Chronology of Events
||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 U.S. Navy.
||The admission of foreign
seamen to Marine hospitals on a reimbursable basis was
authorized on May 3.
||The first permanent Marine
hospital was authorized on May 3 to be built in Boston,
||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 basis.
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 and cholera."
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
||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
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
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 in Montana.
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
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 July 1.
The Pan American Sanitary Bureau was established December
2. The Public Health and Marine Hospital Service began
international health cooperation.
||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
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 through grants.
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
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
||On January 19, the Narcotics
Control Act was passed, authorizing construction of two
hospitals for drug addicts, and creation of a PHS Narcotics
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 May 29.
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
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 May 28.
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 28.
||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
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 of purchases.
||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 health
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 6.
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
The National Dental Research Act, passed June 24, authorized
the National Institute of Dental Research.
The National Heart Institute was established August
The National Institute of Dental Research was established
Construction of the Clinical Center was started in November.
The National Microbiological Institute and the Experimental
Biology and Medicine Institute were established on November
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
The purchase of 47.9 acres of land from Mr. and Mrs.
G. Freeland Peter for $505,000 was concluded on February
The National Institute of Mental Health was established
on April 15, with the abolishment of the Division of
The first issue of The NIH Record was published
The purchase of 50.2 acres of land from the Sisters
of the Visitation for $173,058 was concluded on June
Dr. Frank B. Rogers became director of the Army Medical
Library in October.
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 institutes.
Dr. William H. Sebrell, Jr. was appointed NIH director
on October 1.
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
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
The Armed Forces Medical Library was designated the
National Library of Medicine (NLM) and placed under PHS
||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 4.
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
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
On May 26, DHEW Secretary Abraham A. Ribicoff dedicated
the new NIDR building.
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 18.
The NIH Latin American Office was established in Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil, July 1.
The Division of Research Facilities and Resources was
established July 15.
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 1.
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
The first NIH International Lecture was given October
31 by Dr. Walsh McDermott of Cornell University Medical
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, N.C.
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
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 further research.
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 related programs.
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 organisms.
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 and
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
Dr. Robert Q. Marston was sworn in as NIH director on
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
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
On November 10, the DHEW secretary redesignated the
National Heart Institute as the National Heart and Lung
||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
Dr. Merlin K. DuVal was appointed DHEW assistant secretary
for health and scientific affairs on July 1, succeeding
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
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 July 27.
On October 25 Public Law 92-564 established a temporary
National Commission on Multiple Sclerosis (supported
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 29.
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
The National Institute on Aging was established on October
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
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
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 in April.
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
||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
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
On July 18 NCI and the National Naval Medical Center,
Bethesda, MD., agreed to cooperate in a cancer treatment
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
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
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,
On January 18, Building 1 was officially named the James
A. Shannon Building in honor of the former NIH director
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
In December, the Clinical Center celebrated its 30th
anniversary of operation.
NIH purchased the Convent of the Sisters of the Visitation
of Washington along with about 11 acres of land for $4.5
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 their 25th.
Fifty-six promising science students - one from each
state and U.S. possession - were honored by NIH as centennial
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 their 40th.
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 Building.
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 Stroke.
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
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
DRR and DRS merged in March and named the National Center
for Research Resources.
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 ceremonies.
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
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
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
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
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 Clinic Foundation.
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
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 lungs.
Researchers at NIEHS isolated the BRCA1 gene - responsible
for about 5 percent of all breast cancers and 25 percent
in women under age 30.
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
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
DRG celebrated its 50th anniversary and NIEHS noted
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
A team led by NHGRI scientists identified a defective
gene that causes some inherited cases of Parkinson's
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
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
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 people annually.
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 leukemia.
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.
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 HIV.
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
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
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 research.
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
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 cholera.
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,
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
NCRR-supported scientists were part of a team that cloned
the world's first "knockout" pigs – ones with a
particular gene removed. The gene they removed was for
a molecule on the surface of the pig cells that the human
immune system recognizes and attacks, leading to the
failure of transplanted tissues or organs.
