Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

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Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
Logo Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.png
TypeNot-for-profit, charitable organization
HeadquartersNorth Bethesda, MD, United States
President and Executive Director
David Wholley
Revenue (2018)
Expenses (2018)$42,192,912[1]

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH)] is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1990. Located in North Bethesda, MD, the FNIH is an independent organization that raises private-sector funds, and creates and manages alliances with public and private institutions in support of the mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The FNIH organizes and administers research programs, supports education and training of new researchers, manages educational events and symposia and provides support to patient care activities with the purpose of accelerating biomedical research and strategies against diseases and health concerns in the United States and around the globe.

Research Programs[edit]

The FNIH collaborates with government experts, industry, academia and not-for-profits on biomedical research programs to advance breakthrough scientific discoveries and to improve the quality of people's lives. Key research partnerships include:

  • Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV)[2]: ACTIV is a public-private partnership led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and coordinated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) to develop a research strategy for prioritizing and speeding development of the most promising COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. ACTIV brings together NIH with its sibling agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); other government agencies, including the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); the European Medicines Agency (EMA); and representatives from academia, philanthropic organizations and biopharmaceutical companies.
  • Accelerating Medicines Partnership[3][4][5]: The Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) brings together the resources of the NIH and industry to improve the understanding of disease pathways and facilitate better selection of targets for treatment. Through the partnership, research programs have been established across major disease areas including Alzheimer's disease, Type 2 diabetes and immune-mediated disorders (rheumatoid arthritis/lupus). One example is the AMP Type 2 Diabetes initiative, which enables researchers everywhere to search and analyze genetic and clinical information of individuals with Type 2 diabetes through a public portal. This open-source platform is intended to generate new understanding of the disease.
  • Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI)[6][7][8]: The FNIH helps manage the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a public-private partnership that has profoundly influenced the understanding of Alzheimer's disease by identifying and validating biological markers that indicate its onset and progression. The study tracks volunteers at clinical sites with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease to create a widely-available database of imaging, biochemical and genetic data, which can lay the groundwork for Alzheimer's discoveries. By standardizing technologies and protocols, the study has improved clinical trial design and the understanding of the disease and its progression. Furthermore, ADNI's open-access data policy continues to be a model of successful data sharing in a pre-competitive environment.
  • Biomarkers Consortium[9][10]: The Biomarkers Consortium (BC) is a public-private biomedical research partnership managed by the FNIH. Launched in 2006, the BC seeks to discover, develop and gain regulatory approval for biological markers to support new drug development, preventive medicine and medical diagnostics. The BC develops precompetitive, collaborative projects that include participants from the NIH, FDA, not-for-profit organizations, academic research organizations, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In its first decade, the BC launched projects in 13 different disease areas, which has supported the advancement of six therapeutics in the drug development process and helped generate four separate FDA Guidance documents.
  • Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative & Continued Vector Research[11]: The FNIH combats mosquito-borne disease through an extension of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, which was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In ongoing partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the FNIH continues work through programs such as Vector-based Control of Transmission: Discovery Research (VCTR) and Support Functions for Development of New Technologies for Controlling Transmission of Mosquito-Borne Diseases.[12] The FNIH helps conduct risk assessments, build infrastructure and develop business and governance plans to further research technologies to stop the spread of diseases such as dengue, malaria and the Zika virus. It also helps the scientific community explore the complex regulatory and ethical issues surrounding mosquito modification technology.

Education and Training Programs[edit]

The FNIH supports education and training programs by raising funds for fellows and early-career researchers who are working to advance biomedical science.[13] An example of this is the Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP),[14] which provides one-year of intensive training for medical, dental and veterinary students on the NIH campus with mentorship from top scientists.

Awards and Events[edit]

The FNIH organizes lectures, awards and events to promote innovative thinking and develop a broader public understanding of biomedical science. The Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences is one example. This $100,000 award, made possible by a donation from the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation, recognizes outstanding achievement by a young scientist in biomedical research.

Patient Support Programs[edit]

The FNIH supports programs that provide comfort and assistance to patients receiving treatment at the NIH Clinical Center and their families. For example, the FNIH supports the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge,[15] which offers accommodations to adult patients receiving care at the NIH Clinical Center and their families at no cost to them.


The FNIH is led by Interim President and Executive Director, David Wholley. It is overseen by a Board of Directors composed of prestigious individuals from various disciplines.


  1. ^ a b "Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Inc". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  2. ^ "ACTIV". National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  3. ^ "Statement by the President on the Accelerated Medicine Partnership". The White House. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  4. ^ Reardon, Sara (4 February 2014). "Pharma firms join NIH on drug development". International weekly journal of science. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Accelerating Medicines Partnership". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  6. ^ Weiner, Michael (July 2015). "Impact of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, 2004 to 2014". Alzheimer's & Dementia. 11 (7): 865–884. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2015.04.005. PMC 4659407. PMID 26194320.
  7. ^ Kolata, Gina (12 August 2010). "Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer's". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  8. ^ Liu, Enchi (April 2015). "Perspective: The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and the role and contributions of the Private Partner Scientific Board (PPSB)". Alzheimer's & Dementia. 11 (7): 840–849. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2015.04.001. PMID 26194317.
  9. ^ Wholley, David (31 October 2014). "The Biomarkers Consortium". Nature Reviews. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Developing an Evidentiary Standards". U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 17 April 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  11. ^ "2914 Awarded Grants". Grand Challenges. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Malaria Strategy Overview". Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  13. ^ Gallin, John (December 2016). "Outcomes From the NIH Clinical Research Training Program: A Mentored Research Experience to Enhance Career Development of ClinicianScientists". Academic Medicine. 91 (12): 1684–1690. doi:10.1097/acm.0000000000001245. PMC 5501747. PMID 27224296.
  14. ^ "Medical Research Scholars Program". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  15. ^ "The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge at NIH". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 17 October 2019.