Chapt. Field Units
March Center, NIA
Baltimore, Md.

The Gerontology Research Center, initially part of the National Heart Institute, was transferred to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in December 1965 and to the new National Institute on Aging in July 1975. It is the setting for the bulk of the NIA intramural research programs. The institute's Laboratory of Neuroscience operates basic research and clinical programs out of the NIH Clinical Center on the main campus in Bethesda.

With the transfer of this center, all major aging and research training activities of NIH were consolidated in NIA. Located on the grounds of the Francis Scott Key Medical Center, at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, GRC's laboratories emphasize investigation of the basic biological mechanisms of aging description and interpretation of age changes in the various organ systems of human beings and characterization and explanation of overall changes in performance and behavior which accompany the aging process. Its programs encompass a longitudinal study of some 1,100 healthy men and women, ranging in age from the twenties to the nineties. These volunteers come to Baltimore every 2 years for 22 days of testing to measure individual age changes.

A multimillion­dollar Gerontology Research Center building was completed and opened in June 1968. The facilities and resources available at this center are the most comprehensive in the country committed to research in aging. The center serves as a regional and national focal point for research in aging, and training in gerontology and geriatrics.


Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID
Hamilton, Mont.

The earliest studies of Rocky Mountain spotted fever were begun at this laboratory in 1902. It was formally established as a PHS field station in 1921. Although the Rocky Mountain Laboratory remains a center for the study of medically important tick­borne diseases and diseases transmissible from animals to man, a recent reorganization has diversified the laboratory focusing research on the basic cellular level.

In March 1979 three new laboratories were established at the RML facility: the Laboratory of Microbial Structure and Function, the Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, and the Laboratory of Pathobiology. In 1990 the latter was renamed the Laboratory of Vectors and Pathogens, and a new Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites was established. Scientists in these laboratories conduct studies on the natural history and epidemiology of sexually transmitted bacterial diseases, slow virus diseases, rickettsial diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. RML investigators are also carrying out research at the molecular level on the problems of host­microbe relationships, as well as developing new diagnostic techniques and vaccines for a variety of infectious diseases.


NIH Animal Center, NCRR
Poolesville, Md

The Veterinary Resources Program operates a specialized laboratory animal center situated on 513 acres of farmland located 8 miles southwest of Poolesville, Md., near the Potomac River. The cost of the land, purchased in 1960, was $146,689. A construction program, ultimately to provide permanent buildings and associated facilities costing $18 million, began in 1963. The first phase was completed in May 1965 and included a farm animal building, a kennel building, and a powerplant, together with necessary water, sewers, electric power, steam, chilled water, and paved access road. Two dwellings were also constructed for resident personnel. A building for research holding as well as quarantine and conditioning of nonhuman primates was completed in May 1971. Also finished were buildings being used by the National Institute of Mental Health for its Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior.

The Animal Center is a major extension of animal holding and production facilities at Bethesda. Programs of the institutes include studies of animal behavior, conduct of immunologic procedures and sampling, and surgical investigation in larger animals. The size and character of the animal population varies in response to changes in research programs. The species kept at the NIH Animal Center (in descending order of population size) are nonhuman primates, dogs, sheep, swine, cats, goats, birds, burros, horses, and cattle.