The mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. For more than a decade, the mission statement of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has focused on reducing the burden of illness owing to neurological disorders. While the need for basic research as part of this mission has always been implicit, a recently released analysis of NINDS grant applications convinced leadership to make it explicit by adding “advancing fundamental understanding of the nervous system” to our mission statement (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/about_ninds/message/message-back-to-basics.htm).
Koroshetz WJ, Landis S. Neurology’s Stake in Foundational Neuroscience Research. JAMA Neurol. 2014;71(9):1081-1082. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.1496