Chronology of Events
| 1800 | 1900 | 1910
| 1920 | 1930 | 1940
| 1950 | 1960 | 1970
| 1980 | 1990 | 2000
||The Marine Hospital Service
was established with the July 16 signing by President John Adams of
an act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen.
||An amending act of March 2 extended
benefits of the Marine Hospital Service to officers and men of the
||The admission of foreign seamen
to Marine hospitals on a reimbursable basis was authorized on May
|| The first permanent Marine hospital
was authorized on May 3 to be built in Boston, Mass.
|| Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse was
appointed physician in charge of the Boston Marine Hospital on November
27. He was the first to introduce interns and residents into hospitals
in the United States.
|| The Library of the Office of
the Surgeon General of the Army was established (the present National
Library of Medicine).
||John Shaw Billings, M.D., was
assigned to supervise the Surgeon General’s Library, which he built
into a national resource of biomedical literature.
||A bill dated June 29 provided
for administration of Marine hospitals within a Bureau of the Treasury
Department with a medical officer in charge.
|| Dr. John Maynard Woodworth
was appointed supervising surgeon of the Marine Hospital Service in
April, marking the beginning of central control of Marine hospitals.
|| Regulations were approved on
December 1 for appointment and promotion of physicians in the Marine
Hospital Service, establishing the first career service for civilian
employees in the Federal Government.
A bill passed on March 3
authorized admission of Navy seamen and seamen of other government
services to Marine hospitals on a reimbursable basis.
In recognition of Dr. Woodworth’s progress in reorganizing the
Marine Hospital Service, his title was changed by law to supervising
Surgeon General on March 3.
The first Federal Quarantine
Act was passed April 29.
On December 21, Congress appropriated funds “for investigating
the origin and causes of epidemic diseases, especially yellow fever
The National Board of Health
was created by law on March 3. It represented the first organized,
comprehensive, national medical research effort of the Federal Government.
Dr. John B. Hamilton was appointed Surgeon General of the Marine
Hospital Service, April 3.
|| The seamen’s hospital tax was
abolished on July 1. The cost of maintaining Marine hospitals was
paid out of a tonnage tax, which continued until 1906.
|| A bacteriological laboratory,
known as the Laboratory of Hygiene, was established under Dr. Joseph
J. Kinyoun at the Marine Hospital, Staten Island, N.Y., in August,
for research on cholera and other infectious diseases (renamed Hygienic
Laboratory in 1891.)
|| The commissioned corps was authorized
on January 4 establishing by law the policy of a mobile corps subject
to duty anywhere upon assignment.
|| Congress gave the Marine Hospital
Service interstate quarantine authority on March 27.
The Hygienic Laboratory moved
from Staten Island, N.Y., to the Butler Building, Service Headquarters,
Washington, D.C., in June.
Dr. Walter Wyman was appointed Surgeon General of the Marine Hospital
Service on June 1.
|| A new Quarantine Act, passed
February 15, strengthened the Quarantine Act of 1878 and repealed
the act establishing the National Board of Health.
The Marine Hospital Service
was directed by Congress on March 2 to investigate leprosy in the
Dr. Milton J. Rosenau succeeded Dr. Kinyoun as director of the
Hygienic Laboratory on May 1.
The earliest studies of
Rocky Mountain spotted fever took place in Montana.
A bill approved July 1 changed the name of the Marine Hospital
Service to the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service and established
an advisory board for the Hygienic Laboratory. It later became the
National Advisory Health Council.
The 57th Congress enacted Public Law 244 to regulate the shipment
of biologics. The technical responsibilities of the program were
assigned to the Hygienic Laboratory.
The Advisory Board for the Biologics Control Division was established
The Pan American Sanitary Bureau was established December 2. The
Public Health and Marine Hospital Service began international health
|| The Hygienic Laboratory moved
to a new building on a 5-acre tract at 25th and E Streets NW, Washington,
D.C., on March 16.
|| Medical care for merchant seamen
and other beneficiaries of the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service
began to be supported by direct congressional appropriations, with
the repeal of the tonnage tax on June 30.
|| Dr. John F. Anderson was appointed
Hygienic Laboratory director on October 1.
Dr. Rupert Blue was appointed
Surgeon General of the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service
on January 13.
The name Public Health and Marine Hospital Service was changed
to Public Health Service (PHS) on August 14, and the research program
was expanded to include other-than-communicable diseases field investigations,
navigable stream pollution, and information dissemination.
|| Dr. Joseph Goldberger announced
his views of pellagra as a dietary deficiency, emphasizing the importance
of dietary deficiency diseases.
|| Dr. George W. McCoy was appointed
Hygienic Laboratory director on November 20.
The Chamberlain-Kahn Act,
passed July 9, provided for the study of venereal diseases. The
PHS made grants to 25 institutions, establishing a precedent for
the Federal Government to seek assistance of scientists through
The PHS reserve corps was established by law on October 27, during
the influenza pandemic, as a means of coping with the emergencies.
|| Dr. Hugh Smith Cumming was
appointed PHS Surgeon General on March 3.
|| The Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Laboratory was established in a former school building in Hamilton,
Mont., on September 20 as a recognized PHS field station.
The Library of the Office
of the Surgeon General (Army) was renamed the Army Medical Library
A Special Cancer Investigations Laboratory was established by PHS
investigators at Harvard Medical School on August 1.
|| On January 19, the Narcotics
Control Act was passed, authorizing construction of two hospitals
for drug addicts, and creation of a PHS Narcotics Division.
On April 9, the Advisory
Board for the Hygienic Laboratory became the National Advisory Health
On May 26 the Ransdell Act redesignated the Hygienic Laboratory
as the National Institute of Health, authorizing $750,000 for construction
of two buildings for NIH, and creating a system of fellowships.
On June 14, Public Law 357 authorized creation of a separate Bureau
of Narcotics in the Treasury Department and changed the PHS Narcotics
Division to the Division of Mental Hygiene. The law gave the Surgeon
General authority to investigate the causes, treatment, and prevention
of mental and nervous diseases.
A narcotic “farm” at Lexington,
Ky., was completed and opened on May 29.
On August 10, Mr. and Mrs. Luke I. Wilson made a gift of 45 acres
of their estate “Tree Tops” for use of the National Institute of
Health in Bethesda, MD.
Title VI of the Social Security Act was passed August 14 authorizing
the expenditure of up to $2 million on health grants to the states
for “investigation of disease and problems of sanitation.”
|| Dr. Thomas Parran was appointed
PHS Surgeon General on April 6.
The Rocky Mountain Laboratory
became part of the National Institute of Health in February, and
was administratively made part of the Division of Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Lewis R. Thompson was appointed director of the National Institute
of Health on February 1.
With the reorganization of the National Institute of Health into
eight divisions, the biologics control program, previously the responsibility
of the Division of Pathology and Bacteriology, NIH, was assigned
to a newly established Division of Biologics Control (redesignated
Biologics Control Laboratory, 1944).
The National Cancer Institute Act was signed on July 23.
The National Advisory Cancer
Council recommended approval of the first awards for fellowships
in cancer research on January 3.
Mrs. Luke I. Wilson made a second gift of 10.7 acres, to NIH on
The cornerstone for Building 1 was laid June 30.
Congress approved construction of new, larger laboratory facilities,
and NIH moved to Bethesda, MD., in July.
Mrs. Luke I. Wilson made a third gift, 14.4 acres of land, to NIH
on September 30.
The narcotics hospital at Fort Worth, Tex., was dedicated on October
|| Under a Reorganization Act dated
April 3, the PHS was transferred from the Treasury Department to the
Federal Security Agency.
