The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) supports basic research that increases our understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. NIGMS also supports research in specific clinical areas that affect multiple organ systems: anesthesiology and peri-operative pain; clinical pharmacology common to multiple drugs and treatments; and injury, critical illness, sepsis, and wound healing. NIGMS-funded scientists investigate how living systems work at a range of levels—from molecules and cells to tissues and organs—in research organisms, humans, and populations. Additionally, to ensure the vitality and continued productivity of the research enterprise, NIGMS provides leadership in supporting the training of the next generation of scientists, enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce, and developing research capacity throughout the country.

NIGMS is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal medical research agency of the federal government and a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With a budget of $3.2 billion in FY 2023, NIGMS supported more than 4,800 investigators, more than 5,500 research grants, and more than 5,200 research trainees. The Institute has a strong track record of funding scientists who go on to receive Nobel Prizes, including 50 in Chemistry and 44 in Physiology or Medicine.

All other NIH institutes and centers support basic research that’s relevant to the diseases, organ systems, stages of life, or populations within their mission areas. In contrast, NIGMS supports fundamental research that doesn’t focus on those specific areas. Its research mission is aimed at understanding the principles, mechanisms, and processes that underlie living organisms, often using research models. NIGMS also supports the development of fundamental methods and new technologies to achieve its mission. Supported research may utilize specific cells or organ systems if they serve as models for understanding general principles. Research with the overall goal to gain knowledge about a specific organ or organ system or the pathophysiology, treatment, or cure of a specific disease or condition will, in most cases, be more appropriate for another institute or center. See the NIH listing of institutes, centers, and offices to learn more about their specific missions.

The Institute is organized into the following divisions that support research, research training, and capacity building in a range of scientific fields.