A team of NICHD and other scientists developed the first
vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus, a major cause
of infection and death among hospital patients.
People with elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood
had nearly double the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD),
according to a team of scientists supported by NIA and
NINDS. The findings, in a group of participants in NHLBI's
long-running Framingham Study, are the first to tie homocysteine
levels measured several years before with a later diagnosis
of AD and the other dementias, providing some of the
most powerful evidence yet of an association between
high plasma homocysteine and later significant memory
NIAID released its Counter-Bioterrorism Research Agenda,
a document describing an accelerated research plan for
the most threatening agents of bioterrorism. The agenda
outlines the research NIAID will undertake to help protect
civilian populations from diseases such as smallpox,
anthrax and plague should those who wish to do harm unleash
Results of an NIAID study indicate that the existing
U.S. supply of smallpox vaccine – 15.4 million
doses – could successfully be diluted up to five
times and retain its potency, effectively expanding the
number of individuals it could protect from the contagious
disease. The success of this study puts us one step closer
to the goal of having enough vaccine for every American
if needed to respond to a potential outbreak.
Dr. Elias Zerhouni became the 15th director of the National
Institutes of Health.
The international Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium,
jointly funded by NHGRI and several NIH institutes along
with the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom, announced
that it had assembled and deposited into public databases
an advanced draft sequence of the mouse genome, the genetic
blueprint for the most important animal model in biomedical
research. The sequence is freely available on the Internet.
Dr. Roderic I. Pettigrew was named the first director
of NIH's new National Institute of Biomedical Imaging
Researchers used whole-genome sequencing technology
and computational methods to genetically compare two
important isolates of the anthrax bacterium: the well-known
Ames strain and an isolate from the 2001 Florida anthrax
attacks. These techniques will enable researchers to
more accurately trace the origin of individual bacterial
strains, determine if those strains have been genetically
modified, and assess differences in their ability to
cause disease or resist antibiotics. NIAID teamed with
the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation,
and other agencies to fund the research.
NHLBI stopped early a major clinical trial of the risks
and benefits of combined estrogen and progestin in healthy
menopausal women due to an increased risk of invasive
breast cancer. The large trial, a component of the Women's
Health Initiative (WHI), also found increases in coronary
heart disease, stroke, and pulmonary embolism in study
participants on estrogen plus progestin compared to women
taking placebo pills. There were some benefits of estrogen
plus progestin, including fewer cases of hip fractures
and colon cancer, but on balance the harm was greater
than the benefit.
NIH licensed a new technology that allows physicians
and researchers to make detailed, three-dimensional maps
of nerve pathways in the brain, heart muscle fibers,
and other soft tissues. The new imaging technology, called
Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DT-MRI),
was invented by researchers now at NICHD.
A new approach to cancer treatment that replaces a patient's
immune system with cancer-fighting cells can lead to
tumor shrinkage. NCI researchers demonstrated that immune
cells, activated in the laboratory against patients'
tumors and then administered to those patients, could
attack cancer cells in the body. The experimental technique,
known as adoptive transfer, has shown promising results
in patients with metastatic melanoma who have not responded
to standard treatment.
NIAID-supported researchers proved conclusively that
the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum became
resistant to the anti-malarial drug chloroquine through
mutations in a single parasite gene. This finding has
potentially important implications for malaria treatment
An international research consortium of NHGRI, other
NIH components, and other countries launched a public-private
effort to create the next generation map of the human
genome. Called the International HapMap Project, this
new venture is aimed at speeding the discovery of genes
related to common illnesses such as asthma, cancer, diabetes
and heart disease.