Mrs. Luke I. Wilson made
a fourth gift, 11.6 acres of land, to NIH on September 27.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the buildings and the
grounds of the National Institute of Health on October 31.
Dr. Rolla Eugene Dyer was
appointed director of the National Institute of Health on February
A final gift of land was made by Mrs. Luke I. Wilson on March 17
bringing the total to 92 acres. This was the nucleus of the present
306.4-acre reservation. Additional land was acquired through a series
|| NIH was given bureau status
in the PHS on November 11.
The PHS act was approved on
July 1, consolidating and revising existing public health legislation,
and giving NIH the legislative basis for its postwar program, with
general authority to conduct research. Under this act NCI became
a division of NIH.
The Research Grants Office
was created at NIH in January to administer the Office of Scientific
Research and Development projects transferred to the PHS at the
end of World War II and to operate a program of extramural research
grants and fellowship awards.
The National Mental Health Act was passed July 3.
On August 12, the Research Grants Office became the Research Grants
Division (later renamed Division of Research Grants). The division
was instructed by the National Advisory Health Council to establish
study sections for scientific and technical review of research grant
applications, and to explore neglected areas of research in the
The Hospital Survey and Construction Act, introduced by Senators
Lister Hill and Harold H. Burton, was passed on August 13, authorizing
the Hill- Burton program.
Dr. Leonard A. Scheele was
appointed PHS Surgeon General on April 6.
On June 16 the National Heart Act was signed. It authorized the
National Heart Institute and changed the name of the National Institute
of Health to National Institutes of Health.
The National Dental Research Act, passed June 24, authorized the
National Institute of Dental Research.
The National Heart Institute was established August 1.
The National Institute of Dental Research was established September
Construction of the Clinical Center was started in November.
The National Microbiological Institute and the Experimental Biology
and Medicine Institute were established on November 1.
The Rocky Mountain Laboratory and Biologics Control Laboratory
became two of the four components of the National Microbiological
Institute on November 1.
The purchase of 115.8 acres
from the Town & Country Golf Club, Inc., for $600,000 was concluded
The purchase of 47.9 acres of land from Mr. and Mrs. G. Freeland
Peter for $505,000 was concluded on February 14.
The National Institute of Mental Health was established on April
15, with the abolishment of the Division of Mental Hygiene.
The first issue of The NIH Record was published May 20.
The purchase of 50.2 acres of land from the Sisters of the Visitation
for $173,058 was concluded on June 28.
Dr. Frank B. Rogers became director of the Army Medical Library
The Omnibus Medical Research
Act, signed August 15, authorized the National Institute of Neurological
Diseases and Blindness and the National Institute of Arthritis and
Metabolic Diseases, the latter absorbing the Experimental Biology
and Medicine Institute. The act also gave the Surgeon General authority
to establish new institutes.
Dr. William H. Sebrell, Jr. was appointed NIH director on October
The National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness and
the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases were
established November 22.
The first R. E. Dyer Lecture was given by
Dr. George W. Beadle, California Institute of Technology, June 21.
President Harry S. Truman laid the Clinical Center cornerstone
on June 22.
|| The Army Medical Library was
renamed Armed Forces Medical Library in April.
The first NIH Lecture was
given on January 21 by Dr. Severo Ochoa of New York University College
PHS became part of the newly created Department of Health, Education,
and Welfare on April 11.
The Clinical Center was dedicated on July 2, extending the clinical
dimension of PHS research programs.
The first patient was admitted to the Clinical Center on July 6.
A central data processing
facility was established in the Office of the Director, NIH.
The NIH Graduate School Program began on September 27.
The biologics control function
was placed in the newly formed Division of Biologics Standards in
June. The Division of Research Services and Division of Business
Operations were also formed.
The Cancer Chemotherapy National Service Center was established
April 1 to coordinate the first national cancer chemotherapy program.
The Mental Health Study Act was passed July 28.
Dr. James A. Shannon was appointed NIH director on August 1.
The National Microbiological Institute became the National Institute
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) by order of the Surgeon
General on December 29. The Biologics Control Laboratory was detached
from the institute and expanded to division status within NIH.
In January the biometric
facility became the Biometrics Branch in the new Division of Research
Dr. Leroy E. Burney was appointed PHS Surgeon General August 8.
The Armed Forces Medical Library was designated the National Library
of Medicine (NLM) and placed under PHS October 1.
|| The Center for Aging Research
was established November 27 as the focal center for NIH extramural
activities in gerontology.
On July 16 the Division
of General Medical Sciences was established by order of the Surgeon
General, extending research into noncategorical areas covered until
that time by the Division of Research Grants.
The Center for Aging Research was transferred from the National
Heart Institute to the Division of General Medical Sciences on November
The Office of Administrative
Management was formed July 15, consolidating the Division of Business
Operations and other managerial responsibilities.
Congress appropriated $2 million for the establishment of one or
two private research centers on August 19.
On March 8 the Surgeon General
approved establishment of a Computation and Data Processing Branch
in the Division of Research Services.
NIH acquired 513 acres of farmland near Poolesville, MD., on May
6. This land became the site of the NIH Animal Center.
The International Health Research Act was passed July 12, extending
NIH international programs.
The Surgeon General established
the Center for Research in Child Health in the Division of General
Medical Sciences on February 17.
Dr. Luther L. Terry was appointed PHS Surgeon General March 24.
On May 26, DHEW Secretary Abraham A. Ribicoff dedicated the new
The first Jules Freund Lecture was given by Dr. Merrill W. Chase
of the Rockefeller Institute on November 15.
The NIH European Office was established in Paris, France, on December
The NIH Latin American Office
was established in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 1.
The Division of Research Facilities and Resources was established
Public Law 87-838, passed October 17, authorized the National Institute
of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute
of General Medical Sciences.
Five acres of land for a Gerontology Research Center were donated
by the City of Baltimore in December.
The NIH Pacific Office was
established in Tokyo, Japan, on January 1.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and
the National Institute of General Medical Sciences were established
on January 30.
The Center for Research in Child Health and the Center for Research
in Aging (established in 1956) were transferred from NIGMS to NICHD.
The surgical wing for the Clinical Center was dedicated September
The first NIH International Lecture was given October 31 by Dr.
Walsh McDermott of Cornell University Medical College.
The Medical Literature Analysis
and Retrieval System (MEDLARS) became operational at the NLM in
The Division of Computer Research and Technology was established
on April 16.
On September 19 Congress authorized planning funds for a central
environmental health research facility.
A special virus-leukemia program was initiated under a special
appropriation, included in the FY 1965 appropriation signed into
law on September 19.
On January 7, the Surgeon
General announced that the National Environmental Health Sciences
Center would be located in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
The NIH Animal Center, Poolesville, MD., officially opened May
27 with 2 days of orientation for NIH employees, area residents
and the press after completion of the first of three phases of an
$18 million construction program.
NIH received a $20,250,000 supplemental appropriation on August
31 to intensify and expand support of research in heart disease,
cancer, stroke and related diseases.
Dr. William H. Stewart, appointed PHS Surgeon General September
24, took office on October 2.
A reorganization of the DHEW provided for an expansion of the secretary’s
office with the creation of three new assistant secretaries, including
an assistant secretary for health and scientific affairs.
Dr. Philip R. Lee was appointed to the new position of assistant
secretary for health and scientific affairs on November 2.
The Division of Regional
Medical Programs was created on February 1 to administer grants
under the Heart Disease, Cancer and Stroke Amendments of 1965. Dr.
Robert Q. Marston was appointed NIH associate director for regional
medical programs and chief of the division.
