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H.R. 4624, An Act to consolidate and revise the laws relating to the Public Health Service, May 23, 1944

Congress reorganized the Public Health Service in 1944, making the NIH one of its four main bureaus. The legislation provided for an extensive grant program and authorized the NIH to conduct advanced clinical research. Today the NIH operates independently under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

H.R. 4624, An Act to consolidate and revise the laws relating to the Public Health Service

Fostering Medical Discovery

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one of the world's foremost medical research centers. The NIH originated in 1887 as the Hygienic Laboratory, a one-room bacteriology lab created by the Marine Health Service, the predecessor of the U.S. Public Health Service. Congress has fostered the growth of the NIH, with its specialized research institutes and grant programs. NIH-supported research has led to breakthroughs in understanding health and genetics and to innovative treatments for human diseases.