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Research & Discoveries

Below are highlights of scientific discoveries made at the NIH Clinical Center. For more complete descriptions of current research projects, see the Clinical Center's Annual Report of Clinical Research Activities and Lectures.

Medical Milestones - Clinical Center Firsts

2010 - Present
2000 - 2009
1990 - 1999
1980 - 1989
1970 - 1979
1960 - 1969
1953 - 1959

2010 - Present

  • 2013 Nineteen significantly mutated genes identified in clear cell renal cell carcinomas. 75
  • 2012 Algorithm used to reconstruct outbreaks using genomic analysis of bacterial genomes developed. 74
  • 2012 Investigational MRI-guided transfemoral right-heart catheterization performed. 73
  • 2012 Clinical trial showed that thrombopoetin treatment cured some patients with severe aplastic anemia. 72
  • 2012 Cardiac magnetic resonance used to diagnose unrecognized myocardial infarction. 71
  • 2012 Gene Therapy for patients with radiation-induced salivary hypofunction Phase One Clinical Trial completed. 70
  • 2012 Good Manufacturing Practices for stored clinical bone marrow stromal cell products developed. 69
  • 2011 Genetically engineered lymphocytes reactive with NY-ESO-1, a cancer/testis antigen, may cause tumor regression in patients with metastatic synovial cell sarcoma and melanoma. 68
  • 2010 Study suggests that adoptive transfer of genetically engineered autologous cells can treat patients with b-cell lymphomas. 67
  • 2010 Mutations in the Lysosomal Enzyme-targeting pathway that may cause stuttering identified. 66

2000 - 2009

  • 2009 Autoinflammatory disease, deficiency of the interleukin-1—receptor agonist, identified. 65
  • 2009 Genetically engineered, normal circulating lymphocytes mediated cancer regression. 64
  • 2009 Preliminary findings for large-scale genome sequencing pilot project published. 63
  • 2008 MRI-ultrasound fusion guided prostate biopsy conducted. 62
  • 2006 Clinical research on rapid onset antidepressants begins. 61
  • 2005 Computed Tomographic Virtual Colonoscopy Computer-Aided Polyp Detection results are similar to optical colonoscopies. 60
  • 2005 Novel mutations in the fumarate hydratase gene in families with hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer. 59
  • 2005 Shingles vaccine proves effective in nation-wide clinical trial. 58
  • 2003 Findings suggest the administration of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 can mediate the regression of metastatic melanoma. 57
  • 2003 Inclusion and exclusion criteria definition for severe mood and behavioral dysregulation developed. 56
  • 2003 Magnetic Resonance Imaging detects Acute Coronary Syndrome. 55
  • 2002 Prophylactic decompression of the optic nerve does not correlate with vision loss. 54
  • 2002 Leptin-replacement therapy improved glycemic control and decreased triglyceride levels in patients with severe lipodystrophy. 53
  • 2001 Immunotoxin BL22 can potentially induce complete remission in patients with Hairy-cell leukemia. 52
  • 2001 Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome linked to chromosome 17p11.2. 51
  • 2001 Doses of vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. 50
  • 2000 Nonmyeloablative allogeneic stem-cell transplantation can induce sustained regression of metastatic renal-cell carcinoma. 49

1990 - 1999

  • 1998 Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections described in 50 clinical cases. 48
  • 1995 Intensive immunosuppression with anthihmycoyte and cyclosporine as treatment for severe acquired aplastic anemia developed. 47
  • 1994 Intraocular sustained-release ganciclovir implant randomized and controlled clinical trials begin on patients with cytomegalovirus retinitis. 46
  • 1994 Patients with metastatic melanoma treated with cell therapy. 45
  • 1994 Clozapine clinical trials begin on patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia. 44
  • 1993 Interleukin-2 receptor used to treat human T-cell lymphotrophic virus I-induced adult T-Cell Leukemia. 43
  • 1993 Research shows human papillomavirus structural viron proteins self-assemble into virus-like particles when expressed in insect cells. 42
  • 1993 Von Hippel-Lindau gene linked to renal cancer isolated. 41
  • 1991 Replacement therapy for inherited enzyme deficiency—macrophage-targeted glucocerebrosidase for Gaucher's disease clinical trial conducted. 40
  • 1990 Phase One Trial of 2', 3' dideoxyinosine, or ddl, in adults with AIDS or AIDS-related complex conducted. 39
  • 1990 T-Lymphocyte—Directed Gene Therapy for adenosine deaminase with severe combined immunodeficiency clinical trial begins. 38
  • 1990 Basic local alignment search tool, or the BLAST algorithm, designed. 37