At a White House meeting June 27, the NIH director and institute
directors discussed with the President how the benefits of research
findings in health could be brought more rapidly to all the people.
Later in the year, a report to the President described current NIH
research efforts on the major U.S. disease problems and set forth
the status of those problems, the nature of present and planned
investigative efforts and the problems of and opportunities for
A Division of Environmental Health Sciences was established in
NIH November 1 to conduct, foster and coordinate research on the
biological, chemical, and physical effects of environmental agents.
Dr. Paul Kotin, scientific director for etiology, NCI, was named
director of the new division.
An advisory committee to the NIH director was appointed on November
9 to provide advice on the further development of NIH research and
The National Institute of Mental Health was
separated from NIH and raised to bureau status in PHS by a reorganization
that became effective January 1. NIMH’s Division of Clinical, Behavioral
and Biological Research, within the mental health Intramural Research
Program, comprising activities con- ducted in the Clinical Center
and other NIH facilities, continued here under an agreement for
joint administration between the two companion bureaus. The Toxicology
Information Program was established at NLM, January 1, in response
to recommendations of the President’s Science Advisory Committee.
The program includes the entire range of chemical effects on living
The PHS Audiovisual Facility, renamed the National Medical Audiovisual
Center, became an NLM component July 1.
On September 26, the deed for 509.25 acres of Research Triangle
Park, N.C., to serve as a permanent site for the Division of Environmental
Health Sciences, was presented to the Surgeon General.
Establishment of the John
E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health
Sciences (FIC) was given departmental approval February 26. The
center became operational on July 1, at which time the NIH Office
of International Research was abolished and certain of its functions
were transferred to FIC and NIAID.
Under a reorganization of health activities announced on April
1, NIH assumed status as a new operating agency within the department,
with the NIH director reporting directly to the assistant secretary
for health and scientific Affairs. Under the reorganization, the
Bureau of Health Manpower and the National Library of Medicine became
components of NIH.
On June 15 the four-story $7.5 million Gerontology Research Center
building, located at and operated in cooperation with Baltimore
City Hospitals, was officially opened.
A proposed facility to house the biomedical communications network
was designated the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications
by passage of P.L. 90-456 on August 3.
Established by the DHEW secretary on August 9, the Center for Population
Research conducts a contract and grant program in population and
reproduction research. The center was designated by the President
as the primary Federal agency responsible for population research
On August 16 the National Eye Institute was created to build an
enlarged program based on blindness research formerly conducted
in the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness.
The legislation also changed the NINDB name to the National Institute
of Neurological Diseases.
Dr. Robert Q. Marston was sworn in as NIH director on August 29.
A Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded on October
16 to Dr. Marshall W. Nirenberg, chief of NIH’s Laboratory of Biochemical
Genetics, for discovering the key to deciphering the genetic code.
He was the first NIH Nobel laureate, and the first Federal employee
to receive a Nobel Prize.
On October 24 the President signed into law (P.L. 90-639) legislation
changing the name of the NIND to the National Institute of Neurological
Diseases and Stroke.
The National Eye Institute was established on December 26.
A further reorganization of the NIH internal
structure announced January 4 renamed the Bureau of Health Manpower
as the Bureau of Health Professions Education and Manpower Training
and expanded it to include seven divisions, one of which was the
Division of Research Resources (DRR).
The Division of Environmental Health Sciences was elevated to institute
status on January 12, thus becoming the 10th NIH institute.
Dr. Roger O. Egeberg was named DHEW assistant secretary for health
and scientific affairs on July 14, succeeding Dr. Lee.
On November 10, the DHEW secretary redesignated the National Heart
Institute as the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI).
|| A reorganization of the Bureau
of Health Professions Education and Manpower Training renamed it the
Bureau of Health Manpower Education on September 18. DRR was separated
from the bureau and became a division within NIH.
Dr. Merlin K. DuVal was appointed DHEW assistant
secretary for health and scientific affairs on July 1, succeeding
The White House Conference on Aging recommended creating a separate
National Institute on Aging on December 2.
On December 23 the President signed the National Cancer Act of
1971 initiating a National Cancer Program, establishing the President’s
Cancer Panel, a National Cancer Advisory Board and 15 new research,
training and demonstration cancer centers.
The National Institute of
Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases was renamed the National Institute
of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases on May 19. On July
1, DBS transferred from NIH and officially became a sixth bureau,
the Bureau of Biologics in the Food and Drug Administration. The
bureau continues to use NIH facilities and buildings.
The DHEW secretary approved a reorganization of NHLI on July 14,
elevating the institute to bureau status within NIH. A bureau-level
organization was established for the National Cancer Institute on
On October 25 Public Law 92-564 established a temporary National
Commission on Multiple Sclerosis (supported by NINDS).
Dr. Christian B. Anfinsen, NIAMDD, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
for his work on ribonuclease.
Dr. Charles C. Edwards was appointed DHEW
assistant secretary for health on April 18, succeeding Dr. DuVal.
Dr. Robert S. Stone was sworn in as the 10th NIH director on May
The Bureau of Health Manpower Education was transferred from NIH
to the new Health Resources Administration on July 1 and renamed
the Bureau of Health Resources Development.
The National Institute of Mental Health rejoined the National Institutes
of Health on July 1. On September 25, NIMH became part of the new
Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration.
The Research on Aging Act
of 1974, creating the National Institute on Aging, was signed into
law on May 31.
On July 23, the National Cancer Act Amendments of 1974 were signed
by the President to improve the National Cancer Program. It also
established a President’s Biomedical Research Panel.
The National Institute on Aging was established on October 7.
The Interagency Primate Steering Committee was established by the
DHEW assistant secretary for health with NIH as the lead agency.
Institutional Relations Branch was transferred on October 27 from
DRG to the immediate Office of the Director, NIH, and renamed the
Office for Protection From Research Risks.
On March 13 the National Institute of Neurological
Diseases and Stroke was renamed the National Institute of Neurological
and Communicative Disorders and Stroke.
Dr. Theodore Cooper was appointed DHEW assistant secretary for
health on July 1, succeeding Dr. Edwards.
Dr. Donald S. Fredrickson was sworn in as the 11th NIH director
on July 1.
The Adult Development and Aging Branch and the Gerontology Research
Center were separated from NICHD to become the core of the National
Institute on Aging, also on July 1.
On June 25, the National
Heart and Lung Institute was renamed the National Heart, Lung, and
Dr. D. Carleton Gajdusek, NINCDS, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology
or Medicine with Dr. Baruch Blumberg, Institute for Cancer Research.
Dr. Gajdusek was honored for his research on kuru and Dr. Blumberg
for his work on the Australia antigen at the National Institute
of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases (1957-1964).
Construction of the Ambulatory Care Research
Facility was started in April.
On July 13, Dr. Julius B. Richmond took the oath of office as DHEW
assistant secretary for health and Surgeon General, becoming the
first person to hold both offices simultaneously.
|| On November 15 the DHEW secretary
announced the establishment of the National Toxicology Program under
the direction of NIEHS.
Dr. Hans J. Muller Eberhard, Scripps Clinic
and Research Foundation, delivered the first Kinyoun Lecture on
A protocol of cooperation in the exchange of information on medicine
and public health between the United States and China was signed
on June 22 in Beijing’s historic Great Hall. The DHEW secretary
signed on behalf of the United States.
On July 18 NCI and the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda,
MD., agreed to cooperate in a cancer treatment research program.
DHEW became the Department
of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on May 14.
A separate Department of Education was established.
On May 22, the Lister Hill Center for Biomedical Communications
was dedicated as part of NLM.
