National Institute on Aging
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About NIA


NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. In 1974, Congress granted authority to form NIA to provide leadership in aging research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs relevant to aging and older people. Subsequent amendments to this legislation designated the NIA as the primary Federal agency on Alzheimer’s disease research.


NIA’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of older Americans through research, and specifically, to:

  • Support and conduct high-quality research on:
    • Aging processes
    • Age-related diseases
    • Special problems and needs of the aged

  • Train and develop highly skilled research scientists from all population groups

  • Develop and maintain state-of-the-art resources to accelerate research progress

  • Disseminate information and communicate with the public and interested groups on health and research advances and on new directions for research.


NIA sponsors research on aging through extramural and intramural programs. The extramural program funds research and training at universities, hospitals, medical centers, and other public and private organizations nationwide. The intramural program conducts basic and clinical research in Baltimore, MD and on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.

Organization Chart in Abobe PDF (30K)

Page last updated Dec 01, 2008