NCI is home to many of the world's leaders in cancer research. The NCI Intramural Research Program is allocated approximately 9 percent of NCI's research dollars and provides an unmatched environment that supports high-risk projects in basic, translational, and clinical research, along with epidemiological research studies that probe the incidence and distribution of cancer. A special strength of the intramural program is its ability to rapidly launch initiatives in response to emerging scientific needs and new opportunities.
NCI's intramural scientists, who in essence form the largest academic medicine research university in the world, have been tremendously successful largely thanks to their close access to the NIH Clinical Center, the world's largest hospital dedicated to clinical research. This state-of-the art facility provides an ideal environment for molecular epidemiology studies and genomic research to identify and validate genetic pathways and molecular targets that can lead to new approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, detection, and treatment. It is an ideal venue for testing drugs in their earliest phases of development. New approaches such as Phase 0 trials show great promise to shorten drug development time, improve drug safety, and drive down development cost.