Regulatory Research Agencies


Last updated: December 12, 2012

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the United States’ medical research agency with about 6000 scientists conducting basic and clinical research (Intramural Research Program). NIH is also the largest source of funding for medical research in the world (Extramural Research Program).

The mission of NIH “is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.”

…NIH provides leadership and direction to programs designed to improve the health of the Nation by conducting and supporting research in:

  • causes, diagnosis, prevention, and cure of human diseases;
  • processes of human growth and development;
  • biological effects of environmental contaminants;
  • understanding of mental, addictive and physical disorders; and
  • programs for the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information in medicine and health, including the development and support of medical libraries and the training of medical librarians and other health information specialists.


NIH is composed of the Office of the Director and 27 Institutes and Centers. Each NIH institute/center has its own mission, and the Office of the Director “is responsible for setting policy for NIH and for planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components.”


  • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • National Eye Institute (NEI)
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
  • National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
  • National Library of Medicine (NLM)


  • Center for Information Technology (CIT)
  • Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
  • John E. Fogarty International Center (FIC)
  • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
  • NIH Clinical Center (CC)
  • [National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) was eliminated in 2011]