On May 14 Dr. Edward N.
Brandt, Jr., was sworn in as assistant secretary for health.
The National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolic, and Digestive Diseases
was renamed the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive
and Kidney diseases on June 23.
On June 30 Dr. Fredrickson stepped down as NIH director. Dr. Thomas
E. Malone was appointed acting director.
The Ambulatory Care Research Facility was officially dedicated
on October 22. The research hospital was renamed the Warren Grant
Magnuson Clinical Center in honor of the former chairman of the
Senate Committee on Appropriations. Sen. Magnuson was involved in
support of biomedical research at NIH since 1937.
Dr. C. Everett Koop became PHS Surgeon General on November 16.
On April 22 NIADDK was converted
to bureau status, joining NCI, NHLBI, and NLM. Dr. James B. Wyngaarden,
chairman of the Duke University department of medicine, was appointed
NIH director on April 29.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development marked
its 20th anniversary on September 20.
NIGMS celebrated its 20th anniversary by establishing the DeWitt
Stetten, Jr., Lectureship. Dr. David S. Hogness, Stanford University,
gave the first lecture, October 13.
The National Institute on Aging opened its first on-campus research
unit in the NIH Clinical Center.
The NIEHS facility in Research Triangle Park, N.C., was dedicated
on November 15.
Lasker Foundation Awards were presented on November 17 to three
NIH scientists: Dr. Elizabeth Neufeld, NIADDK; Dr. Roscoe O. Brady,
NINDS; and Dr. Robert C. Gallo, NCI.
On January 18, Building 1 was officially named
the James A. Shannon Building in honor of the former NIH director
The first multidisciplinary pain clinic in the United States devoted
exclusively to research was opened in the Clinical Center March
21 by NIDR.
NCI dedicated its R.A. Bloch International Cancer Information Center
on October 2. The building houses the institute’s information programs
that serve health professionals and scientists.
In December, the Clinical Center celebrated its 30th anniversary
NIH purchased the Convent
of the Sisters of the Visitation of Washington along with about
11 acres of land for $4.5 million.
In May NCI scientists headed by Dr. Robert C. Gallo, Jr., uncovered
strong evidence that variants of a human cancer virus called HTLV-III
are the primary cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
DCRT celebrated its 20th anniversary in May.
NIH and Howard Hughes Medical Institute launched a multimillion
dollar cooperative program in August to help increase the vigor
of American biomedical research and continue the flow of new doctors
into research areas.
The former Convent was dedicated September 19 as the Mary Woodard
Lasker Center for Health Research and Education.
NIH and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
chose the first 25 HHMI-NIH research scholars in June.
In July the NIA celebrated its 10th anniversary.
In May the National Institute
of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases became a separate
institute separated from its parent NIADDK – now called the National
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Also created
was the National Center for Nursing Research.
NIH held the First Intramural Research Day on September 25 featuring
symposia and poster sessions.
In June NIAID funded 14 centers to evaluate experimental drugs
in the treatment of AIDS.
NIH opened its year-long centennial celebration – A Century of
Science for Health – on October 16.
NIH scheduled monthly events, hosted by individual
components throughout the year, to commemorate its 100th anniversary.
NIAID awarded contracts to five medical centers to establish AIDS
treatment evaluation units.
NIEHS celebrated its 20th anniversary, while NIGMS and DRR marked
Fifty-six promising science students – one from each state and
U.S. possession – were honored by NIH as centennial scholars.
On July 23 President Reagan named a 13-member Commission on the
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic, which held its first meeting
following the announcement.
NIH became a smoke-free agency on September 1, banning smoking
in all buildings.
Hundreds of NIH alumni from the United States and abroad returned
to the campus on October 15-16 to help close out the year-long celebration
of the NIH centennial.
NIH was honored by Spain
with the presentation of the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Health.
The NICHD celebrated its 25th anniversary and NIAID and NIDR marked
The Children’s Inn at NIH, a temporary home away from home for
NIH pediatric patients, was dedicated. A gift of $2.5 million from
Merck and Co., Inc. was donated toward the construction of the building.
“Sky Horizon,” a sculpture created by Louise Nevelson, was given
to NIH by Edwin C. Whitehead, founder of the Whitehead Institute
of Biomedical Research.
Officials from NICHD, NINDS, and NIMH broke ground for a facility
they will share – Building 49, the Child Health and Neurosciences
November marked the establishment of the National Institute on
Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The parent institute
was renamed the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
On May 10, Building 31 was named the Claude
Denson Pepper Bldg. to honor NIH’s “legislative father.”
The NIH Record marked its 40th year of publication in May.
On May 22, NIH conducted its first gene transfer in humans. A cancer
patient was infused with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) that
had been altered by insertion of a gene. This allowed scientists
to track the special cancer-fighting cells in the body to increase
the understanding of TIL therapy.
The National Center for
Human Genome Research was established in January.
DRR and DRS merged in March and named the National Center for Research
On June 21 the Children’s Inn at NIH opened its doors to pediatric
patients and their families. The President and Mrs. Bush attended
The Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee approved the first experiments
involving transfer of human genes for therapeutic purposes on July
31. The treatment was initiated on September 14 in a 4-year-old
girl with adenosine deaminase deficiency.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and
the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
marked their 40th anniversaries.
It was announced in September that the gene that caused osteoarthritis
was isolated by scientists supported by the National Institute of
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases.
The Office of Research on Women’s Health was established to strengthen
NIH’s efforts to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment
of illness in women and to enhance research related to diseases
and conditions that affect women.
On January 29, NIH scientists treated the
first cancer patients with human gene therapy. Two patients received
transfusions of special cancer-killing cells removed from their
own tumors and armed in the laboratory with a gene capable of producing
a potent antitumor toxin, tumor necrosis factor.
Dr. Bernadine Healy was confirmed as NIH’s 13th director on March
21. She was the first woman appointed to this post.
In August the National Center for Human Genome Research announced
the start of a new, unified effort to develop a ‘’framework’’ map
of the human genome – expected to take 2 to 3 years to complete.
The National Institute on
Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,
and National Institute of Mental Health were transferred from the
Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration to become
part of the NIH.
Two components – NICHD and NIGMS – celebrated their 30th anniversaries
on September 21 and October 17, respectively.
NIH Director Bernadine Healy stepped down
to return to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
The Clinical Center celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Sixteen university medical programs were launch sites for the 15-year,
$625 million Women’s Health Initiative. About 3,000 women will be
enrolled at each center to investigate women’s most common causes
of death and disability.
Dr. Harold Varmus was appointed NIH’s 14th Director.
FIC noted its 25th anniversary.
The National Center for Nursing Research became the 16th institute.
Former director, Dr. James
NHLBI scientists for the first time successfully transferred a
normal cystic fibrosis gene into the cells lining a CF patient’s
Researchers at NIEHS isolated the BRCA1 gene – responsible for
about 5 percent of all breast cancers and 25 percent in women under
Dr. Martin Rodbell, NIEHS, shared the Nobel Prize in physiology
or medicine for research on G proteins, key components of the communication
system that regulates cellular activity.
NLM unveiled the “Visible Man,” a detailed
atlas of human anatomy created from thousands of images of a human
body collected by radiographic and photographic techniques.
NIAAA celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The first multicenter trial
of bone marrow transplantation in children with sickle cell disease
demonstrated that the procedure can provide a cure for young patients
that have a matched sibling, according to NHLBI-supported scientists.
DRG celebrated its 50th anniversary and NIEHS noted its 30th.
Researchers with NHGRI completed a map of
chromosome 7, an important milestone within the Human Genome Project.
