National Institutes of Health

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National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one of the major divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It is the primary U.S. government agency conducting and funding medical research. The NIH consists of 27 institutes and research centers throughout the U.S.[1]

Tobacco issues

The National Institutes of Health has issued numerous monographs describing the health hazards of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, also known as "environmental tobacco smoke" or ETS. [2]

NIH also employed Gio Batta Gori as head of its Smoking and Health program in the 1970s. Dr. Gori was a tobacco industry consultant. In 1978, Gori made public statements that some cigarettes were safe to smoke. He was later removed from his post. [3]

NIH personnel consulting agreements

The Senate is calling for the National Institutes of Health to clean up corrupt business dealings involving consulting agreements. According to an agency spokesman, approximately 228 scientists employed by the NIH have outside consulting agreements (out of 6,000 scientists). Furthermore, many of the (total of 365 agreements) do not require public disclosure. Consequently, researchers may receive consulting fees totaling tens of thousands of dollars or accept stock options from outside companies. Some researchers have received stock options worth as much as $300,000. [4] In 1996, researcher Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University; studied nearly 800 scientific papers in prominent biology and medical journals. In one third of all cases, the author had financial interests in the company sponsoring the research. This information was not disclosed to readers in most cases. Also in 1996, a Stanford University study by Mildred Cho, a senior research scholar at the Center for Biomedical Ethics; found that 98% of university studies funded by drug companies reported new therapies to be more effective than standard ones. By comparison, only 79% of non-industry financed studies found new drugs to be more effective. [5]

Government funded vivisection

Four month PETA investigation of NIH funded Oregon National Primate Research Center. - 2007

The NIH is the largest single funding agency in the U.S. for animal testing. [6] The total of NIH funded projects involving species of animals was 29,441 for the fiscal year 2001. While research on dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters has decreased, experiments on macaque monkeys, squirrel monkeys, chimpanzees, baboons, rats and mice has greatly increased. In the fiscal year ending in 2001, the NIH funded 171 separate projects on neural information processing in macaque monkeys, 123 projects on visual neural information in macaque monkeys, 286 cocaine studies on rats, 109 cocaine studies on mice and 55 cocaine studies on macaque monkeys. There were a total of 450 projects studying cocaine in three different species. Approximately $131,175,900 a year is spent on addiction research in only three species. Some of these grants have existed for decades. Several neural information processing grants for macaque monkeys have continued for 30 years (with one reaching 38 years as of 2001). If decades of study have not garnered worthwhile information, why are new grants are still being approved for this field?

Tragically, the NIH spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year funding a bottomless pit of animal research duplication, that accomplishes nothing more than funneling tax dollars into nationally known laboratories. In 2000, the average grant was $291,502 for 29,855 research projects totaling over 8.7 billion dollars in grants that year. There were also an additional 651 projects involving species other than those mentioned above. Many facilities receive well over $100 million yearly and some laboratories approach $200 million. A 2001 audit for 30 facilities revealed that approximately 56% received over 100 million per year from the NIH for animal research. The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committees (IACUC) who evaluate projects for approval, are heavily staffed by animal researchers, affiliated veterinarians and others with vested interests in animal research. [7] Sadly, the current system provides funding approval for virtually any project and has led to a steady climb in animal research. A conservative estimate for NIH funded animal testing is in excess of 8.5 billion annually.[8] See also U.S. Government's War on Animals, section 5.

Animals used in NIH funded research by species

See also a break down by species of animals used in NIH funded research. [9]

National Primate Research Center System

The National Primate Research Center System (NPRC) refers to eight regional centers that perform animal testing and breed primates for laboratories. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 69,990 non-human primates or NHPs, were used U.S. research laboratories in 2007, an increase of 11% since 2006; and the highest number since USDA began tracking in 1973. This does not include primates used for breeding or those being "held" for research. The actual figure is approximately 112,000. A number of institutions have expanded their primate facilities in the last decade and indications are an increase in primate research. China is increasing primate use and export. The eight NPRC's alone received $1.2 billion in 2007. The NPRCs were established by Congress in 1960 to provide "resources" for primate research and to narrow the gap between U.S. and Soviet space programs. The centers are supported by the NIH and have over 27,500 primates of 20 different species in captivity. [10], [11], [12] See also NPRC.

Examples of NIH funded animal research

For examples of NIH funded research, see also Micheal Berens, Eliot Spindel, Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR), National Primate Research Center System (NRPC) & Ten Worst Laboratories.

Alamogordo chimps

On November 18, 2010, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Animal Protection of New Mexico joined former Gov. Bill Richardson at a joint press conference to request the U.S. Department of Agriculture stop the transfer of retired chimpanzees in Alamogordo, New Mexico, to SFBR. See also SFBR.

