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National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center

Aerial photo of the NIH Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, Bethesda, Maryland
Agency overview
Formed1953 (1953)
JurisdictionUnited States
HeadquartersBethesda, Maryland, U.S.
39°0′6″N 77°6′16″W / 39.00167°N 77.10444°W / 39.00167; -77.10444
Agency executive
Parent agencyNational Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services

The NIH Clinical Center is a hospital solely dedicated to clinical research at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The Clinical Center, known as Building 10, consists of the original part of the hospital, the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, and the newest addition, the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center. The two parts are connected to form one large building.[1]

Since the hospital's opening in 1953,[2] NIH scientists have worked with volunteer patients to create medical innovations. Clinical Center successes include pioneering the cure of cancerous solid tumors with chemotherapy; the use of nitroglycerin to treat heart attacks; identifying a genetic component in schizophrenia; conducting the first successful replacement of a mitral valve to treat heart disease; and the creation of blood tests to identify both Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and hepatitis.[3]

In October 2014, Clinical Center staff successfully treated one of the first few Ebola virus cases in the United States.

The Clinical Center has been a leader in the “bench-to-bedside” concept. Its specialized hospital design places patient care units in close proximity to research laboratories. This model supports interaction and collaboration among clinical researchers.

The Clinical Center also provides training opportunities for students, new and mid-career professionals.[4] A Summer Internship Program offers internships to students who are currently enrolled in high school, college, graduate programs and health professional schools such as nursing or medicine.[5] The Medical Research Scholars Program is a year-long research enrichment program designed for research-oriented medical, dental and veterinary students.[6] The Clinical Research Management Sabbatical is a self-directed educational experience designed for clinical research investigators and managers of clinical research programs.[7] The Clinical Center also provides a course called the Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research to train physicians, scientists, medical students, nurses and other health professionals how to effectively conduct clinical research.[8]


The Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center opened in 1953 and is 13 floors at its highest point. It is named after Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington.

The Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, located at the north end of the Clinical Center, opened in 2005. It was named after Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon.[9]

The hospital has 200 inpatient beds, 11 operating rooms, 93 day hospital stations, critical care services and research labs, an ambulatory care research facility and a complex array of imaging services. The Clinical Center is also one of the few facilities in the world with state-of-the-art infrastructure that allows for isolation capabilities and infection control while patients participate in clinical research studies.[1][10]

Patients at the Clinical Center consent to participate in research studies, also called protocols, and are treated without charge. Admission is selective: only those patients who have a medical condition being studied by NIH Institutes or Centers and who meet the specific inclusion criteria can enroll in the studies.

In 2014, there were 1,611 clinical research studies underway at the Clinical Center including those focused on cancer, infectious diseases, blood disorders, heart disease, lung disease, alcoholism and drug abuse.[1]

More than 500,000 patients from all 50 states, and from countries around the world, have participated in clinical research at the Clinical Center.[1]

John I. Gallin served as director of the Clinical Center beginning in May 1994. In January 2017, as part of an update to the hospital's leadership structure, NIH director Francis S. Collins named James K. Gilman to the newly created position of chief executive officer Clinical Center. With the arrival of Gilman, Gallin assumed new roles as the NIH Associate Director for Clinical Research and Chief Scientific Officer, Clinical Center.[11]


Past directors 1948 - present[12]

Portrait Director Took office Left office
Jack Masur 1948 1951
John A. Trautman 1951 1954
Donald W. Patrick 1954 1956
Jack Masur 1956 1969
Thomas C. Chalmers 1970 1973
Robert S. Gordon, Jr. 1974 1975
Mortimer B. Lipsett 1976 1982
John L. Decker 1983 1990
Saul Rosen (acting) 1990 1994
John I. Gallin 1994 2017
James K. Gilman 2017 present

Clinical trials

South entrance

In 2014, the NIH Clinical Center had 1,611 active research protocols. 48% of those were clinical trials (773 protocols), another 46% were natural history studies (744 protocols) and the remaining 6% were screening and training protocols.[13]

The Clinical Center provides an environment for both patient care and conducting clinical trials, most of which are in Phase I or Phase II.[1] In 2014, of the 773 active clinical trials protocols, 23% were Phase I trials (261 protocols), 60% were Phase II trials (462 protocols), 5% were Phase III (39 protocols) and 3% were Phase IV (11 protocols).[13]

The Clinical Center also integrates data from all intramural clinical trials in an integrated data repository called Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS).[14]


The Discovery Channel documentary First In Human: The Trials of Building 10, hosted by Jim Parsons, aired in August 2017.[15] The three-episode documentary showed experiences of some staff, patients and caregivers at the NIH Clinical Center.


  1. ^ a b c d e "No Other Hospital". NIH Clinical Center. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "Beacon of Hope" (PDF). Office of History, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "Accomplishments at America's clinical research hospital". NIH Clinical Newsletter. October 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education 2014 Annual Report" (PDF). Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education, NIH Clinical Center. 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "Summer Internship Program". Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education, NIH Clinical Center. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  6. ^ "Medical Research Scholars Program". Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education, NIH Clinical Center. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "Clinical Research Management Sabbatical". Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education, NIH Clinical Center. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research". Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education, NIH Clinical Center. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "Research center named for ex-Oregon senator". The Seattle Times. September 23, 2004. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  10. ^ "Facts at a Glance". NIH Clinical Center. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  11. ^ "Major General James Gilman, M.D., tapped to lead NIH Clinical Center". NIH. December 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  12. ^ "Clinical Center Directors".
  13. ^ a b "NIH Clinical Center Director's Annual Report 2015" (PDF). NIH Clinical Center. 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  14. ^ Cimino, J. J.; Ayres, E. J.; Remennik, L.; Rath, S.; Freedman, R.; Beri, A.; Chen, Y.; Huser, V. (2013). "The National Institutes of Health's Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS): Design, contents, functionality and experience to date". Journal of Biomedical Informatics. 52: 11–27. doi:10.1016/j.jbi.2013.11.004. PMC 4026354. PMID 24262893.
  15. ^ "Discovery: First in Human". Discovery Impact. Retrieved August 19, 2017.

Further reading