The Division of Intramural Research (DIR) of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development focuses its research effort on understanding the biology of development and reproduction. The DIR mission is to ensure the birth of healthy babies, to ensure the health of children as they develop into adulthood, and to optimize the health of women.
The DIR research program utilizes a multidisciplinary environment to investigate the physics, chemistry, and biology of cells, the processes that govern and regulate cellular function, and the effects when these processes fail.
Ten research programs, comprised of roughly 78 units and sections, constitute the NICHD DIR. The Division includes a total of 72 tenured and tenure-track investigators, over 300 postbaccalaureate, clinical, and postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and a total administrative and staff complement of approximately 1,200.
The research of the DIR addresses several fundamental questions:
- How do cells transmit signals from the outside environment to the nucleus, initiate gene expression and replication, and then translate molecular responses into changes in function, differentiation, and communication with the cells' neighbors and environment?
- How do cells talk to one another, identifying their properties and location to give rise to tissues and organs?
- How are these processes integrated during embryonic, fetal, and postnatal development?
- When these processes go awry and disease ensues, how may we intervene in this pathologic sequence and treat the disease?
The majority of the DIR laboratories are located on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, or in nearby Rockville. An additional research facility is located in Poolesville, Maryland. The Program in Perinatal Research and Obstetrics is based in Detroit, Michigan.
Please explore our DIR Offices and Programs, an interdisciplinary collaboration of investigators aiming to answer fundamental questions in human health.
Office of Education
Office of Scientific Director (OSD)
Cell Biology and Metabolism Program (CBMP)
Molecular Medicine Program (MMP)
Program in Cellular Regulation and Metabolism (PCRM)
Program in Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics (PDEGEN)
Program in Developmental Neuroscience (PDN)
Program in Genomics of Differentiation (PGD)
Program in Perinatal Research and Obstetrics (PPRO)
Program in Physical Biology (PPB)
Program in Reproductive and Adult Endocrinology (PRAE)
Program on Pediatric Imaging and Tissue Science (PPITS)