NIH animal testing

Facility information, progress reports & USDA-APHIS reports

For links to copies of a facility's USDA-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Stop Animal Experimentation Now!: Facility Reports and Information. This site contains listings for all 50 states, links to biomedical research facilities in that state and PDF copies of government documents where facilities must report their animal usage. (Search: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.)

USDA AWA reports

As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.

NIH & the AIDS industry

Since the first hypothesis by Robert Gallo of the NIH at an April 23, 1984 press conference, there has never been any proof that HIV caused AIDS. In fact, Gallo only announced that he had discovered the virus which probably caused AIDS. Others claimed that he had discovered the “AIDS virus” and he never corrected them. Dr. Gallo was joined by Margaret Heckler, the Secretary of the HHS, who promised a “vaccine for AIDS within one year.”

Simultaneously with the press conference was the HHS' denial of grant requests for AIDS research (approving only grant requests for HIV research). This effectively silenced open, objective discourse and peer review. Consequently, there has been no well-funded, empirical research regarding the true cause of AIDS. In spite of this, evidence exists to conclude that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, according to critics of the orthodox HIV/AIDS paradigm. Furthermore, the HIV test is so inaccurate and misleading, it has never made a real connection between HIV and AIDS.[13] See also AIDS industry.

African drug trial cover-up

In December of 2004, Dr. Edmund Tramont, head of the NIH AIDS division, was outed by fellow NIH AIDS researcher Dr. Jonathan Fishbein for burying evidence of drug toxicity in an African drug trial. Documents obtained by the Associated Press (AP) revealed that Dr. Tramont censored thousands of toxic reactions and at least 14 deaths in the ongoing Nevirapine study in Uganda. South African President Thabo Mbeki accused the U.S. of using Africans as “guinea pigs”. Rev. Jesse Jackson called the cover up "an outrage.” The media seized on story, but Nevirapine was known in 2000 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added a black-box label due to the drug’s ability to cause fatal liver damage and bloody rupturing of skin and flesh (Steven-Johnson Syndrome). Boehringer Ingelheim originally slotted the drug for pregnant HIV-positive women in the U.S. However, Nevirapine’s toxicities were so great they pulled it out of the FDA approval process. Then,

"they did what all AIDS drug manufacturers do with their garbage – dump it into the gay, Black or foreign market and tell the soft-headed liberal media that it’s an “antiretroviral” that will stop AIDS."

The Ugandan study Tramont helped bury was overseen by Dr. Laura Guay, a U.S. doctor from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Under Dr. Guay, the drug was approved for overseas. "How does a drug that kills Americans save Africans?" South African lawyer and journalist Anthony Brink scrutinized the study and approval process in his 2002 online publication, “The Trouble with Nevirapine.” His work on AZT was also widely read by South African leadership, and prompted President Thabo Mbeki’s early criticism of AIDS drugs. Dr. Fishbein tracked down Brink, whose Nevirapine study he described as “an expertly written piece about this very dangerous drug.”[14] See also The Trouble with Nevirpine. [15]


Toxic trials on foster children

In the nightmarish, surreal world of pediatric clinical trials, infants, toddlers, children and teenagers are forced to ingest dangerous, toxic pharmaceuticals. In 2004, a shocking series of expose's revealed this horrifying practice in at least seven U.S. states. The NIH clinical trial scandal originally broke in January of 2004. Government funded researchers were using New York city orphans in trials for combinations of highly toxic drugs. [16]

The tragedy became the basis for the British documentary "Guinea Pig Kids", which aired on November 30, 2004 on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).[17] See also foster child drug trials.

NIH & the War on Cancer

See also National Cancer Institute.


The Senate added $1.0 billion to the 2009 request for the NIH budget for a total of $30.5 billion. This amount was an increase of 3% over the current year. In contrast to a request that would have kept the agencies' funding flat, most of NIH’s institutes and centers would see an increase of 2 to 2.5 %. The Senate plan reversed the trend of a declining NIH budget for the last four years.

NIH classifies 97% of its budget as research and development (R&D), including R&D facilities; with the remainder as overhead and training. The amount of the NIH R&D would total $29.7 billion in 2009 according to the Senate plan, an increase of $838 million or 2.9% over 2008. [18]

Institutes & Centers

Executives & board

  • Francis S. Collins, MD, Ph.D. - Director [19]
  • Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. - Principal Deputy Director, NIH
  • Victor J. Dzau - former Chair

