The National Institutes of Health is the steward of medical and behavioral research for the Nation. It is an Agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. funds scientific studies at universities and research institutions across the Nation. Begun as a one-room Laboratory of Hygiene in 1887, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) today is one of the world's foremost medical research centers. Its mission is science in pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. The goals of the agency are as follows: 1) foster fundamental creative discoveries, innovative research strategies, and their applications as a basis to advance significantly the Nation's capacity to protect and improve health; 2) develop, maintain, and renew scientific human and physical resources that will assure the Nation's capability to prevent disease; 3) expand the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences in order to enhance the Nation's economic well-being and ensure a continued high return on the public investment in research; and 4) exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.
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