List of institutes and centers of the National Institutes of Health

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. It comprises 27 separate institutes and centers (ICs) that carry out its mission in different areas of biomedical research. It also includes the Office of the Director, which sets policies and coordinates activities of the 27 ICs.


Name Acronym URL Description Est.
National Cancer Institute NCI Research and training aimed to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. 1937
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases NIAID Research goals include striving to understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. The NIAID-funded Influenza Genome Sequencing Project is a collaborative effort designed to increase the genome knowledge base of influenza and help researchers understand how flu viruses evolve, spread and cause disease.[1] 1948
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research NIDCR Provides leadership for a national research program designed to understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious and inheritedcraniofacial-oral-dental diseases and disorders. 1948
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases NIDDK Conducts and supports research and provides leadership for a national program in diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolic diseases, digestive diseases and nutrition, and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases. 1948
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute NHLBI Provides leadership for a national program in diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung, and blood; blood resources; and sleep disorders. Also has administrative responsibility for the NIH Women's Health Initiative. 1948
National Institute of Mental Health NIMH Understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses through basic research on the brain and behavior, and through clinical, epidemiological, and services research. 1949
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NINDS Supports and conducts research, both basic and clinical, on the normal and diseased nervous system, fosters the training of investigators in the basic and clinical neurosciences, and seeks better understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of neurological disorders. 1950
National Library of Medicine NLM NLM collects, organizes, and makes available biomedical science information to investigators, educators, and practitioners and carries out programs designed to strengthen medical library services in the United States. The NLM established the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) which is a central repository of biological information and includes the PubMed literature database and the gene database GenBank. The NCBI is one of the largest components of the NLM. 1956
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development NICHD NICHD researches fertility, pregnancy, growth, development, and medical rehabilitation for the promotion of all aspects of child health. 1962
National Institute of General Medical Sciences NIGMS NIGMS supports basic biomedical research not targeted to specific diseases, funds studies on genes, proteins, and cells, supports research training programs that produce the next generation of biomedical scientists, has special programs to encourage underrepresented minorities to pursue biomedical research careers. 1962
National Eye Institute NEI Conducts and supports research that helps prevent and treat eye diseases and other disorders of vision. 1968
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences NIEHS Research on how environmental exposures, genetic susceptibility, and age interact to affect an individual's health. 1969
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA NIAAA research is focused on improving the treatment and prevention of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. 1970
National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA NIDA supports and conducts research on drug abuse and addiction prevention, treatment, and policy. 1973
National Institute on Aging NIA NIA undertakes research on the biomedical, social, and behavioral aspects of the aging process, prevention of age-related diseases and disabilities, promotion of better quality of life for all older Americans. 1974
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases NIAMS NIAMS supports research into causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. 1986
National Institute of Nursing Research NINR NINR supports clinical and basic research to establish a scientific basis for the care of individuals across the life span. 1986
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders NIDCD Conducts and supports biomedical research and research training on normal mechanisms as well as diseases and disorders of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. 1988
National Human Genome Research Institute NHGRI Supports the NIH component of the Human Genome Project. NHGRI's Intramural Research Program develops and implements technology for understanding, diagnosing, and treating genetic diseases. 1989
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering NIBIB Promotes fundamental discoveries, design and development, and translation and assessment of technological capabilities in biomedical imaging and bioengineering, enabled by relevant areas of information science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials science, and computer sciences. 2000
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities NIMHD Promotes minority health, conducts and supports research, training, research infrastructure, fosters emerging programs, disseminates information, and reaches out to minority and other health disparity communities. 2010

Centers of the NIH[edit]

In addition to being divided by research area, NIH has many operating groups called centers operating across all of the Institutes.

Name Acronym URL Description Est.
Center for Scientific Review CSR The CSR is the focal point at NIH for the conduct of initial peer review of grant and fellowship applications, implements ways to conduct referral and review. 1946
Clinical Center CC The clinical research facility of the National Institutes of Health; provides patient care, services, and environment needed to initiate and support conduct of and training in clinical research. 1953
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences NCATS NCATS aims to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. 2012
Center for Information Technology CIT; formerly DCRT, OIRM, TCB The CIT incorporates computers into the biomedical programs and administrative procedures of the NIH by conducting computational biosciences research, developing computer systems, and providing computer facilities. 1964
John E. Fogarty International Center FIC FIC promotes and supports scientific research and training internationally to reduce disparities in global health. 1968
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, formerly the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine NCCIH, formerly NCCAM NCCIH explores complementary and alternative medical practices in the context of rigorous science, training researchers, and disseminating authoritative information. 1992

Office of the Director[edit]

The Office of the Director is the central office at NIH. The OD is responsible for setting policy for NIH and for planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components. Program offices in the Office of the Director are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH and for planning and supporting research and related activities. Current program areas are: minority health, women's health, AIDS research, disease prevention, and behavioral and social sciences research.[2] In July 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Francis S. Collins, M.D., PhD, to be the Director of the NIH. On August 7, 2009, the US Senate confirmed Dr. Collins by unanimous vote.

