NIH Clinical Center

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Historical Highlights: Clinical Center Profile 2000-2001

The Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center is the clinical research hospital for the National Institutes of Health. Through clinical research, physician-investigators translate laboratory discoveries into better treatments, therapies, and interventions to improve the nation’s health.

Clinical and laboratory research are conducted shoulder-to-shoulder at the CC, and this tandem approach drives all aspects of its operations. The first patients were admitted in 1953.

Important Events in CC History

November 1948
Construction of the Clinical Center was started.

June 22, 1951
The cornerstone ceremony was officiated by Oscar R. Ewing, Federal security administrator. President Harry S. Truman was the honored guest.

July 2, 1953
The CC was dedicated by DHEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby.

July 6, 1953
The first patient was admitted to the Clinical Center.

September 5, 1963
A new surgical wing for cardiac and neurosurgery was dedicated by Dr. Luther L. Terry, Surgeon General.

July 2, 1969
A dedication ceremony was held to name the CC’s Jack Masur Auditorium.

April 1977
Construction of the ambulatory care research facility was started.

November 1977
The Critical Care Medicine Department was established.

October 22, 1981
The ambulatory care research facility was dedicated. The research hospital was renamed the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center.

September 20, 1982
The NIA Laboratory of Neurosciences was dedicated.

March 22, 1984
The first magnetic resonance imaging unit became operational for patient imaging.

October 1984
NCI’s Radiation Oncology Building was dedicated.

April 13, 1985
The first two cyclotrons were delivered to the underground facility operated by the Nuclear Medicine Department.

November 20, 1987
The Lipsett Amphitheater was dedicated.

September 14, 1990
A 4-year-old patient with adenosine deaminate deficiency was the first to receive gene therapy treatment.

April 8, 1991
The Department of Transfusion Medicine opened its state-of-the-art facility.

June 1992
The A-wing addition was completed, adding NCI and NIAID labs focusing on AIDS research.

July 1993
The hematology/bone marrow unit opened to improve transplant procedures and develop gene therapy techniques.

May 1994
The first multi-institute unit designed and staffed for children was opened.

February 1996
Details on clinical research studies conducted at the Clinical Center are made available at, increasing opportunities for physicians to participate in NIH clinical investigations.

October 1996
A Board of Governors was appointed by the Secretary of HHS, marking a new governing system for the CC.

July 1997
To meet increasing investigative needs for cell products used in immunotherapy, gene therapy, and stem cell transplantation, a cell processing facility was created.

November 1997
Vice President Al Gore and Senator Mark O. Hatfield attended groundbreaking ceremonies for the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center. The new center, which will include a modern research facility with a 250-bed hospital, outpatient care capability and research laboratories, is scheduled to be completed in 2003.

CC Legislative Chronology

July 1, 1944
Public Law 78-410, the Public Health Service Act, authorized establishment of the Clinical Center.

July 8, 1947
Under P.L. 80-165, research construction provisions of the Appropriations Act for FY 1948 provided funds “For the acquisition of a site, and the preparation of plans, specifications, and drawings, for additional research buildings and a 600-bed clinical research hospital and necessary accessory buildings related thereto to be used in general medical research … ”

December 12, 1980
Senate Joint Resolution 213 designated the Clinical Center as the “Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health.”

September 12, 1996
H.R. 3755, Section 218 named the new clinical research center at the National Institutes of Health as the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research and Patient Care Center.

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