely being due to a
66 percent decrease during the same period in the number of U.S.
infants being placed to sleep on their stomachs. A national Back
to Sleep Campaign – encouraging parents to put their infants to
sleep on their backs – was launched in 1994 by NICHD, in partnership
with HHS and other organizations.
The complete sequence of two bacteria that are among the major
causes of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide – Treponema
pallidum, responsible for syphilis, and Chlamydia trachomatis,
responsible for chlamydial infections – were obtained by two separate
teams of scientists supported by NIAID and others.
NIDCD celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Senator John Glenn and six other astronauts spent nine days in
space aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery conducting about 83
scientific projects, the most research-intensive space journey yet.
Glenn, NASA and others worked with NIA to develop the projects.
NIAID celebrated its 50th anniversary.
NHLBI’s Framingham Heart Study celebrated its 50th anniversary.
An international team funded by NHGRI and others obtained the complete
sequence of the 97-million-base genome of the roundworm, Caenorhabditis
elegans. This marks the first time that scientists have spelled
out the instructions for a complete animal which, like humans, has
a nervous system, digests food, reproduces, and gets old, making
it a very important organism in which to carry out studies that
parallel human biology.
The new South Entry to the Clinical Center opened, thus facilitating
construction on the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center on
the north face of Building 10.
A team of investigators led by an NIAID grantee discovered that
a subspecies of chimpanzees native to west Africa are the origin
of HIV-1, the virus responsible for the global AIDS pandemic.
Underlying vitamin D deficiency in postmenopausal women is associated
with increased risk of hip fracture, according to a study supported
by NIA and NCRR.
NIDA, NIMH, and NINDS moved into the new Neuroscience Center office
building on Executive Boulevard, which some have dubbed “NIH North”.
A meta-analysis study, led by an NICHD researcher, found that pregnant
women infected with HIV could reduce the risk of transmitting the
virus to their infants by about 50 percent if they deliver by cesarean
section before they go into labor and before their membranes rupture.
NIH Director Dr. Harold Varmus convened the first meeting of the
Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR). The Council
will provide advice and recommendations to, and consult with, the
NIH Director regarding matters related to medical research, NIH’s
policies and programs, and public participation in NIH’s activities.
COPR was chartered in November 1998.
On June 9, President Bill Clinton unveiled the cornerstone for
the new Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center, which initially
will focus on accelerating the search for a vaccine against AIDS.
Earlier, Dr. Varmus named Dr. Gary Nabel as the director of the
new VRC, which currently exists as a “center without walls”. The
VRC is funded by NIAID and NCI and spear- headed by them and NIH’s
Office of AIDS Research.
NLM’s MEDLINE added the 10 millionth journal citation to its database.
A joint Uganda-U.S. study, funded by NIAID, demonstrated a highly
effective, affordable and practical strategy for preventing transmission
of HIV from an infected mother to her newborn. A single-oral dose
of the antiretroviral drug nevirapine given to the HIV-infected
mother while in labor and another to her baby within three days
of birth reduced the transmission rate by half compared with a similar
short course of AZT.
Women with preeclampsia, a potentially fatal complication of pregnancy,
were found to have an imbalance of two key chemical compounds that
control blood pressure, prostacyclin and thromboxane, months before
their symptoms appeared, according to NICHD scientists.
NIDA celebrated its 25th anniversary.
NIH announced its plan to establish a repository called PubMed
Central for free electronic distribution of primary research reports
in the life sciences. The new site would be integrated with NLM’s
widely used bibliographic site PubMed and is intended to be one
of several repositories in an international system first proposed
by NIH director Dr. Harold Varmus. PubMed Central would begin receiving,
storing and distributing content – including peer- reviewed articles,
preprints, and other screened reports from existing journals, new
journals, and reputable scientific organizations – in January 2000.
Children born to mothers with untreated hypothyroidism during pregnancy
were found to score lower on IQ tests than children of healthy mothers
suggesting that early detection and treatment of hypothyroidism
in pregnant women may be a critical part of prenatal care, according
to a study funded by NICHD and others.
