News Release

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NIH releases first Biennial Report of the Director

Dr. Raynard S. Kington, acting director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced the publication of the first Biennial Report of the Director, a document that provides an integrated portrait of NIH research activities. The report makes it easier for Congress, advocates and patient groups, and the general public to understand the many programs within the agency.

The report contains an assessment of the state of biomedical and behavioral research organized by disease category, investigative approach, or resource. To ensure that the document reflects the work of all 27 Institutes and Centers (ICs), 15 trans-NIH teams gathered, reviewed, and organized information into a standardized format. To best serve the public and the scientific and legislative communities, sections of the report include:

An introduction to the disease, disorder, field, or approach;

  • A summary of the scope of NIH’s research activities referencing the ICs whose missions address the topic;
  • Related health statistics;
  • Aggregate data on NIH funding;
  • Notable examples of research activities, key programs, initiatives, studies and accomplishments; and
  • Strategic plans and directions for future research.

As mandated by Congress, the report includes chapters on the following diseases, disorders, health topics, and NIH activities:

  • Cancer;
  • Neuroscience and disorders of the nervous system;
  • Infections diseases and biodefense;
  • Autoimmune diseases;
  • Chronic diseases and organ systems;
  • Life stages, human development, and rehabilitation;
  • Minority health and health disparities;
  • Epidemiological and longitudinal studies;
  • Genomics;
  • Molecular biology and basic sciences;
  • Clinical and translational research;
  • Disease registries, databases, and biomedical information systems;
  • Technology development;
  • Research training and career development;
  • Health communication, information campaigns, and clearinghouses; and
  • Six congressionally-mandated NIH Center of Excellence programs.

The report is available through the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) Web site at The Web version of the document contains PDFs and links to NIH programs, plans and publications referenced in the report. The print version of the report will be released in late January. Thumb drives loaded with PDFs of the print and web versions of the report also will be available. This public release follows the submission of an administrative pre-print of the report to Congress in early June.

The NIH Reform Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-482) affirmed the importance of NIH and its vital role in advancing biomedical research to improve the health of the nation. The legislation established new strategies to accomplish NIH’s mission in an era when the scale and complexity of health issues require constant innovation and interdisciplinary efforts. To that end, the NIH Reform Act replaced many of the disparate reports required by law from NIH’s ICs with one comprehensive biennial account to Congress. The NIH Biennial Report for Fiscal Years 2006 & 2007 is the agency’s first under the new mandate.

The Office of the Director, NIH, provides leadership, oversight, and coordination for the entire NIH research enterprise. Also within the Office of the Director, many offices develop NIH policy and provide essential NIH-wide oversight and coordination. For more information, please visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®