Advisory Committee

  • Mary Beckerle, Ph.D. - Director, Huntsman Cancer Institute of Utah
  • Joan S. Brugge, Ph.D - Chair, Harvard University Medical School
  • Colleen Conway-Welch - Ph.D., Dean, School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University
  • Catherine D. DeAngelis - M.D., Editor-in-Chief, American Medical Association (JAMA)
  • Haile T. Debas, M.D. - Executive Director, Global Health Sciences, University of San Francisco
  • David L. DeMets - Ph.D. - Chair, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Maria C. Freire, Ph.D. - President, Albert & Mary Lasker Foundation
  • Susan Hockfield, Ph.D. - President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Karen A. Holbrook, Ph.D. - VP, Research & Innovation, University of South Florida
  • Ralph I. Horwitz, M.D. - Chair, Department of Medicine, Stanford University
  • James S. Jackson, Ph.D. - Director, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
  • Thomas J. Kelly, M.D., Ph.D. - Director, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Mary-Claire King, Ph.D. - American Cancer Society, University of Washington-Seattle
  • Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D. - CEO & Publisher, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Beatriz Luna, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh
  • Jeffrey C. Murray, M.D. - Vice Chair, College of Medicine, University of Iowa
  • John C. Nelson, M.D. - Former President, American Medical Association, President & CEO, Globus Relief
  • James Thrall, M.D. - Radiologist-in-Chief, Mass. General, Harvard University Medical School
  • Barbara L. Wolfe, Ph.D. - Economics/ Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Keith R. Yamamoto, Ph.D. - Exec Vice Dean, University of California, San Francisco

Director’s Council

  • Beth Furlong, J.D., Ph.D., RN, Assoc. Professor - Creighton University

Scientific Management Review Board

  • Norman Augustine - Chair
  • Jeremy Berg, Ph.D. - National Institute of General Medical Sciences
  • Josephine Briggs, M.D. - National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • William Brody, M.D., Ph.D. - Salk Institute for Biological Studies;
  • Gail Cassell, Ph.D. - Eli Lilly
  • Anthony Fauci, M.D. - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Daniel S. Goldin - Intellisis
  • Richard Hodes, M.D. - National Institute on Aging
  • Stephen Katz, M.D., Ph.D. - National Institute of Arthritis/Musculoskeletal/Skin Diseases
  • Thomas Kelly, M.D., Ph.D. - Director, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Francis S. Collins, MD, Ph.D. - Director
  • Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D. - National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
  • John E. Niederhuber, M.D. - National Cancer Institute
  • Deborah Powell, M.D. - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Griffin Rodgers, M.D. - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
  • William Roper - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Arthur Rubenstein, M.D - University of Pennsylvania
  • Solomon H. Snyder, M.D. - Johns Hopkins University
  • Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D. - National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
  • Eugene Washington, M.D. - University of California San Francisco
  • Huda Zoghbi, M.D. - Baylor College of Medicine [21]


National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

Phone: 301-496-4000

Web address:

Articles & resources

SourceWatch articles


  1. About NIH, National Institutes of Health, August 2009
  2. David Satcher, M.D., Ph.d. U.S Exhibit 78,716, Report, "Monograph 10, Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke", National Cancer Institute, Report. 1999. 460 pp. Bates No. USX3712391-USX3712850
  3. Scientist who called some cigarettes safe may lose job, St. Louis Globe Democrat, August 10, 1978, Bates No.777103143
  4. Senate: Corruption in Govt-Medical Dealings,, January 2004
  5. Mark Clayton Corporate Cash and Campus Labs, Christian Science Monitor, June 2001
  6. Michael A. Budkie The Animal Experimentation Scandal: An Audit of the National Institutes of Health Funding of Animal Experimentation: Introduction, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, 2001
  7. Micheal A. Budkie An Audit of the NIH: Funding of Animal Experimentation: Audit Findings, SAEN, 2001
  8. Micheal A. Budkie An Audit of the NIH: Funding of Animal Experimentation: Summary, SAEN, 2001
  9. Micheal A. Budkie Appendix A: Species of Animals Totals for NIH Grants Awarded 2002, SAEN, 2002
  10. An Introduction to Primate Issues, Humane Society of the United States, accessed November 2009
  11. Phillip Dawdy Monkey in the Middle, Willamette Weekly, February 2001
  12. National Center for Research Resources: Primate Resources, NIH, accessed November 2009
  13. Steven James The Tide of Truth: Dissident Opposition in the Era Called “AIDS”,, July 2000
  14. Liam Scheff Nevirapine blues: Stepping over bodies on the way to market,, December 2004
  15. Anthony Brink The Trouble with Neverpine,, April 2002
  16. Liam Scheff The NIH/ICC Investigation, Challenging Scientism, April 28th, 2008
  17. Guinea Pig Kids,, accessed March 2010
  18. Senate Adds $1 Billion to 2009 NIH Budget,, August 2009
  19. NIH Director, NIH, September 2009
  20. Advisory Committee to the Director: ACD Roster, NIH, January 2010
  21. Scientific Management Review Board: Members, NIH, June 2009

External articles

External resources