In October 1999, NIH announced a major research program involving
10 laboratories, called the Mouse Genome Sequencing Network, to
map and sequence the DNA in the mouse genome.
A research effort led by NIAID scientists produced the first high-resolution
genetic map of Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malaria
parasite, which is responsible for the death of more than two million
Scientists supported by NHGRI along with groups in England and
Japan completed the first sequence of a human chromosome, chromosome
22. Genes on chromosome 22 have been implicated in immune system
function, congenital heart disease, and several cancers including
The National Toxicology Program, headquartered at NIEHS, announced
that Federal regulatory agencies – FDA, OSHA, EPA and CPSC – would
accept, for the first time, an alternative way to test chemicals
for allergic contact dermatitis that could reduce by thousands the
number of guinea pigs needed for such tests.
After leading NIH for 6 years, Dr. Harold Varmus left to become
the President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
in New York City.
2000 On January 1, Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, deputy director of NIH,
became the acting director.
Scientists funded by NIDCR and NIAMS, along with an NCI scientist
discovered that leptin, the product of the obesity gene, acts as
a bone inhibitor by telling the brain to slow down the rate of bone
formation, showing for the first time that the brain has a central
role in controlling bone formation and density.
A team including NCI scientists and grantees used microarray technology
to show that the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL),
diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, is actually two distinct diseases,
thus explaining why 40 percent of patients with this NHL can be
cured through chemotherapy while others succumb to the disease.
This is the first demonstration of a technology that promises to
revolutionize cancer diagnosis as well as many other areas of research.
The NIEHS headquarters and laboratory Building 101 in Research
Triangle Park, N.C., was renamed the Rall Building in honor of former
NIEHS director, Dr. David Platt Rall, who died last year.
NLM received Vice President Al Gore’s Hammer Award for a series
of improvements in its information services, including making its
popular MEDLINE database of journal article references and abstracts
free and easier for the public to use.
NIH launched the first phase of a consumer-friendly database, ClinicalTrials.
gov, with information on more than 4,000 Federal and private medical
studies involving patients and others at more than 47,000 locations
nationwide. The new database may be reached at http://clinicaltrials.gov/.
CC and NIAID scientists demonstrated that the widely used herbal
product St. John’s wort could significantly compromise the effectiveness
of a protease inhibitor often used to treat those infected with
An NIAID study showed that a nasal spray flu vaccine not only protected
young children against the three strains of influenza for which
the vaccine was designed to provide protection but also a flu strain
not covered by the vaccine. It also protected the children against
flu-related middle-ear infections.
Scientists supported by NHGRI and DOE along with the private company
Celera completely sequenced the genome of the fruitfly Drosophila
melanogaster, which is used to study a host of biological questions
related to aging, development, learning, memory and more.
NIH’s Office of Research on Minority Health and the Office of Research
on Women’s Health celebrated their tenth anniversaries.
An NHLBI-supported clinical trial showed that lowering the amount
of salt for those who ate a “usual” American diet as well as those
following the DASH diet – rich in vegetables, fruits and low-fat
dairy foods and low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol
– lowered blood pressure correspondingly for both those with and
without hypertension, including African Americans.
NIGMS and the Indian Health Service announced plans to collaborate
on a new program, Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH),
designed to promote, develop and support centers that will link
the Native American community with organizations that conduct health
The international Human Genome Project public consortium – funded
by NIH, DOE, and others – assembled a working draft of the sequence
of the human genome. The information from this project has been
completely, immediately, and freely released to the world with no
restrictions on its use.
