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History of the Clinical Center

Throughout the 1940s, as the National Institutes of Health institutes launched investigations of the big killers of the day, it became clear that the NIH needed a place to conduct research on patients. In 1944, Public Law 78-410, the Public Health Service Act authorized the establishment of the NIH Clinical Center, and the hospital opened its doors in July 1953.

Since then, the Clinical Center has gone through many expansions and changes, but remains steadfastly true to our mission to provide a model environment for clinical research, patient care and training future generations of clinician scientists.

Explore our rich history.

photo of the south side of the NIH Clinical Center in the 1950s
In the 1950s, the main entrance to the NIH Clinical Center was on the south side of the building.

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This page last updated on 07/27/2017

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