National Institutes of Health

National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike - Bethesda, MD 20892

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a biomedical research facility primarily located in Bethesda, Maryland. An agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. The NIH both conducts its own scientific research through its Intramural Research Program (IRP) and provides major biomedical research funding to non-NIH research facilities through its Extramural Research Program.

With 1,200 principal investigators and more than 4,000 postdoctoral fellows in basic, translational, and clinical research, the IRP is the largest biomedical research institution in the world, while, as of 2003, the extramural arm provided 28% of biomedical research funding spent annually in the U.S., or about US$26.4 billion.

The NIH comprises 27 separate institutes and centers that conduct research in different disciplines of biomedical science. The IRP is responsible for many scientific accomplishments, including the discovery of fluoride to prevent tooth decay, the use of lithium to manage bipolar disorder, and the creation of vaccines against hepatitis, Haemophilus influenzae (HIB), and human papillomavirus (HPV).


  • Office of Science Education - SEPA

    One Democracy Plaza, Room 956
    Bethesda MD 20817-1572

    NIH’s Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA) program is designed to improve life science literacy throughout the nation through innovative educational programs. SEPA-supported projects create partnerships among biomedical and clinical researchers and K-12 teachers and schools, museums and science centers, media experts, and other educational organizations.
    Working together, these partners provide educational resources such as classroom curricula, mobile laboratories, workshops, films, software and websites that give K-12 students, teachers and the public a better understanding of the life sciences.
    Science centers and museums across the country use SEPA funding to develop stationary and traveling exhibits on fundamental biology and related topics. SEPA support also provides researchers who study human disease a vehicle for contributing to science education programs by sharing their knowledge and demonstrating the excitement of carrying out health-related research.

    Department Contact(s)
    Tony Beck PhD Phone: 301-435-0805
    Fax: 301-480-2228