Researchers supported by NIGMS demonstrated that a simple and inexpensive
change in basic surgical procedures – giving patients more oxygen
during and immediately after surgery – can cut the rate of wound
infections in half, thus saving millions of dollars in hospital
costs by helping to prevent post-surgical wound infection, nausea
A team of scientists funded by NIAID determined the complete sequence
of the genome of the bacterium – Vibrio cholerae – that causes
Grantees of NIAID and NHGRI and others sequenced the entire genome
of a deadly strain of E. coli, a bacterium that is emerging
as a major public health threat through contaminated ground beef,
milk, fruits and vegetables. By comparing the sequence of this strain
with that of harmless strains of E. coli, scientists may
learn why only some forms cause disease and then find ways to prevent
harmful strains from causing disease.
A team of NHGRI and NCI scientists and others developed a new genetic
test that can distinguish between two types of hereditary breast
cancer - caused by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations – and sporadic breast
cancer. The new approach uses microarray (gene chip) technology
to analyze the activity of more than 5300 genes at once. This advance
should ultimately help physicians diagnose the cause of a woman's
breast cancer and guide decisions about the most effective treatments.
A team composed of scientists from NHGRI and NINDS, grantees of
NHLBI and NIA, and others demonstrated that adult stem cells isolated
from mouse bone marrow could become functioning heart muscle cells
when injected into a damaged mouse heart. The new cells at least
partially restored the heart's ability to pump blood.
NIAID grantees completed sequencing the genome of Streptococcus
pyogenes, a bacterium that causes a wide variety of human diseases
including strep throat, scarlet fever, pneumonia, toxic shock syndrome,
blood "poisoning," acute rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart
disease, and the flesh-eating disease known as necrotizing fasciitis.
This information should aid scientists in developing new ways to
prevent and treat these diseases.
Scientists from NICHD developed and, along with an NIDDK scientist
and others, tested the first vaccine capable of protecting children
ages 2 to 5 against typhoid fever. Seemingly the most effective
typhoid vaccine ever developed, it is also virtually free of side
effects. About 16 million people worldwide develop typhoid each
year, and 600,000 die from it, mainly in developing countries without
adequate sewage and sanitation.
Under a CRADA with the drug company Novartis, NCI scientists found
that a new drug known as Gleevec was effective against chronic myelogenous
leukemia (CML) in patients for whom standard treatments had failed.
(CML is a disease in which too many white blood cells are made in
the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside the large bones in the
body.) NCI funded the lion's share of the basic research that led
to the discovery and development by Novartis of Gleevec, the first
anti-cancer drug specifically developed to target the molecular
problem that causes a particular type of cancer.
NHGRI scientists and others developed a method that combined microarray
(gene chip) technology with a form of artificial intelligence. This
enabled them to tell the difference between four childhood cancers
that often look alike – neuroblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma, non-Hodgkin
lymphoma (Burkitt's lymphoma) and rhabdomyosarcoma. Because the
treatments for these tumors are quite different, an accurate diagnosis
can be critical for a child's survival. This study should help lead
to the discovery of genes that are altered in these tumors and ultimately
to the development of effective new treatments.
Grantees of NHLBI and NIA found that human heart muscle cells can
regenerate after a heart attack. This finding opens up the possibility
of repairing heart muscle damage after a heart attack.
Animal studies by NIDA researchers found that craving for cocaine
seems to increase, rather than decrease, in the days and months
after drug use has stopped. This phenomenon helps explain why addiction
is a chronic, relapsing disease.
People at high risk for type 2 diabetes can sharply lower their
chances of getting the disease by losing weight (5 percent to 7
percent of their body weight) and by getting 30 minutes of walking
or other moderate exercise every day, according to the findings
of a clinical trial sponsored by NIDDK.
On August 9, President Bush announced that Federal funds could
be used to support research using existing lines of human embryonic
stem cells that meet certain criteria. NIH then developed a registry
of the known human embryonic stem cell lines so researchers could
identify in their applications for funding which sources of stem
cells they plan to use.
An NEI-sponsored clinical trial showed that people at high risk
of developing advanced stages of age-related macular degeneration
(AMD) significantly lowered that risk by taking a high-dose combination
of zinc and the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
These nutrients are the first effective treatment to slow the progression
of AMD, a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in Americans
65 years of age and older.