Marshall W. Nirenberg receiving Nobel Prize from King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, December 1968
Marshall W. Nirenberg (right), the first Nobel laureate from the NIH, shared a 1968 Nobel Prize with two other U.S. scientists for their groundbreaking work on the genetic code.
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.