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About NIH Glossary

About National Institutes of Health

A part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH is the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

The goals of the agency are:

  • to foster fundamental creative discoveries, innovative research strategies, and their applications as a basis for ultimately protecting and improving health;
  • to develop, maintain, and renew scientific human and physical resources that will ensure the Nation’s capability to prevent disease;
  • to expand the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences in order to enhance the Nation’s economic well-being and ensure a continued high return on the public investment in research; and
  • to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.

In realizing these goals, the NIH provides leadership and direction to programs designed to improve the health of the Nation by conducting and supporting research:

  • in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and cure of human diseases;
  • in the processes of human growth and development;
  • in the biological effects of environmental contaminants;
  • in the understanding of mental, addictive and physical disorders; and
  • in directing programs for the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information in medicine and health, including the development and support of medical libraries and the training of medical librarians and other health information specialists.

To learn more about the NIH visit www.nih.gov.


Glossary of Terms:

ASMD  –  Acid Sphingomyelinase (Niemann-Pick Type A/B & Type B)
EMA  –  European Medicines Agency (European equivalent of FDA)
ERT  –  
Enzyme Replacement Therapy
FDA  –  
United States Food and Drug Administration

HDAC  –  Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
ICV  –  Intracerebroventricular
IND  –  Investigational New Drug
i-IND  –  Individual Investiational New Drug
IRB  –  Institutional Review Board
NICHD  –  National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
NIH  –  National Institutes of Health
NPC  –  Niemann-Pick Disease Type C Disease
TRND  –  Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases