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Of the 11 institutes at the NIH, all except one are targeted to a disease or population. The exception is the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the fourth largest in terms of budget. The institute's programs are focused on basic, noncategorical research, "without which many of the advances that will eventually have an impact on specific diseases cannot take place," observes the present director, Ruth L. Kirschstein, MD.
"This is not to say that other institutes at the NIH are not engaged in basic research, of course," she adds, "but this institute's research areas do not have a specific, categorical focus.
"There's an excellent example to illustrate this," Kirschstein goes on. She notes that one of this year's General Motors Cancer Research Foundation awards went to Barnett Rosenberg, PhD, of Michigan State University, East Lansing, in recognition of his work in the development of the anticancer drug cisplatin.
Marwick C. Capitalizing on promising research areas. JAMA. 1984;252(16):2305–2307. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160169049
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