1980 - 1989

  • 1988 Patients with metastatic melanoma undergo cell transfer therapy. 36
  • 1988 Phase One studies of 2', 3' dideoxycytidine, or ddc, in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection began. 35
  • 1987 Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled clinical trial of the efficacy of azidothymidine, or AZT, in the treatment of patients with acquired immune disease conducted. 34
  • 1987 Cysteamine therapy for children with nephropathic cystinosis conducted. 33
  • 1987 Gene on chromosome 3p predisposes patients to renal cancer. 32
  • 1987 H. Flu meningitis vaccine developed for children under 18 months old. 31
  • 1986 Increased blood lipid levels indicates coronary heart disease risk in men and woman 49 or older. 30
  • 1985 Double-blind, controlled trial demonstrates that clomipramine is effective in the treatment of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder. 29
  • 1985 Study demonstrates immunotherapy can mediate the regression of metastatic cancer. 28
  • 1985 Screening test for AIDS agent, HTLV-III, developed. 27
  • 1985 Immunopathogenesis of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome identified. 26
  • 1982 Transport defect which causes lysosomal storage disease, or cystinosis, identified. 25 
  • 1981 PET scans clarify some brain abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia. 24

1970 - 1979

  • 1979 Immunosuppressive, or Cyclophamide, therapy for patients with severe systemic necrotizing vasculitis clinical trial conducted. 23 
  • 1977 Radioimmunoassay developed to detect human leukocytic pyrogen. 22
  • 1975 Hospital-wide medical information system to support clinical research goes live. 21
  • 1975 Study confirms nitroglycerin, alone or with phenylephrine, reduces myocardial ischemic injury during heart attacks. 20
  • 1974 The biological and chemical properties of two distinct human leukocytic pyrogens described. 19
  • 1972 Insulin receptors identified in human circulating cells and fibroblasts. 18
  • 1972 Granulocyte transfusion therapy conducted. 17
  • 1971 Radioimmunoassay technique measuring frequency of antibody to hepatitis-associated antigen developed. 16

1960 - 1969

  • 1969 Longitudinal double-blind study testing lithium-carbonate treatment in depression and mania conducted. 15
  • 1969 Method to locate parathyroid glands developed. 14
  • 1966 Device for separating blood platelets from blood plasma designed. 13
  • 1965 Continuous flow blood separator designed. 12
  • 1964 Subtraction-angiographic visualization of a vascular malformation completed. 11
  • 1963 Clinical trial using fluoride gels to treat dental caries as an infectious disease conducted. 10
  • 1963 Subcutaneous reservoir and pump for sterile access to ventricular cerebrospinal fluid, also known as the Ommaya reservoir, invented. 9
  • 1962 Genetic code determined. 8
  • 1961 Plasmapheresis, a process in which the liquid in the blood, or plasma, is separated from the cells, became a source of platelet transfusion. 7
  • 1961 The genetic basis for Tangier Disease was identified. 6
  • 1960 A successful mitral valve replacement cardiac procedure was completed. 5

1953 - 1959

  • 1958 A solid tumor cured with chemotherapy. 4
  • 1957 Coulter Model S, an automatic blood counter, was developed. 3
  • 1954 The Schonander biplane angiocardiographic unit, one of only two in the country at the time, became operational. It was designed for biplane roentgenology for detailed study of cardiac abnormalities by radiological methods. 2
  • 1953 The "Group Consideration of Clinical Research Procedures Deviating from Accepted Medical Practices or Involving Unusual Hazards" intramural policy was issued by the NIH director to provide governance for research as NIH. 1

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This page last updated on 06/22/2017

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