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From the Director
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invests in new ideas in biomedical research to advance human health — prompting innovations in science and technology and stimulating economic growth. NIH is literally turning discovery into better health for all Americans.
The NIH research investment has made possible many tangible gains, including 1 added year of longevity every 7 years since 1990. That means that a child born today is likely to live to 79 years — nearly three decades longer than a baby born in 1900.
Many health triumphs stem from our nation’s commitment to investing in basic science research, which lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention by providing the building blocks for clinical applications.
For example, deaths from heart attack and stroke have been reduced by more than 70 percent in the past 60 years. Cancer death rates have been dropping about 1 percent annually for the past 15 years, saving hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Tracing back the history of today’s approved medical treatments, almost all of them have roots in basic and clinical research supported by NIH.
Investing in our nations’ current and future health through research is a time-tested winning strategy. Not only does it fuel medical advances, it also has wide-reaching economic benefits by creating high-quality jobs in communities throughout the United States and bolstering our global competitiveness in scientific innovation.
This is a remarkable time of discovery, and the opportunities in science and medicine are exciting and urgent.
The time is now to accelerate these efforts. Investments in NIH will continue to bring us new ways to cure disease, alleviate suffering, and prevent illness.
/Francis S. Collins/
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
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This page last reviewed on February 28, 2023