About the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

      For 50 years, the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has dramatically improved our understanding and treatments of such killers as heart disease and stroke.   Created in 1948 and also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the NHLBI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of the world's largest biomedical research centers.

      Originally founded as the National Heart Institute, the NHLBI has spearheaded the Federal government's efforts investigating disorders of the heart and blood vessels.   Today, the NHLBI also addresses disorders of the blood and lungs, manages blood resources, and houses the National Center on Sleep Disorders.

      The NHLBI supports work that advances the development of new genetic therapies, non-invasive diagnostic tools and assist devices that support weakened hearts.

      In addition to NHLBI's on-going Framingham Heart Study, one of the most important epidemiological studies in medical history, other Institute studies have been instrumental in adding to our knowledge about a variety of serious diseases.

      The Women's Health Initiative, for example, is a major new effort investigating ways to prevent heart disease, breast and colon cancer, osteoporosis and other disorders that pose serious problems for older women.

    The major areas of NHLBI activities include:

  • Basic research, clinical investigations and trials, and observational studies.

  • Trial and evaluation of disease interventions and medical devices.

  • Research on clinical use of blood and management of blood resources.

  • Research training and career development of new and established researchers.

  • Educational activities including development and dissemination of materials for health professionals and the public, with a special emphasis on prevention.

Dr. Claude Lenfant is director of the NHLBI.