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Marshall W. Nirenberg's genetic code chart, January 18, 1965

Dr. Marshall W. Nirenberg is among several NIH scientists awarded the Nobel Prize. Nirenberg led a team that deciphered the genetic code contained in DNA. They discovered how short sequences of DNA—"triplets"—direct the assembly of amino acids into the structural and functional proteins essential to life.

Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

Marshall W. Nirenberg's genetic code chart

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.