Your Privacy

Protecting your privacy is very important to us. When you visit our website, we don’t collect any personally identifiable information (PII) about you unless you choose to provide it. To help us improve the site, we collect statistics about its usage. None of this includes PII. We also collect search terms to learn what topics are of most interest to visitors who use our web search tool. These search terms are not associated with individual users.


When we receive an inquiry, we store the question and the email address so we can respond electronically. We don’t store or use this information for any other purpose. Unless required by law, we don’t publicly identify those who send questions or comments to our website.

Your email address may also be stored in one of several electronic mailing lists that we or a contractor maintains. You must specifically ask to subscribe to these lists, for example, by filling out a web form. To unsubscribe, contact us using our email form​ or by phone at 301-496-7301 and specify the mailing list from which you’d like your address removed. Unless required by law, we don’t provide our mailing lists to requestors.

Several people who are responsible for answering questions may see email sent to NIGMS. The information specialist who monitors the email box may forward your query to another NIH staff member who’s more specialized on the topic of your question. In addition, you should be aware that email isn’t necessarily secure against interception. If your communication contains sensitive or personal information, you may want to send it by postal mail or contact us by telephone.

Our website has links to other federal agencies as well as to private organizations. Once you click on a link to another site, you’re subject to the privacy policy of that site.

Publication Orders

If you order publications from us, we’ll share your name, address, other contact information, and titles of the requested publications with a contractor that stores and distributes publications for us. PII is removed after 60 days.

Information This Web Site Collects

The NIGMS website uses a variety of web measurement software tools, and specific details regarding their information collection methodologies can be found on their respective websites. NIGMS retains the data from Google Analytics as long as necessary to support the mission of the website.

Third-Party Web Sites and Applications

We use third-party services and social media such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube as ways to communicate with you. The security and privacy policies of these sites governs your activity on them. When you use them, you’re often sharing information with the general public, other users, and the group operating that site or application. We recommend you review the privacy policies of these third-party sites and applications to ensure you understand how they might use your information. You may be able to adjust the privacy settings on your account.


While visiting sites within the domain, you’ll encounter webpages that employ "cookies." A cookie is a small file that a website transfers to your computer's hard disk drive, allowing our servers to remember specific information about your visit.

There are two types of cookies: single session (temporary) and multisession (persistent). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum allows federal agencies to use both session and persistent cookies.

Session Cookies:Session cookies last only while your web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the cookie disappears. We use session cookies within our publications site so that our server can keep track of the items in your order. The OMB memorandum 10-22 guidance defines our use of these cookies as Usage Tier 1—Single Session. The memo states that this tier "encompasses any use of single session web measurement and customization technologies."

Persistent Cookies: Persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods. We use these cookies to enable Google Analytics to perform the activities described in the Information This Website Collects​ section above. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to our website until they expire. The OMB memorandum 10-22 guidance defines our use of these cookies as Usage Tier 2—Multisession Without Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The memo states that this tier "encompasses any use of multisession web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected."

Requests to send cookies from NIGMS webpages are designed to collect information only about your browser session—not about you. The kinds of session information collected include: operating system, browser type, domain from which you access the internet, duration of your visit, webpages visited, and date and time of your visit. These details help us understand how people use our site and how we can improve it. The cookie also makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of our webpages. Unless a webpage specifically notifies you otherwise, we won’t collect and maintain personal information about you.

To protect your privacy, be sure to close your browser completely after finishing with a website that uses cookies. If you’re concerned about the potential use of information being gathered from your computer, you can set your browser to prompt you before it accepts a cookie. For information about opting out of common web measurement and customization technologies, refer to’s web measurement and customization opt-out webpage. If you opt out of any technology our website uses, you’ll still have access to the identical information and resources on the site as visitors who haven’t opted out.

Questions about the NIGMS Privacy Policy should be submitted through our email form.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Privacy Policy is available on the NIH website​. Questions about this policy should be sent to