DRG was renamed the Center for Scientific Review and DCRT became
the Center for Information Technology.
Vice President Al Gore performed an “inaugural search,” opening
up free access on the world wide web to NLM’s MEDLINE.
Results from the NIH-supported Dietary and Systolic Hypertension
trial indicated that blood pressure can be swiftly and significantly
lowered through a diet low in fat and high in vegetables, fruits,
and low-fat dairy foods.
A team led by NHGRI scientists identified a defective gene that
causes some inherited cases of Parkinson’s disease.
Results from an NIH trial showed that a low-dose diuretic cuts
by half the chance that an older person with high systolic blood
pressure will develop heart failure. In those who had already had
a heart attack, their chance of developing heart failure dropped
by 80 percent.
A team led by NIH-funded scientists determined the complete genome
sequence of the E. coli bacterium, a laboratory workhorse.
This accomplishment gives researchers a powerful new tool for understanding
fundamental questions of biological evolution and function.
On November 4, Vice President Al Gore and Senator Mark O. Hatfield
attended the groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Clinical Center,
which will be called the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center.
Building 20, NIH’s apartment
building, was carefully demolished to make way for the new Mark
O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center.
NICHD’s new zebrafish facility opened. Zebrafish have become the
mainstay of developmental biologists for studying the development
of the vascular system and central nervous system, as well as the
functional genomics of the zebrafish.
A large prevention trial conducted by NCI showed that long-term
use of a moderate-dose vitamin E supplement substantially reduced
prostate cancer incidence and deaths in male smokers.
In a cooperative endeavor (Neurolab) between NASA, NIH and others,
astronauts on Space Shuttle Columbia conducted research on how the
neurological system responds to the challenges of space flight.
Results from a NCI-sponsored clinical trial showed that women at
high risk of developing breast cancer who took the drug tamoxifen
had 49 percent fewer cases of breast cancer than those who didn’t.
Tamoxifen was hailed as the first drug to prevent breast cancer
in women at high risk for the disease.
The new NIH Intramural Sequencing Center opened in Gaithersburg.
NISC is a 14-institute consortium that is dedicated to large-scale
sequencing of human and animal DNA.
NIDR celebrated its 50th anniversary, with a name change to the
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Building 16, known as the Stone House, was renamed the “Lawton
Chiles International House”; it will be the locus for international
activities supported by FIC and other NIH and DHHS components.
Between 1992 and 1996, the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
(SIDS) dropped by 38 percent, much of that likely being due to a
66 percent decrease during the same period in the number of U.S.
infants being placed to sleep on their stomachs. A national Back
to Sleep Campaign – encouraging parents to put their infants to
sleep on their backs – was launched in 1994 by NICHD, in partnership
with HHS and other organizations.
The complete sequence of two bacteria that are among the major
causes of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide – Treponema
pallidum, responsible for syphilis, and Chlamydia trachomatis,
responsible for chlamydial infections – were obtained by two separate
teams of scientists supported by NIAID and others.
NIDCD celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Senator John Glenn and six other astronauts spent nine days in
space aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery conducting about 83
scientific projects, the most research-intensive space journey yet.
Glenn, NASA and others worked with NIA to develop the projects.
NIAID celebrated its 50th anniversary.
NHLBI’s Framingham Heart Study celebrated its 50th anniversary.
An international team funded by NHGRI and others obtained the complete
sequence of the 97-million-base genome of the roundworm, Caenorhabditis
elegans. This marks the first time that scientists have spelled
out the instructions for a complete animal which, like humans, has
a nervous system, digests food, reproduces, and gets old, making
it a very important organism in which to carry out studies that
parallel human biology.
The new South Entry to the Clinical Center
opened, thus facilitating construction on the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical
Research Center on the north face of Building 10.
A team of investigators led by an NIAID grantee discovered that
a subspecies of chimpanzees native to west Africa are the origin
of HIV-1, the virus responsible for the global AIDS pandemic.
Underlying vitamin D deficiency in postmenopausal women is associated
with increased risk of hip fracture, according to a study supported
by NIA and NCRR.
NIDA, NIMH, and NINDS moved into the new Neuroscience Center office
building on Executive Boulevard, which some have dubbed “NIH North”.
A meta-analysis study, led by an NICHD researcher, found that pregnant
women infected with HIV could reduce the risk of transmitting the
virus to their infants by about 50 percent if they deliver by cesarean
section before they go into labor and before their membranes rupture.
NIH Director Dr. Harold Varmus convened the first meeting of the
Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR). The Council
will provide advice and recommendations to, and consult with, the
NIH Director regarding matters related to medical research, NIH’s
policies and programs, and public participation in NIH’s activities.
COPR was chartered in November 1998.
On June 9, President Bill Clinton unveiled the cornerstone for
the new Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center, which initially
will focus on accelerating the search for a vaccine against AIDS.
Earlier, Dr. Varmus named Dr. Gary Nabel as the director of the
new VRC, which currently exists as a “center without walls”. The
VRC is funded by NIAID and NCI and spear- headed by them and NIH’s
Office of AIDS Research.
NLM’s MEDLINE added the 10 millionth journal citation to its database.
A joint Uganda-U.S. study, funded by NIAID, demonstrated a highly
effective, affordable and practical strategy for preventing transmission
of HIV from an infected mother to her newborn. A single-oral dose
of the antiretroviral drug nevirapine given to the HIV-infected
mother while in labor and another to her baby within three days
of birth reduced the transmission rate by half compared with a similar
short course of AZT.
Women with preeclampsia, a potentially fatal complication of pregnancy,
were found to have an imbalance of two key chemical compounds that
control blood pressure, prostacyclin and thromboxane, months before
their symptoms appeared, according to NICHD scientists.
NIDA celebrated its 25th anniversary.
NIH announced its plan to establish a repository called PubMed
Central for free electronic distribution of primary research reports
in the life sciences. The new site would be integrated with NLM’s
widely used bibliographic site PubMed and is intended to be one
of several repositories in an international system first proposed
by NIH director Dr. Harold Varmus. PubMed Central would begin receiving,
storing and distributing content – including peer- reviewed articles,
preprints, and other screened reports from existing journals, new
journals, and reputable scientific organizations – in January 2000.
Children born to mothers with untreated hypothyroidism during pregnancy
were found to score lower on IQ tests than children of healthy mothers
suggesting that early detection and treatment of hypothyroidism
in pregnant women may be a critical part of prenatal care, according
to a study funded by NICHD and others.
In October 1999, NIH announced a major research program involving
10 laboratories, called the Mouse Genome Sequencing Network, to
map and sequence the DNA in the mouse genome.
A research effort led by NIAID scientists produced the first high-resolution
genetic map of Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malaria
parasite, which is responsible for the death of more than two million
Scientists supported by NHGRI along with groups in England and
Japan completed the first sequence of a human chromosome, chromosome
22. Genes on chromosome 22 have been implicated in immune system
function, congenital heart disease, and several cancers including
The National Toxicology Program, headquartered at NIEHS, announced
that Federal regulatory agencies – FDA, OSHA, EPA and CPSC – would
accept, for the first time, an alternative way to test chemicals
for allergic contact dermatitis that could reduce by thousands the
number of guinea pigs needed for such tests.
After leading NIH for 6 years, Dr. Harold Varmus left to become
the President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
in New York City.
2000 On January 1, Dr. Ruth
Kirschstein, deputy director of NIH, became the acting director.
Scientists funded by NIDCR and NIAMS, along with an NCI scientist
discovered that leptin, the product of the obesity gene, acts as
a bone inhibitor by telling the brain to slow down the rate of bone
formation, showing for the first time that the brain has a central
role in controlling bone formation and density.
