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Organisation Reference National Institutes of Health
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This web-link has been created as part of the "Managing for West Nile Virus Infection in the USA" Wildpro module. Consult the Specific Section References at the end of this page for related links.

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Notes

This information has been taken directly from the National Institutes of Health Website:

What is the National Institutes of Health (NIH)?

Founded in 1887, the National Institutes of Health today is one of the world's foremost medical research centers, and the Federal focal point for medical research in the U.S. The NIH, comprised of 27 separate Institutes and Centers, is one of eight health agencies of the Public Health Service which, in turn, is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Simply described, the goal of NIH research is to acquire new knowledge to help prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat disease and disability, from the rarest genetic disorder to the common cold. The NIH mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone. NIH works toward that mission by: conducting research in its own laboratories; supporting the research of non-Federal scientists in universities, medical schools, hospitals, and research institutions throughout the country and abroad; helping in the training of research investigators; and fostering communication of medical and health sciences information.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
http://www.niaid.nih.gov/default.htm

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAID conducts and supports research to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as HIV disease and other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, asthma and allergies. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) had its origins in the earliest days of the Public Health Service. In 1948, the Rocky Mountain Laboratory and the Biologics Control Laboratory, both dating to 1902, joined the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Division of Tropical Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to form the National Microbiological Institute. Six years later, Congress gave the Institute its present name to reflect the inclusion of allergy and immunology research. Today, NIAID provides the major support for scientists conducting research aimed at developing better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent the many infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases that afflict people worldwide.

NIAID is composed of four extramural divisions: the Division of AIDS; the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation; the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; and the Division of Extramural Activities. In addition, NIAID scientists conduct intramural research in laboratories located in Bethesda, Rockville and Frederick, Maryland, and in Hamilton, Montana.

Following is a brief description of the major areas of investigation.

  Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). NIAID is responsible for conducting and supporting basic research on the pathogenesis of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS; developing new drug therapies; conducting clinical trials of promising experimental drugs for HIV infection and related opportunistic infections and cancers; carrying out epidemiologic studies to assess the impact of HIV on the populations most severely affected by the epidemic; and developing and testing HIV vaccines.

  Asthma and Allergic Diseases. Research on asthma and allergies has revealed much about their underlying mechanisms and contributed to the development of new ways to help affected individuals. NIAID has established a network of asthma, allergic, and immunologic diseases research centers to transfer results rapidly from fundamental studies in immunology and clinical studies of allergy to clinical practice. The Institute also supports the National Cooperative Inner-City Asthma Study to define factors that influence the disease's severity and to design and evaluate programs to reduce asthma episodes and deaths among African-American and Hispanic children.

  Emerging Diseases. New diseases are arising worldwide and old diseases are re-emerging as infectious agents evolve or spread, and as changes occur in ecology, socioeconomic conditions, and population patterns. NIAID conducts and supports research on Lyme disease, hantavirus, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, and other emerging diseases to develop new or improved diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

  Enteric Diseases. Worldwide, diarrheal diseases such as cholera and rotavirus infection are major causes of illness and death in infants and children. In contrast, viral hepatitis in its various forms, can cause severe disease in older children and adults, although it produces few symptoms among younger age groups. NIAID supports basic research on how enteric agents cause illness as well as studies aimed at developing and testing vaccines to prevent enteric infections.

  Genetics and Transplantation. NIAID supports studies aimed at improving immunosuppressive therapies, further developing reagents needed for precise tissue matching, defining the genetic regulation of the immune response, and understanding the molecular mechanisms that control immune system genes. NIAID is participating in the first NIH cooperative clinical trial in kidney transplantation, designed to translate developments in basic research into new therapies to prevent graft rejection.

  Immunologic Diseases. The immune system is a complex network of specialized organs and cells that has evolved to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders. When functioning properly, the system fights off infections by such agents as viruses and bacteria. A malfunction, however, can unleash an enormous variety of diseases from allergy to arthritis to cancer. NIAID research focuses on the basic biology of the immune system and mechanisms of immunologic diseases including autoimmune disorders.

  Malaria and Other Tropical Diseases. Diseases such as malaria, filariasis, trypanosomiasis, and leprosy disable and kill millions of people worldwide. NIAID's research efforts in tropical medicine are conducted by U.S. and foreign investigators receiving Institute support and by NIAID scientists in Bethesda. NIAID supports a number of centers for tropical medicine research in countries where such diseases are endemic.

  Sexually Transmitted Diseases. More than 13 million Americans each year acquire infectious diseases other than AIDS through sexual contact. Such STDs as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, genital herpes, and human papillomavirus can have devastating consequences, particularly for young adults, pregnant women, and newborn babies. NIAID-supported scientists in STD Cooperative Research Centers, NIAID laboratories, and other research institutions are developing better diagnostic tests, improved treatments, and effective vaccines.

  Vaccine Development. Effective vaccines have contributed enormously to improvements in public health in the United States during the last century. Research conducted and supported by NIAID has led to new or improved vaccines for a variety of serious diseases, including rabies, meningitis, whooping cough, hepatitis A and B, chickenpox, and pneumococcal pneumonia, to name a few. NIAID supports vaccine evaluation units for the testing of new vaccines in people at a number of U.S. medical centers.

Other areas of research include fungal diseases, hospital-associated infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, respiratory diseases, and antiviral and antimicrobial drug development.
Dates Referenced November 2001
Contact Details

National Institutes of Health
Building 1
1 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

The main number for NIH is (301) 496-4000

Website Address

http://www.nih.gov

Email

NIHInfo@OD.NIH.GOV

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Specific References (Please note - website addresses change frequently and all references are dated accordingly. If hyperlinks are no longer active, please inform us)

Reference Section of Website Specific Website link
W269.Nov01.WNV1 NIAID Research on West Nile and Related Viruses

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/westnile.htm

W269.Nov01.WNV2 West Nile Virus

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/newsroom/focuson/bugborne01/wnile.htm

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