Investing in Discovery
An Overview of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Supporting high-quality research is a defining characteristic of NIGMS. Many of the Institute’s grantees earn prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, the highest honor bestowed in science. Over its 53 years, NIGMS has funded the Nobel Prize-winning work of 83 scientists. Among their discoveries:
- Translating the genetic code and explaining how it functions.
- Defining the internal organization of cells using electron microscopy and other techniques.
- Finding that RNA can act as a catalyst, controlling and directing cellular functions.
- Discovering restriction enzymes, which cut DNA at precise locations and are a cornerstone of the biotechnology industry.
- Identifying proteins that trigger a cell’s response to outside signals and are involved in normal activities as well as diseases like cancer, cholera and diabetes.