A team including NCI scientists and grantees used microarray technology
to show that the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL),
diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, is actually two distinct diseases,
thus explaining why 40 percent of patients with this NHL can be
cured through chemotherapy while others succumb to the disease.
This is the first demonstration of a technology that promises to
revolutionize cancer diagnosis as well as many other areas of research.
The NIEHS headquarters and laboratory Building 101 in Research
Triangle Park, N.C., was renamed the Rall Building in honor of former
NIEHS director, Dr. David Platt Rall, who died last year.
NLM received Vice President Al Gore’s Hammer Award for a series
of improvements in its information services, including making its
popular MEDLINE database of journal article references and abstracts
free and easier for the public to use.
NIH launched the first phase of a consumer-friendly database, ClinicalTrials.
gov, with information on more than 4,000 Federal and private medical
studies involving patients and others at more than 47,000 locations
nationwide. The new database may be reached at http://clinicaltrials.gov/.
CC and NIAID scientists demonstrated that the widely used herbal
product St. John’s wort could significantly compromise the effectiveness
of a protease inhibitor often used to treat those infected with
An NIAID study showed that a nasal spray flu vaccine not only protected
young children against the three strains of influenza for which
the vaccine was designed to provide protection but also a flu strain
not covered by the vaccine. It also protected the children against
flu-related middle-ear infections.
Scientists supported by NHGRI and DOE along with the private company
Celera completely sequenced the genome of the fruitfly Drosophila
melanogaster, which is used to study a host of biological questions
related to aging, development, learning, memory and more.
NIH’s Office of Research on Minority Health and the Office of Research
on Women’s Health celebrated their tenth anniversaries.
An NHLBI-supported clinical trial showed that lowering the amount
of salt for those who ate a “usual” American diet as well as those
following the DASH diet – rich in vegetables, fruits and low-fat
dairy foods and low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol
– lowered blood pressure correspondingly for both those with and
without hypertension, including African Americans.
NIGMS and the Indian Health Service announced plans to collaborate
on a new program, Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH),
designed to promote, develop and support centers that will link
the Native American community with organizations that conduct health
The international Human Genome Project public consortium – funded
by NIH, DOE, and others – assembled a working draft of the sequence
of the human genome. The information from this project has been
completely, immediately, and freely released to the world with no
restrictions on its use.
Researchers supported by NIGMS demonstrated that a simple and inexpensive
change in basic surgical procedures – giving patients more oxygen
during and immediately after surgery – can cut the rate of wound
infections in half, thus saving millions of dollars in hospital
costs by helping to prevent post-surgical wound infection, nausea
A team of scientists funded by NIAID determined the complete sequence
of the genome of the bacterium – Vibrio cholerae – that causes
Grantees of NIAID and NHGRI and
others sequenced the entire genome of a deadly strain of E. coli,
a bacterium that is emerging as a major public health threat through
contaminated ground beef, milk, fruits and vegetables. By comparing
the sequence of this strain with that of harmless strains of E.
coli, scientists may learn why only some forms cause disease
and then find ways to prevent harmful strains from causing disease.
A team of NHGRI and NCI scientists and others developed a new genetic
test that can distinguish between two types of hereditary breast
cancer - caused by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations – and sporadic breast
cancer. The new approach uses microarray (gene chip) technology
to analyze the activity of more than 5300 genes at once. This advance
should ultimately help physicians diagnose the cause of a woman's
breast cancer and guide decisions about the most effective treatments.
A team composed of scientists from NHGRI and NINDS, grantees of
NHLBI and NIA, and others demonstrated that adult stem cells isolated
from mouse bone marrow could become functioning heart muscle cells
when injected into a damaged mouse heart. The new cells at least
partially restored the heart's ability to pump blood.
NIAID grantees completed sequencing the genome of Streptococcus
pyogenes, a bacterium that causes a wide variety of human diseases
including strep throat, scarlet fever, pneumonia, toxic shock syndrome,
blood "poisoning," acute rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart
disease, and the flesh-eating disease known as necrotizing fasciitis.
This information should aid scientists in developing new ways to
prevent and treat these diseases.
Scientists from NICHD developed and, along with an NIDDK scientist
and others, tested the first vaccine capable of protecting children
ages 2 to 5 against typhoid fever. Seemingly the most effective
typhoid vaccine ever developed, it is also virtually free of side
effects. About 16 million people worldwide develop typhoid each
year, and 600,000 die from it, mainly in developing countries without
adequate sewage and sanitation.
Under a CRADA with the drug company Novartis, NCI scientists found
that a new drug known as Gleevec was effective against chronic myelogenous
leukemia (CML) in patients for whom standard treatments had failed.
(CML is a disease in which too many white blood cells are made in
the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside the large bones in the
body.) NCI funded the lion's share of the basic research that led
to the discovery and development by Novartis of Gleevec, the first
anti-cancer drug specifically developed to target the molecular
problem that causes a particular type of cancer.
NHGRI scientists and others developed a method that combined microarray
(gene chip) technology with a form of artificial intelligence. This
enabled them to tell the difference between four childhood cancers
that often look alike – neuroblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma, non-Hodgkin
lymphoma (Burkitt's lymphoma) and rhabdomyosarcoma. Because the
treatments for these tumors are quite different, an accurate diagnosis
can be critical for a child's survival. This study should help lead
to the discovery of genes that are altered in these tumors and ultimately
to the development of effective new treatments.
Grantees of NHLBI and NIA found that human heart muscle cells can
regenerate after a heart attack. This finding opens up the possibility
of repairing heart muscle damage after a heart attack.
Animal studies by NIDA researchers found that craving for cocaine
seems to increase, rather than decrease, in the days and months
after drug use has stopped. This phenomenon helps explain why addiction
is a chronic, relapsing disease.
People at high risk for type 2 diabetes can sharply lower their
chances of getting the disease by losing weight (5 percent to 7
percent of their body weight) and by getting 30 minutes of walking
or other moderate exercise every day, according to the findings
of a clinical trial sponsored by NIDDK.
On August 9, President Bush announced that Federal funds could
be used to support research using existing lines of human embryonic
stem cells that meet certain criteria. NIH then developed a registry
of the known human embryonic stem cell lines so researchers could
identify in their applications for funding which sources of stem
cells they plan to use.
An NEI-sponsored clinical trial showed that people at high risk
of developing advanced stages of age-related macular degeneration
(AMD) significantly lowered that risk by taking a high-dose combination
of zinc and the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
These nutrients are the first effective treatment to slow the progression
of AMD, a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in Americans
65 years of age and older.
NCI and FDA reported that patterns of proteins found in patients'
serum may reflect the presence of ovarian cancer, even at early stages.
Currently, more than 80 percent of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed
at a late clinical stage and have a 20 percent or less chance of survival
at five years. This new diagnostic concept is potentially applicable
to the diagnosis of other diseases.
An NIDDK-clinical trial found that millions of overweight Americans
at high risk for type 2 diabetes could delay and possibly prevent
the disease with moderate diet and exercise.
Investigators led by an intramural NIAID researcher successfully
identified a group of Norwalk-like viruses as the leading cause
of gastroenteric illness in Maryland nursing homes. Gastroenteritis
plagues nursing home residents every year, but scientists had been
unable to identify the predominant cause of these outbreaks. Now,
effective prevention and control strategies can be developed.
NCRR-supported scientists were part of a team that cloned the world's
first "knockout" pigs – ones with a particular gene
removed. The gene they removed was for a molecule on the surface
of the pig cells that the human immune system recognizes and attacks,
leading to the failure of transplanted tissues or organs.
