The mission of the NIEHS is to reduce the burden of human illness and disability by understanding how the environment influences the development and progression of human disease. To have the greatest impact on preventing disease and improving human health, the NIEHS focuses on basic science, disease-oriented research, global environmental health, and multidisciplinary training for researchers.
The studies conducted at NIEHS by the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) are often long term and high risk in nature and involve unique components, such as epidemiological studies of environmentally associated diseases, and intervention and prevention studies to reduce the effects of exposures to hazardous environments. The institute has several core facilities (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/core/index.cfm) that help NIEHS scientists (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/scientists.cfm) perform their research.
DIR laboratories and branches (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/laboratories.cfm) are organized (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/dir/index.cfm) into five programs: environmental biology, environmental disease and medicine, clinical research, environmental toxicology, and the National Toxicology Program. Each program has a director or associate director, who is responsible for assisting and advising the Scientific Director (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/osd/index.cfm)in the overall scientific leadership of the DIR.
DIR scientists are highly interactive and are often engaged in interdisciplinary research that encourages novel ideas, innovative hypotheses, and new paradigms. DIR has established a number of Scientific Interest Groups (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/faculties/index.cfm) organized around scientific topics of general interest to the NIEHS (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/). These Scientific Interest Groups (Faculties) meet periodically to pursue their common interests, primarily through seminars and discussion groups. Collectively, the members of the different Scientific Interest Groups also serve as an advisory resource for the Scientific Director regarding new scientific initiatives.