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Sample Paper on Brief History of the National Institutes of Health

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Sample Paper on Brief History of the National Institutes of Health
1880’s – 1887

The Congress charged the Marine Hospital Service (MHS) with the responsibility of preventing epidemics by screening all sea travelers for signs of yellow fever, cholera and other infectious diseases. Scientists in Europe discovered that microscopic organisms such as bacteria were responsible for the spread of infectious diseases such as cholera. Officials of MHS established a small laboratory called the Hygienic Laboratory to support clinical diagnoses by investigating the role of bacteria in infectious diseases.

1901 – 1902

The  Hygienic Laboratory gained legal recognition and a new building for the laboratory was constructed in Washington D.C. upon approval and funding by the Congress. Soon afterwards, the Congress passed an act that transformed the MHS into the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service (PH-MHS) and created formal research programs for the Hygienic Laboratory. In addition, the Congress passed the Biologics Control Act that mandated the Hygienic Laboratory to regulate the manufacture of biological products—antitoxins and vaccines.




The PH-MHS was renamed Public Health Service (PHS) under a newly established act. The act also charged the Hygienic Laboratory with investigating non-contageous diseases and the pollution of water sources in the United States.

1930 – 1937

The Hiegienic Laboratory was renamed the National Institute of Health (NIH) under the Ransdell Act, and fellowship programs for medical and biological research were established. Upon recognizing the need for cancer research, the members of the Congress raised funds to create the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The purpose of the NCI was to fund private research on cancer through grants.


The NCI was incorporated into NIH under the newly formed Public Health Service Act (PHSA) of 1944. The PHSA played a critical role in defining the course of medical research in post-war America. First, it led to the expansion of the NIH funding. Second, NIH was awarded the mandate to engage in clinical research, culminating in the establishement of the Warren Grant Mugnuson Clinical Center in 1953.   


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