Looking Forward

Aerial image of the NIH Clinical Center Aerial view of the NIH Clinical CenterNIH

Throughout this brochure, example after example shows – through countless stories and statistics– how NIH is turning discovery into health. NIH research saves lives and strengthens our economy through job creation and improved quality of life for millions of Americans. There is little doubt that this research investment is one of the wisest moves we can make as a nation.

NIH is also a leading source of scientific knowledge for the world, which bolsters the nation’s strength in lasting ways. NIH fundamental research has led to 153 Nobel Prizes and 198 Lasker Prizes. Often dubbed “America’s Nobel,” the Lasker Prize honors groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of human disease.

And for thousands of patients around the world, NIH is known as the “National Institutes of Hope.” Since the NIH Clinical Center opened in 1953, more than half a million patients from all over the world who qualify for studies have come here to be treated, often when no other options remain. 

Their participation in clinical research has brought forth numerous advances, some shown on the facing page, and is vital in our ongoing quest to improve health for all Americans.

Because of NIH Research...

Pancreatic Cancer Cells This image shows pancreatic cancer cells (nuclei in blue) growing as a sphere encased in membranes (red). By growing cancer cells in the lab, researchers can study factors that promote and prevent the formation of deadly tumors.NCI
  • Blood-thinning drugs such as TPA prevent stokes and save lives
  • Once the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children, Hemophilus Influenza Type B has been nearly eliminated.  
  • The cure rate for the most common childhood leukemia is 90%
  • Fluoride in water protects our teeth for life
  • The U.S. blood supply is clean and save from viruses like HIV and Hepatitis
  • Cholesterol-lowering statins prevent Heart Disease, and heart attacks deaths are down by 70%
  • Modest weight loss and regular exercise prevent Type 2 Diabetes in people at risk
  • Effective medicines treat millions with depression
  • Quitting smoking prevents many diseases like Cancer and Heart Disease
  • HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence, and can be effectively treated for decades
  • Medicines block mother-to-child HIB transmission
  • Artificial skin allows severe burns to heal
  • The sequencing of the Human Genome has opened a world of unprecedented opportunities for science, medicine and health

Imagine the Future...

  • A Human “Tissue Chip” containing miniature versions of heart, lung, and liver helps researchers screen new medications in the lab before testing them in humans.
  • People with previously lethal cancer manage their condition with effect and non-toxic precision medications and enjoy a normal healthy life.
  • New opioid-based medications provide pain relief without dependency.
  • Medications treat type 2 diabetes by restetting metabolism in people at risk.
  • New Technlolgies dectect Alzheimers disease risk long before memory loss occuurs, when it may be possible to treat or prevent this disease.
  • Computer-based screening tooks individualize care of people with head trauma.
  • Stem cells will replace brain cells lost to parkinson's disease or act as delivery vehicles for nerve-cell survival-promoting factors.
  • Thousands of deaths are averted and billions of health care dollars are saved by preventing obesity-related complications.
  • Osteoarthritis treatments stop disease progression rather than simply treating symptoms.
  • Implantable sustained-released nanoparticles deliver drugs or genetically engineered cell therapy to damaged eyes.
  • A drop of saliva will enable early detection of various medical conditions, ranging from oral diseases to cancer to diabetes.

NIH Institutes and Centers

NIH Institutes

NIH Centers

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This page last reviewed on November 16, 2023