Discovery Documentary First in Human

First in Human is a three-part documentary capturing the real-life experiences of doctors, researchers, staff, patients and their caregivers, at the NIH Clinical Center.* The documentary airs on three sequential Thursday evenings on August 10, 17, and 24, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.

For over a year, Discovery, in collaboration with John Hoffman (Weight of the Nation, Sleepless in America), was embedded in the NIH Clinical Center to capture the challenges faced in diagnosing and treating diseases.

Narrated by Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory, Hidden Figures), the three-episode series showcases the innovative work that takes place within the NIH Clinical Center and provides an in-depth look at the reality of experimental medicine in clinical trials.

About the NIH Clinical Center

The NIH Clinical Center is the nation’s largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research. Currently, there are about 1,600 clinical research studies in progress. The hospital has seen more than 500,000 patients who have volunteered as research participants since it opened in 1953, working together to create medical innovations. Clinical Center successes include pioneering the cure of cancerous solid tumors with chemotherapy; the use of nitroglycerin to treat heart attacks; identifying a genetic component in schizophrenia; conducting the first successful replacement of a mitral valve to treat heart disease; and the creation of blood tests to identify both Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and hepatitis.

Learn about participating in Clinical Trials

Media Contacts

NIH News Media Branch
Tel: 301-496-5787

NIH Clinical Center
Tel: 301-594-5789

FIRST IN HUMAN is produced by McGee Media for Discovery. The series is directed by John Hoffman; produced by, John Hoffman, Beth Wichterich, and Michael Epstein; narrated by, Jim Parsons; executive producers Dyllan McGee, Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak, and Eric Norsoph; producer, Jon Bardin; supervising producer, Stacia Thompson; senior editor, Adriana Pacheco; director of photography, Simon Schneider. For Discovery Channel, supervising producer, Jon Bardin; executive producer, John Hoffman.


* All participants (including patients and staff) in the series provided a written, informed consent in advance of production, which is standard procedure at the NIH Clinical Center.

This page last reviewed on August 24, 2017