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Uisahak. 2000 Jun;9(1):54-62.

[Development of National Institute of Health, Korea].

[Article in Korean]

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  • 1National Institute of Health.


The National Institute of Health (NIH) under the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Korean Government was established in 1963, integrating four institutes: National Institute of Health, National Chemical Laboratories, National Laboratory of Herb Medicine and National Institute of Public Health Training. The root, however, goes down to the Bacteriology Laboratory, opened in 1912 with the function for microbiological testing and pox vaccine development, which was absorbed into the former National Institute of Health in 1948 when the government of the Republic of Korea was inaugurated. The Institute opened a satellite office, the Masan Branch in 1977, and was further expanded, adding the Divisions of AIDS and Biotechnology in 1988. In 1996, as part of restructuring the Government organizations, Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) ws founded by expanding the Toxicology Research Institute, to which all the functions of testing and certifying foods and drugs were transferred. Simultaneously, a new department, the Department of Biomedical science was organized, which currently consists of five divisions; the Divisions of Cancer Research, Degenerative Diseases, Cardiovascular Diseases, Metabolic Diseases and Genetic Diseases. In 1999, in order to provide a rapid and effective disease control, the Department of Communicable Diseases was newly founded, merging the Division of Disease Control and Prevention from the Ministry of Health and Welfare. With these steady and significant changes, the NIH, together with the training of health manpower, has become the national organization for research, prevention and control of various diseases of public health importance in Korea.

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