Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It supports and conducts research aimed at improving the health of children, adults, families, and communities, including:

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
NIH NICHD Master Logo 2Color.svg
Agency overview
Formed1962 (1962)
Agency executive
Parent agencyNational Institutes of Health


The impetus for NICHD came from the Task Force on the Health and Well-Being of Children, convened in 1961 and led by Dr. Robert E. Cooke, a senior medical advisor to President John F. Kennedy. Eunice Kennedy Shriver also served on the task force, which reported that more research was needed on the physical, emotional, and intellectual growth of children.

The U.S. Congress established NICHD in 1962 as the first NIH institute to focus on the entire life process rather than on a specific disease or body system. NICHD became a funding source for research on birth defects and intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), created a new pediatrics specialty, and established IDDs as a field of research. The institute also focused on the idea that adult health has its origins in early development and that behavior and social science were important aspects of human development.[2]

On December 21, 2007, by act of Congress (Public Law 110-54), NICHD was renamed the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in honor of Mrs. Shriver's vision, dedication, and contributions to the founding of the institute.[3]


The mission of NICHD is to ensure that every person is born healthy and wanted, that women suffer no harmful effects from reproductive processes, and that all children have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives, free from disease or disability, and to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people through optimal rehabilitation.[4]


As of November 2016, the director of NICHD is Diana W. Bianchi.[5]

NICHD’s budget in 2015 was an estimated $1.3 billion, which supported research at institutions, universities, and organizations throughout the world, as well as research conducted by NICHD scientists on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, and at other facilities.


  • Office of the Director
  • Division of Extramural Research
    • Child Development and Behavior Branch
    • Contraceptive Discovery and Development Branch
    • Developmental Biology and Structural Variation Branch
    • Fertility and Infertility Branch
    • Gynecologic Health and Disease Branch
    • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch
    • Maternal and Pediatric Infectious Disease Branch
    • Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics Branch
    • Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch
    • Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch
    • Population Dynamics Branch
    • Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch
  • National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research
  • Division of Intramural Population Health Research
    • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Branch
    • Epidemiology Branch
    • Health Behavior Branch
  • Division of Intramural Research
    • Office of the Scientific Director
    • Scientific Affinity Groups
      • Aquatic Models of Human Development
      • Basic Mechanisms of Genome Regulation
      • Behavioral Determinants and Developmental Imaging
      • Bone and Matrix Biology in Development and Disease
      • Cell and Structural Biology
      • Cell Regulation and Development
      • Developmental Endocrine Oncology and Genetics
      • Genetics and Epigenetics of Development
      • Integrative Membrane, Cell, and Tissue Pathophysiology
      • Metals Biology and Molecular Medicine
      • Neurosciences
      • Pediatric Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Genetics
      • Perinatal and Obstetrical Research
      • Reproductive Endocrine and Gynecology

Notable accomplishmentsEdit

NICHD has made numerous contributions to improving the health of children, adults, families, and communities. Selected research advances from 2015 include improving the health of infants born preterm, encouraging healthy behaviors, and optimizing rehabilitation.[7]

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "Discover the NICHD" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Establishment of the NICHD". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  3. ^ NICHD Renamed for Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Advocate for Institute's Founding
  4. ^ "NICHD Mission and Scientific Accomplishments". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  5. ^ "NIH names Dr. Diana Bianchi director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  6. ^ "Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)". National Institutes of Health (NIH). 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  7. ^ "Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2015". Retrieved 2016-11-17.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 39°0′12″N 77°6′16″W / 39.00333°N 77.10444°W / 39.00333; -77.10444