Office of Communications & Media Relations

Celebrating 50 Years of Clinical Research (2003)

Individuals with a visionary commitment to biomedical research founded the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center more than 50 years ago. On January 16, 1948, words from the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on the initial Clinical Center construction appropriation, attested to this commitment: "…this Committee unanimously, on both sides, without regard to party or politics or anything else, is supremely interested in this matter of providing proper clinical research facilities that will bring the sufferer, the human patient, into direct contact with the researchers. The time has come to recognize that we must provide trained people—clinicians and techniciansand researchers—and at the same time give to suffering humanity, which has these diseases, the opportunity to be studied…."

In the ensuing years, there has been a great deal of growth and change in biomedicine. The NIH Clinical Center, then and now, continues to set the stage for the synthesis of medicalknowledge—knowledge that has radically improved the prospects of human health. Many past milestones and the exciting future that lies ahead will be recognized as the Clinical Center marks its fiftieth anniversary in 2003 during special activities planned throughout the year.

On the 50th Anniversary of the NIH Clinical Center's Opening

"What a wonderful institution for the people who are taken care of there—for the families of the people who are taken care of there and for the patients themselves. But also what a wonderful institution for the people who work there. It is a place that trains and respects and listens to the people who are in there every day trying to literally save the world."
        – Cokie Roberts, congressional analyst for ABCNews

View the archived video.

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This page last updated on 07/27/2017

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