National Institutes of Health Clinical Center

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center

Aerial photo of the NIH Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
Agency overview
Formed 1953 (1953)
Jurisdiction United States
Headquarters Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Agency executive
  • Dr. John I. Gallin, Director
Parent agency National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services
South Entrance

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center is a hospital solely dedicated to clinical research at the NIH 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 O. Hatfield of Oregon.[9]

The hospital has 240 inpatient beds, 11 operating rooms, 82 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.

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.

More than 480,000 patients from all 50 states, and from countries around the world, have participated in clinical research at the Clinical Center.

Clinical Trials

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.

The Clinical Center provides an environment for both patient care and conducting clinical trials, most of which are in Phase I or Phase II.[10] 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).

The Clinical Center also integrates data from all intramural clinical trials in an integrated data repository called Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS).[11]


  1. "NIH Clinical Center: There’s No Other Hospital Like It." National Institutes of Health.
  2. "Beacon of Hope." National Institutes of Health
  3. "Accomplishments at America's clinical research hospital." National Institutes of Health.
  4. "Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education 2014 Annual Report." National Institutes of Health.
  5. "Citation for the Summer Internship Program." National Institutes of Health.
  6. "Citation for the Medical Research Scholars Program." National Institutes of Health.
  7. "Citation for the Clinical Research Management Sabbatical." National Institutes of Health.
  8. "Citation for the Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research Course." National Institutes of Health.
  9. "Research center named for ex-Oregon senator." The Seattle Times.
  10. "National Institutes of Health Clinical Center". National Institutes of Health.
  11. 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. PMID 24262893.

Coordinates: 39°0′6″N 77°6′16″W / 39.00167°N 77.10444°W / 39.00167; -77.10444

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