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Investing in Discovery

An Overview of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences


The Dance of Life

Division of Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology

Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics

Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology

Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry

Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity

Center for Research Capacity Building

Office of Emergency Care Research

Free Science Education Materials

Nobel Prizes

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The Dance of Life

RIGHT NOW, BILLIONS OF MOLECULES are coiling, oozing or vibrating throughout your body, all part of the carefully choreographed dance of life.

Understanding those molecules, along with the cells and systems in which they function, is the mission of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"The most important advances in medicine during the 20th century ... have one thing in common: They were all discoveries made in the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake."

NIGMS uses the vast majority of its nearly $2.4 billion annual budget to support the research of thousands of scientists across the country who seek to understand the basics of how life works.

Knowledge gained from these investigations lays the foundation for new ways to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat disease.

The NIGMS investment also benefits local economies, fuels biotechnology and other industries, and helps the U.S. maintain its global competitiveness.

The Institute funds a broad spectrum of research, handled administratively by the divisions and center described in this brochure.

More information about NIGMS research funding opportunities is available at

This page last reviewed on November 4, 2015