Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health



The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) is authorized by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Establishment Act H.R. 1795, which was signed into law by President William Clinton on December 29, 2000 as Public Law 106-580. For more historical information about NIBIB, please see:
Hendee RW, Chien S, Maynard CD, Dean DJ. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering: history, status, and potential impact. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 2002;30(1):2-10.


Important Events in the NIBIB's History

December 29, 2000 - The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Establishment Act (H.R. 1795) is signed into law by President William Jefferson Clinton.


  • The NIBIB Establishment Plan is approved by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mr. Tommy G. Thompson.
  • Dr. Donna J. Dean is named as Acting Director of NIBIB.
  • The National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering is established.
  • NIBIB assumes administration of the NIH's Bioengineering Consortium (BECON).
  • The NIBIB website is launched.


  • A working group is established to review and recommend the transfer of grants to NIBIB.
  • NIBIB receives its first budget appropriation (FY 2002) in the amount of $112 million.
  • NIBIB announces its first 2 Requests for Applications.
  • The NIBIB announces the award of its first research grants.
  • Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, professor of radiology, medicine (cardiology), and bioengineering, and director of the Emory Center for MR Research, Emory University School of Medicine, assumes the position of Director of NIBIB.
  • Dr. Donna Dean becomes the first Deputy Director of NIBIB.


  • The National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering meets for the first time in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • A new NIBIB organization is announced by Dr. Roderic Pettigrew.
  • The NIBIB Special Emphasis Panel is established.
  • Dr. Belinda Seto is named the Deputy Director of NIBIB.


  • NIBIB initiates its Strategic Planning process.
  • NIBIB and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA, sign an interagency agreement establishing the joint Laboratory for the Assessment of Medical Imaging Systems.
  • NIBIB hosts a Blue Ribbon Panel on Intramural Research to provide recommendations on the planning and development of an intramural research program.
  • NIBIB and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announce a partnership to support the HHMI/NIBIB Interfaces Initiative for Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Training.
  • The Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Radiochemistry Group joins the Institute as the NIBIB Intramural Research Program.
  • NIBIB and the National Science Foundation sponsor a conference on "Research at the Interface of the Life and Physical Sciences: Bridging the Sciences."


  • NIBIB issues a draft Strategic Plan and invites public comment.
  • NIBIB holds its first Regional Grantsmanship Seminar in Troy, New York. The seminars are intended to provide an overview of NIBIB funding opportunities and NIH application, review, and grant-making processes and policies.
  • NIBIB launches re-designed website.


  • NIBIB awards its first Quantum Grant to Baylor College of Medicine.
  • NIBIB names Dr. Richard Leapman as Scientific Director of the Intramural Sciences Program.
  • NIBIB publishes its first strategic plan, Strategic Plan I, following a year-long process of input from the public, staff, and groups of outside experts. This plan is designed to (1) define key goals, (2) optimize the use of resources, and (3) install tools and processes for smart management in order to help NIBIB achieve its mission and realize its vision.
  • NIBIB website wins Award of Distinction from The Communicator Awards.


  • NIBIB celebrates its 5-year anniversary with a commemorative scientific symposium on technological innovation in medicine entitled, "Changing the World's Healthcare through Biomedical Technologies." View Image.
  • NIBIB presents the first NIBIB Landmark Achievement Award to Dr. Paul Lauterbur (posthumously), 2003 Nobel Laureate, Physiology or Medicine, for his vision and fundamental discoveries in the development of magnetic resonance imaging. View Image.
  • The Division of Bioengineering and Physical Science is transferred from the NIH Office of Research Services to the NIBIB intramural research program.
  • NIBIB and the Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Republic of India, sign a bilateral agreement to develop low-cost healthcare technologies aimed at the medically underserved. View Image.


  • NIBIB enters into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense and the Office of Naval Research to support and manage the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM). Over the next 5 years, AFIRM will provide $8.5 million per year for research in the field of regenerative medicine.
  • NIBIB holds the first Quantum Grantees' meeting.
  • NIBIB's Point-of-Care Technologies Network holds a first-year meeting to discuss progress and future plans.
  • NIBIB and the Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Republic of India, hold a 2-day workshop entitled "Low-Cost Diagnostic and Therapeutic Medical Technologies," in Hyderabad, India, aimed at promoting U.S./Indian scientific collaborations in the development of low-cost diagnostics and therapeutics.


  • NIBIB hosts the first in a series of forums on Technology Translation. The first forum focused on the role of public-private partnerships in the development and translation of in-vitro diagnostic technologies.
  • NIBIB provides support for the RSNA RadLex Ontology Project, which will provide a uniform source of terms and concepts for indexing and retrieving imaging information sources.
  • The Neuroimaging Tools and Resources Clearinghouse (NITRC) wins the 2009 Excellence in Government Award from the American Council for Technology. NITRC is supported by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research and managed by NIBIB. View Image.
  • NIBIB awards ten grants in Phase II of the NIBIB-HHMI Interfaces Initiative for Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Training.


  • NIBIB announced a new training initiative in Team-Based Design in Biomedical Engineering Education.
  • NIBIB established a collaboration with Wellcome Trust to solve key medical engineering challenges facing healthcare.
  • NIBIB received $3M from the Department of Health and Human Services to fund imaging-based comparative effectiveness research to improve clinical decision-making.


  • In a first in human study a man with a paralyzing spinal cord injury is able to stand and move muscles after intensive physical therapy and electrical stimulation to the spine. This breakthrough research is supported by an NIBIB Bioengineering Research Partnership grant at University of California Los Angeles.
  • With NIBIB contract support, the Radiological Society of North America Image Share Network enrolled the first patients to test a new system that allows patients to have complete access to their imaging reports and share them with physicians anywhere in the world.
  • NIBIB and the Office of National Coordinator held a workshop on Images, Electronic Health Records and Meaningful Use.
  • NIBIB co-organized a Summit on Management of Radiation Dose in Computerized Tomography: Toward the Sub-mSv Exam.


  • NIBIB marks its Tenth Anniversary with A Decade of Innovation for Health - a science symposium and technology showcase featuring patient testimonials, video interviews with investigators, and presentations by premier leaders in academia and government. 
  • NIBIB announced the winners of its first DEBUT challenge, a biomedical engineering design competition for teams of undergraduate students.
  • NIBIB Intramural Research lab wins video award and recognition from The Scientist magazine for advances in light microscopy that allows the mapping of cell migration during embryogenesis and capture dynamic processes at the cellular level. 
  • NIBIB publishes its second Strategic Plan.


  • NIBIB establishes a partnership with Mexico to develop technologies to treat complications of diabetes.
  • With NIBIB grant support, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital developed the i-Chip, a device for isolating circulating tumor cells from patients’ blood in a way that leaves them completely intact for further analysis.
  • NIBIB issued a funding opportunity announcement, "Blood Pressure Measurement Technologies for Low-Resource Settings in the US and India" as part of its joint effort with the Department of Science and Technology in India, which invites researchers to propose new approaches  to the measurement of blood pressure  that are  low-cost, unobtrusive or passive  and which can provide frequent data recording and reporting to healthcare workers as well as the patients themselves.
  • Researchers in NIBIB’s Intramural Program developed two new microscopes, both the first of their kind. The first captures small, fast moving organisms at an unprecedented rate and the second displays large cell samples in three dimensions while decreasing the amount of harmful light exposure to the cells. Both microscopes surpass in clarity any other currently on the market. Watch the video.