Program offices within the Office of the Director fund research through the institutes:

Full name Acronym Role
Office of Extramural Research OER provides guidance to institutes in research and training programs conducted through extramural programs (that is, grant, contract, or cooperative agreement programs)
Office of Intramural Research OIR coordinates research conducted directly by NIH personnel through intramural programs
Office of Management OM responsible for management and financial functions of the NIH
Office of Administration OA advises the NIH Director and staff on administration and management; develops and implements policies, and provides oversight in the areas of information resources management, management assessment, grant administration and contract management, procurement, and logistics
Office of AIDS Research OAR formulates scientific policy for, and recommends allocation of research resources for AIDS research at NIH. OAR is housed within the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), Office of the Director (OD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Office of Biotechnology Activities OBA "monitors scientific progress in human genetics research in order to anticipate future developments, including ethical, legal, and social concerns, in basic and clinical research involving Recombinant DNA, Genetic Technologies, and Xenotransplantation"[3]
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research OBSSR advises the NIH Director and other key officials on matters relating to research on the role of human behavior in the development of health, prevention of disease, and therapeutic intervention. OBSSR is housed within the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), Office of the Director (OD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Office of Communications and Public Liaison OCPL advises the Director and communicates information about NIH policies, programs, and research results to the general public
Office of Community Liaison OCL advises the Director, plans, directs and oversees activities to promote collaboration between NIH and its community, and ensures effective communication on policy and programs involving the community
Office of Disease Prevention ODP coordinates NIH activities regarding the application of research to disease prevention, nutrition and medical practice. The ODP is housed within the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), Office of the Director (OD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Office of Intramural Training and Education OITE provides a comprehensive guide to postdoctoral training opportunities available at the NIH
Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management OEODM advises the Director and NIH staff on matters related to equal employment opportunity programs and policies
Office of Financial Management OFM advises the NIH Director and staff and provides leadership and direction for NIH financial management activities; develops policies and instructions for budget preparation and presentation and administers allocation of funds and manages a system of fund and budgetary controls
Office of Human Resources OHR advises the NIH Director and staff on human resource management; directs central human resource management services; and provides NIH leadership and planning on human resource program development
Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis OLPA provides legislative analysis, policy development, and liaison with the United States Congress[4]
Office of Research on Women's Health ORWH serves as a focal point for women's health research at the NIH. The ORWH promotes, stimulates, and supports efforts to improve the health of women through biomedical and behavioral research. ORWH works in partnership with the NIH institutes and centers to ensure that women's health research is part of the scientific framework at NIH and throughout the scientific community. This office is housed within the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), Office of the Director (OD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Office of Strategic Coordination OSC oversees the NIH Common Fund. OSC is housed within the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), Office of the Director (OD), National Institutes of Health (NIH). All NIH Institutes and Centers are involved with OSC in the design, implementation, and evaluation of Common Fund programs.
Office of Science Education OSE coordinates science education activities at the NIH and develops and sponsors science education projects in house. These programs serve elementary, secondary, and college students and teachers and the public. Free curriculum supplements developed in collaboration with curriculum writers, NIH divisions, and NIH scientists are available online and in hard copy at Curriculum Supplements. The OSE has also developed an interactive health and medical science career exploration web site for middle school and high school students called LifeWorks. Other educational resources from throughout the NIH are found on the OSE main page.
Office of Technology Transfer OTT manages the wide range of NIH and FDA intramural inventions as mandated by the Federal Technology Transfer Act and related legislation. The mission of the NIH OTT is to improve public health through the management of inventions made by NIH and FDA scientists and the development of intellectual property policies for NIH's intramural and extramural research programs. In doing so, OTT serves a leading role in public sector biomedical technology transfer policy and practice. Other resources and information can be found on the OTT main page
Office of Rare Diseases ORDR supports research on rare diseases and collaborates with related organizations such as the National Organization for Rare Disorders. The Office of Rare Diseases was first established within the Office of the Director in 1993, and then by public lawstatute in 2002.[5]
Office of Dietary Supplements ODS mission is to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public. Created in 1995 as authorized by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-417, DSHEA).[6]
Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives DPCPSI plans and implements trans-NIH initiatives supported by the NIH Common Fund and coordinates research related to AIDS, behavioral and social sciences, women's health, disease prevention, and research infrastructure. DPCPSI was formally established within the Office of the Director as part of implementing the requirements of the NIH Reform Act of 2006.[7]


  1. ^ "Genome Sequencing Centers, GSC, NIAID, NIH". Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ "NIH – Office of the Director". May 23, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ About OBA Archived May 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis (OLPA)". Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  5. ^ "About ORDR". ORDR. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  6. ^ "About ODS - Mission, Origin, Mandate". ODS. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ NIH Reform Act of 2006