With the transfer of this center, aging and research training activities of NIH, except neurosciences, were consolidated in NIA.
Located on the grounds of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 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 2½ days of testing to measure individual age changes.
A multimillion-dollar 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.
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 host-microbe relationships, as well as developing new diagnostic techniques and vaccines for a variety of infectious diseases.
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.