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S.1171, An Act to establish and operate a National Institute of Health, April 3, 1930

In 1930, largely through the efforts of Senator Joseph Ransdell of Louisiana, Congress expanded federal support for scientific medical research. This act renamed the Hygienic Laboratory as the National Institute of Health (NIH) under the Public Health Service. It authorized the NIH to study health and disease, and funded NIH facilities and research fellowships.

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration

S.1171, An Act to establish and operate a National Institute of Health, April 3, 1930

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.