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October 26, 1984

Personalities, goals shape institutes over the years

JAMA. 1984;252(16):2111-2118. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160001002

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Last year, Building No. 1—which houses the director's office and is headquarters for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md—was renamed the James A. Shannon Building.

Shannon, who holds both the MD and PhD degrees and who has had a long and varied career in research, was among the five former directors of the NIH who were present at the ceremony, returning to the campus where he once guided great expansion.

But those years are now long gone. There are tighter budgets for science, new ideas about how biomedical research should be directed, and at the NIH itself the agency has had to grapple with problems posed by an essentially zero rate of growth. Finally, a new philosophy has emerged, perhaps best expounded by that well-known philanthropist, Mary Lasker, that the time has come to cash in on the research achievements of the previous 20 years: Results from