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NIBIB logo   National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
Mission | History | Director


The mission of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering is to improve health by promoting fundamental discoveries, design and development, and translation and assessment of technological capabilities in biomedical imaging and bioengineering, enabled by relevant areas of information science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials science, and computer sciences. The Institute plans, conducts, fosters, and supports an integrated and coordinated program of research and research training that can be applied to a broad spectrum of biological processes, disorders and diseases and across organ systems. The Institute coordinates with the biomedical imaging and bioengineering programs of other agencies and NIH Institutes to support imaging and engineering research with potential medical applications and facilitates the transfer of such technologies to medical applications.

In support of its mission the Institute will:

  • Support research and research training through existing NIH funding mechanisms, and take the lead in exploring novel approaches for funding technology development and interdisciplinary research.
  • Form partnerships with NIH Institutes and Centers to translate fundamental discoveries into research and applications for specific diseases, disorders, or biological processes.
  • Coordinate with other government agencies to translate fundamental or crosscutting discoveries and developments in imaging and engineering, and related areas of information science and technology assessment, into biomedical applications.
  • Encourage and support the development of relevant standards and guidelines that will enable widespread adaptability for biomedical imaging, bioengineering, and related information science and technology and computation, by taking a leadership and coordinating role for the NIH.


The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) is the newest of the NIH research institutes and centers. The NIBIB is mandated by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Establishment Act (H.R. 1795), which was signed into law by President William Clinton on December 29, 2000.

To make the new Institute "official" so that development activities could proceed, a detailed NIBIB Establishment Plan was prepared. This Plan described the initial infrastructure, organization, budget requirements, and mission of the Institute. The NIBIB Establishment plan was approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Tommy G. Thompson, on April 20, 2001. Concurrent with this approval, Dr. Donna Dean was named Acting Director of the NIBIB.

Following the approval of the NIBIB Establishment Plan, initial program and administrative staff were obtained, a budget request for fiscal year 2002 was prepared and submitted, temporary office space was located, funding and grant identification codes and procedures were determined, and program (research, training, and communication) focus areas and opportunities were identified. The first "official" NIBIB interagency activity was a Joint NIH/NSF Workshop on Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Education and Training which was conducted on June 13-14, 2001. The NIBIB assumed administration of the NIH's Bioengineering Consortium (BECON) on September 19, 2001.

Information on these activities and the continued development of the Institute will be posted on the NIBIB Web site at

Biographical Sketch of NIBIB Director Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D.

Dr. Pettigrew is known for his pioneering work at Emory University involving dynamic three-dimensional imaging of the heart using magnetic resonance (MRI). He also was co-developer of the first computer software package specifically designed for cardiac imaging using MRI.

Dr. Pettigrew graduated cum laude from Morehouse College with a B.S. in physics, where he was a Merrill Scholar; has an M.S. in nuclear medicine and engineering from Rennselear Polytechnic Institute; and a Ph.D. in applied radiation physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Whitaker Harvard-MIT Health Science Scholar. After completing his Ph.D., he received an M.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine in an accelerated two-year program. He did his internship and residency in internal medicine at Emory University and completed a residency in nuclear medicine at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Pettigrew spent a year as a clinical research scientist with Picker International, the first manufacturer of MRI equipment. In 1985, he joined Emory as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow with an interest in non-invasive cardiac imaging.

Dr. Pettigrew, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Bennie Award (Benjamin E. Mays) for Achievement in 1989. Also in 1989, when the Radiological Society of North America celebrated its 75th Diamond anniversary scientific meeting, the largest medical meeting in the world, it selected Dr. Pettigrew to give the keynote Eugene P. Pendergrass New Horizons Lecture. In 1990, he was named the Most Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Miami. He has served as chairman of the Diagnostic Radiology Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, NIH, and has received multiple grants from the NIH for his research on cardiac imaging. He is on numerous editorial boards, scientific societies' Boards of Directors, and is a frequent invited lecturer at international scientific meetings. Dr. Pettigrew has also been elected a Fellow of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

NIBIB Directors

Date of Birth
In Office From
Roderic I. Pettigrew   May 7, 2002  
This page was last reviewed on June 30, 2005 .

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