The International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium,
led in the United States by NHGRI and the Department
of Energy, completed the Human Genome Project more than
two years ahead of schedule and for a cost substantially
less than the original estimates. The international effort
to sequence the three billion DNA letters is considered
by many to be one of the most ambitious scientific undertakings
of all time. The first draft of the human sequence was
completed in June 2000. Researchers have now produced
a "finished" sequence, which covers about 99 percent
of the human genome's gene-containing regions, and has
been sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99 percent. All of
the sequence data have been deposited into public databases
and made freely available to scientists around the world,
with no restrictions on their use or redistribution.
The complete genetic blueprint of Bacillus anthracis — the
microbe that gained notoriety during the 2001 anthrax
mail attacks — has been completed by NIAID-funded
researchers. This bacterium, which can cause potentially
fatal inhalational anthrax, differs very little from
a common soil bacterium related to it. Scientists hope
that the genetic differences between these two may reveal
valuable clues to its vulnerabilities.
NHLBI published new clinical practice guidelines for
the prevention, detection, and treatment of high blood
pressure — a major risk factor for heart disease
and the chief risk factor for stroke and heart failure.
The guidelines define a new blood pressure category called "prehypertension" that
includes about 22 percent of American adults, or about
45 million people. Americans' lifetime risk of developing
hypertension is greater than previously thought, according
to the new guidelines. Medications and lifestyle changes
are both crucial parts of treatment.
Researchers supported by NIMH found a gene called 5-HTT
that influences whether people become depressed when
faced with major life stresses such as relationship problems,
financial difficulties and illness. The gene by itself
does not cause depression, but it does affect how likely
people are to get depressed when faced with major life
stresses. Another study led by NIAAA researchers found
that this same gene affects drinking habits in college
students. These studies are major contributions toward
understanding how a person’s response to their
environment is influenced by their genetic makeup.
A team led by NIDCR and NICHD researchers discovered
that "baby" teeth, the temporary teeth that children
begin losing around their sixth birthday, contain a rich
supply of stem cells in their dental pulp. The cells,
named SHED, remain alive inside the tooth for a short
time after it falls out of a child's mouth. This easily
accessible source of stem cells could be readily harvested
for research. Scientists hope they can learn to manipulate
them to repair damaged teeth, induce the regeneration
of bone, and treat neural injury or disease.
Researchers supported by NICHD, NIGMS, NHLBI and NIDCR
discovered how an embryo attaches to the wall of the
uterus in what may be one of the earliest steps needed
to establish a successful pregnancy. After an egg is
fertilized, a specialized protein called L-selectin on
the embryo surface binds to carbohydrates on the uterine
wall. Scientists think that this interaction slows the
embryo down to a complete stop so it can then attach
to the wall of the uterus. The finding may lead to insights
into infertility and early pregnancy loss.
An international research team funded by NINR found
that filters made from old cotton saris cut the number
of cholera cases in rural Bangladesh villages almost
in half. Other inexpensive cloth should work just as
well in other parts of the world where cholera is endemic.
Cholera is a waterborne disease that causes severe diarrhea
and vomiting, killing thousands of people around the
world every year. This simple preventive measure has
the potential to make a significant impact on a global
NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni names five new institute
directors: Dr. Ting-Kai Li at the National Institute
on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Dr. Thomas Insel at
the National Institute of Mental Health; Dr. Nora Volkow
at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Jeremy Berg
at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences;
Dr. Story Landis at the National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke.
President George W. Bush visits NIH on Feb. 3 to unveil
Project BioShield, a $6 billion, 10-year effort to protect
the public from various weapons of bioterrorism.
The FY 2003 appropriation for NIH completes a 5-year
doubling of the NIH budget that began in 1998.
Construction begins on a new Perimeter Security System
including a fence around the Bethesda campus.
Construction begins on the Bldg. 33 Complex, to include
a parking garage and 150,000 gross square foot laboratory
for work on infectious agents that might be used in bioterrorism.
Dr. Zerhouni announces the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research,
a comprehensive plan whose purpose is to identify the
major scientific opportunities and gaps in medical research
that no single institute or center at NIH could tackle