NICHD’s mission is to lead research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all. NICHD has helped advance science and improve the health of individuals, families, and communities. This section highlights some of the institute's scientific accomplishments.
For additional information about NICHD's research accomplishments, visit the Newsroom.
Selected scientific findings made possible by NICHD
Progress in advancing science and improving health
- See selected research advances from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.
- The incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), once the leading cause of acquired intellectual disability, has dropped more than 99% because of the Hib vaccine developed by NICHD scientists. Learn more about the Hib vaccine discovery.
- Phenylketonuria (PKU), a disorder that once caused intellectual disabilities, has been successfully eliminated as a factor in cognitive development thanks to newborn screening and dietary therapy. Learn more about advances in PKU screening and treatment.
- Congenital hypothyroidism, once responsible for many cases of intellectual disability, no longer has an impact on cognitive development because of newborn screening techniques that detect the condition and allow immediate treatment. Learn more about research on congenital hypothyroidism.
- Several NICHD scientists and grantees have received Nobel Prizes for their discoveries. Learn more about NICHD Nobel Prize winners.