Research funded by NINR showed that rural older women with the
common condition of urinary incontinence (UI) who received a behavioral
management intervention in their homes reduced UI severity by a
surprising 61% compared to the control group, whose UI severity
increased by 184%.
NIA-supported scientists found that more frequent participation
in cognitively stimulating activities is associated with a reduced
risk of Alzheimer's disease.
A team of NICHD and other scientists developed the first vaccine
against Staphylococcus aureus, a major cause of infection and death
among hospital patients.
People with elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood had nearly
double the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a team
of scientists supported by NIA and NINDS. The findings, in a group
of participants in NHLBI's long-running Framingham Study, are the
first to tie homocysteine levels measured several years before with
a later diagnosis of AD and the other dementias, providing some
of the most powerful evidence yet of an association between high
plasma homocysteine and later significant memory loss.
Scientists at NIDDK and others have successfully used the hormone
leptin to treat patients suffering from lipodystrophy, a rare and
difficult-to-treat disorder that shares some of the characteristics
of typical type 2 diabetes.
Middle-aged Americans face a 90 percent chance of developing high
blood pressure at some time during the rest of their lives, according
to a new study supported by NHLBI. However, the risk of developing
severe degrees of high blood pressure has decreased in the past
25 years, due partly to improved treatment.
The anti-diabetes drug metformin appears to reduce the likelihood
of early miscarriage in women with a common form of female infertility
– polycystic ovarian disease – according to a study
funded by NICHD.
Scientists supported by NEI found that atropine eye drops given
once a day to treat moderate amblyopia, or lazy eye, work as well
as the standard treatment of patching one eye. Amblyopia is the
most common vision problem in children. The finding could lead to
more success in correcting amblyopia by helping children avoid the
social stigma of wearing an eye patch and making it easier for parents
to help their kids stick to the treatment.
Many obese children and adolescents have impaired glucose tolerance,
a condition that often appears before the development of type 2
diabetes, according to researchers funded by NICHD and NCRR. Efforts
to reduce obesity in children and youth who have impaired glucose
tolerance might help to prevent their developing type 2 diabetes.
NIAID released their Counter-Bioterrorism Research Agenda, a document
describing an accelerated research plan for the most threatening
agents of bioterrorism. The agenda outlines the research NIAID will
undertake to help protect civilian populations from diseases such
as smallpox, anthrax and plague should those who wish to do harm
unleash them intentionally.
Results of an NIAID study indicate that the existing U.S. supply
of smallpox vaccine – 15.4 million doses – could successfully
be diluted up to five times and retain its potency, effectively
expanding the number of individuals it could protect from the contagious
disease. The success of this study puts us one step closer to the
goal of having enough vaccine for every American if needed to respond
to a potential outbreak.
Full-term infants who are born small score an average of 11 points
higher on IQ tests if they are exclusively breast-fed for the first
six months of life compared to those who are given formula or solids
early on, according to a study conducted by researchers at NICHD
A NIDA-funded study found that adolescent depression, combined
with high receptivity to tobacco advertising, plays a powerful role
in whether a teen smokes cigarettes.
A team of scientists partly supported by NIDCR identified the first
gene that, when altered, triggers hereditary gingival fibromatosis,
or HGF, the most common of the rare inherited gum conditions in
which gums grow abnormally over the teeth.
An NINDS study showed that Parkinson's disease also causes widespread
damage to the sympathetic nervous system, which controls blood pressure,
pulse rate, perspiration, and many other automatic responses to
stress. This study is the first to show that the disease affects
sympathetic nerve endings in the thyroid gland and the kidney. The
findings help explain the blood pressure regulation problems commonly
found in PD and may lead to new treatments for the disease.
The first major NIH clinical trial for dialysis in over 20 years,
funded by NIDDK, confirmed that the minimum dialysis dose recommended
by treatment guidelines is adequate and, in general, a higher dose
and special filters provide no added benefit to patients.
A single gene change in a relatively benign recent ancestor of
the bacterium that causes bubonic plague played a key role in the
evolution of the deadly disease, according to NIAID researchers.
By acquiring this gene, the bacterium gradually changed from a germ
that causes a mild stomach illness acquired through contaminated
food or water to the flea-borne agent of the "Black Death,"
which killed one-fourth of Europe's population in the 14th century.
Dr. Elias Zerhouni became the 15th director of the National Institutes
Using Positron Emission Tomography (PET), researchers funded by
NIMH found that successful treatment for depression triggers a common
pattern of brain activity changes, whether induced by a widely prescribed
medication or a placebo.
Scientists at NIAID's Vaccine Research Center (VRC) and their colleagues
demonstrated that HIV selectively disables the immune system's response
against the virus by disproportionately infecting the very cells
designed to fight it. Helper T cells help direct the immune system's
response to microbial invaders. The helper T cells programmed to
fight HIV are two to five times more likely to be infected with
HIV than helper T cells programmed to take on other pathogens.
The international Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium, jointly funded
by NHGRI and several NIH Institutes along with the Wellcome Trust
in the United Kingdom, announced that it had assembled and deposited
into public databases an advanced draft sequence of the mouse genome,
the genetic blueprint for the most important animal model in biomedical
research. The sequence is freely available on the Internet.
Dr. Roderic I. Pettigrew was named the first director of NIH's
new National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
Researchers used whole-genome sequencing technology and computational
methods to genetically compare two important isolates of the anthrax
bacterium: the well-known Ames strain and an isolate from the 2002
Florida anthrax attacks. These techniques will enable researchers
to more accurately trace the origin of individual bacterial strains,
determine if those strains have been genetically modified, and assess
differences in their ability to cause disease or resist antibiotics.
NIAID teamed with the Office of Naval Research, the National Science
Foundation, and other agencies to fund the research.
Researchers from NCI reported that the molecularly targeted drug
bevacizumab slowed tumor growth in patients with metastatic renal
cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer in adults.
NCRR and NIGMS celebrated their fortieth anniversaries.
Two drugs commonly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
are more effective in combination than alone to prevent progression
of this condition, according to results of a clinical trial funded
by NIDDK and NCMHD. Finasteride (Proscar) and doxazosin (Cardura)
together reduced the risk of BPH progression by 67 percent.
NIDCR scientists and grantees under laboratory conditions more
than doubled the life span of adult stem cells from the bone marrow,
while also enhancing their natural ability to form new bone and
possibly cartilage. This finding marks a critical technical advance
for scientists who hope one day to use these cells, called bone
marrow stromal stem cells, to treat people with bone fractures,
age-related bone loss, or other skeletal conditions.
A study funded by NEI, NCMHD and others discovered that eye drops
used to treat elevated pressure inside the eye can be effective
in delaying the onset of glaucoma. These results mean that treating
elevated eye pressure delays or prevents the onset of glaucoma in
NCI scientists used microarray technology to determine the patterns
of genes that are active in tumor cells from which they were able
to predict whether patients with the most common form of non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma in adults are likely to be cured by chemo-therapy. Trials
designed to correlate clinical results with molecular data will
allow researchers to identify drugs that are effective in subgroups
of cancer patients, an approach that has already proven effective
in finding new agents to treat breast cancer and leukemia.
NINDS scientists found that embryonic mouse stem cells transformed
into neurons in a lab dish and then transplanted into a rat model
for Parkinson's disease (PD) form functional connections and reduce
NINDS grantees and others showed that bone marrow-derived cells
called mesenchymal stem cells have many of the characteristics of
embryonic stem cells.
Former NIH Director Dr. Donald S. Fredrickson died.
Grantees of NIAMS and others isolated special muscle-generating
stem cells that can improve muscle regeneration and deliver the
missing protein dystrophin to damaged muscles in a mouse muscular
dystrophy (MD) model.
NHLBI stopped early a major clinical trial of the risks and benefits
of combined estrogen and progestin in healthy menopausal women due
to an increased risk of invasive breast cancer. The large trial,
a component of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), also found increases
in coronary heart disease, stroke, and pulmonary embolism in study
participants on estrogen plus progestin compared to women taking
placebo pills. There were some benefits of estrogen plus progestin,
including fewer cases of hip fractures and colon cancer, but on
balance the harm was greater than the benefit.
NIAID scientists and others showed that special viruses are the
culprits behind the emergence of certain virulent new bacterial
strains. Those viruses, called bacteriophages, specifically infect
bacteria, capture some of their genes, and transfer the genes from
one microbe to the next and thus can create new bacterial strains
with potentially deadly properties. The discovery identified several
potential targets for vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat some
Postmenopausal women who used estrogen replacement therapy for
10 or more years were at significantly higher risk of developing
ovarian cancer than women who never used hormone replacement therapy
in an NCI-funded trial. The relative risk for 10 to 19 years of
use was 80 percent higher risk than non-users, and increased to
a 220 percent higher risk than non-users for women who took estrogen
for 20 or more years.
The NIH licensed a new technology that allows physicians and researchers
to make detailed, three-dimensional maps of nerve pathways in the
brain, heart muscle fibers, and other soft tissues. The new imaging
technology, called Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DT-MRI),
was invented by researchers now at NICHD.
In an NIMH-funded clinical trial, one of a newer class of anti-psychotic
medications, risperidone, was found to be successful and well tolerated
for the treatment of serious behavioral disturbances associated
with autistic disorder in children ages 5 to 17.
Excess body weight is strongly and independently associated with
an increased risk of heart failure, according to an NHLBI-funded
trial. This risk, which increases continuously with increasing degrees
of body weight, is 34 percent higher for overweight individuals
and 104 percent higher for obese persons.
Children who are poor readers appear to have a disruption in the
part of their brain involved in reading phonetically, according
to an NICHD brain imaging study. The researchers also found that
children who read poorly but who do not receive any extra help or
training eventually compensate for their disability by using other
parts of the brain as backup systems for the impaired brain regions.
However, most of these children will never read with the same fluency
as good readers.
Researchers at NIAID have located two genes that give hepatitis
A virus (HAV) its virulent properties. They also discovered that
deliberately weakened HAV could quickly revert to its naturally
occurring, infection-causing form. These findings indicate that
making an improved vaccine for HAV will be a very difficult task.
Abnormal accumulation of two common lipids in motor nerve cells
could play a critical role in the development of amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, according to
NIA researchers. The finding could help scientists develop drugs
and other treatments that might one day slow or arrest the disease's
Scientists supported by NHLBI have identified a gene variant that
is associated with arrhythmia – abnormal heart rhythm –
in African Americans. A variant of a cardiac sodium channel gene
produces a small increase in risk of arrhythmia. When the variant
is combined with other factors such as certain medications, low
blood potassium, or structural heart disease, the risk of life-threatening
arrhythmias is increased.
Children raised in a house with two or more dogs or cats during
the first year of life may be less likely to develop allergic diseases
as compared with children raised without pets, according to an NIAID-funded
study. High pet exposure early in life appears to protect against
not only pet allergy but also other types of common allergies, such
as allergy to dust mites, ragweed, and grass. However, another study
supported by NIAID, NIEHS, and NHLBI found that if a child's mother
has asthma, then a cat in the home triples the risk that the child
will develop persistent wheezing – an initial indicator of
asthma – by age five.
Women with spontaneous premature ovarian failure (POF) are three
hundred times more likely than members of the general population
to develop a serious condition in which the body attacks the adrenal
glands, according to NICHD researchers. The study also reports that
an antibody is an effective way to diagnose the adrenal condition
in women with spontaneous POF.
For the first time, doctors who work in maternal and fetal medicine
have a way to detect brain activity in unborn children. Researchers
supported by NINDS used a unique scanning device that can detect
fetal brain activity in response to flashes of light transmitted
through the mother's abdomen. With refinement, this technique may
help physicians detect and prevent fetal brain damage resulting
from maternal hypertension, diabetes, and other conditions.
A new approach to cancer treatment that replaces a patient's immune
system with cancer-fighting cells can lead to tumor shrinkage. NCI
researchers demonstrated that immune cells, activated in the laboratory
against patients' tumors and then administered to those patients,
could attack cancer cells in the body. The experimental technique,
known as adoptive transfer, has shown promising results in patients
with metastatic melanoma who have not responded to standard treatment.
Scientists at NIAID and their colleagues found that an enzyme called
caspase-8, known to help trigger the programmed death of cells is
also involved in activating many immune system cells to fight off
infections. This information could yield a new class of drugs to
treat immune system disorders.
NIH awarded a contract to Chimp Haven, Inc., a private, non-profit
organization to establish and operate a chimpanzee sanctuary. The
sanctuary will provide lifetime care for Federally owned or supported
chimpanzees that are no longer needed for biomedical research.
Scientists funded by NIDCR discovered the gene that causes Van
der Woude syndrome, the most common of the syndromic forms of cleft
lip and palate. The term "syndromic" means babies are
born with cleft lip and palate, in addition to other birth defects.
This finding could direct them to genes involved in "non-syndromic"
cleft lip and palate, one of the most common birth defects in the
NIAID-supported researchers proved conclusively that the malaria-causing
parasite Plasmodium falciparum became resistant to the anti-malarial
drug chloroquine through mutations in a single parasite gene. This
finding has potentially important implications for malaria treatment
NIAID scientists found that the difference between the HIV-fighting
white blood cells called CD8+ T cells in those rare individuals
– known as nonprogressors – whose immune systems can
control the spread of HIV and those who can't is not due to the
quantity of these cells but to the fact that the cells function
better in the nonprogressors. Understanding mechanisms by which
the immune systems of long-term nonprogressors control HIV is important
for the development of effective vaccines.
An NEI-funded study showed that immediately treating people who
have early stage glaucoma could delay progression of the disease.
This finding supports the medical community's emerging consensus
that treatment to lower pressure inside the eye can slow glaucoma
damage and subsequent vision loss.
Pregnant women who have low blood levels of the vitamin folate
are more likely to have early miscarriages than are pregnant women
who have adequate folate levels, according to a study funded by
NICHD and others.
Patterns of proteins found in patients' blood may help distinguish
between prostate cancer and benign conditions, according to scientists
from NCI and FDA. The technique, which relies on a simple test using
a drop of blood, may be useful in deciding whether or not to perform
a biopsy in men with elevated levels of prostate specific antigen
Patients in hospitals with the lowest nurse staffing levels (eight
patients per nurse) have a 31% greater risk of dying than those
in hospitals with four patients per nurse. On a national scale,
staffing differences of this magnitude could result in as many as
20,000 unnecessary deaths annually, according to a study funded
An international research consortium of NHGRI, other NIH components,
and other countries launched a public-private effort to create the
next generation map of the human genome. Called the International
HapMap Project, this new venture is aimed at speeding the discovery
of genes related to common illnesses such as asthma, cancer, diabetes
and heart disease.
NCI researchers have discovered that a molecule best known for
its antimicrobial properties also has the ability to activate key
cells in the immune response. This newly discovered function suggests
the molecule, a peptide called ß-defensin 2, may be useful
in the development of more effective cancer vaccines