Accompanying growth in the grants program was the proliferation of new
categorical institutes. Between 1946 and 1949, voluntary health organizations
motivated Congress to create institutes for research on mental health, dental
diseases, and heart disease. In 1948, language in the National Heart Act
also made the name of the umbrella organization plural: National Institutes
of Health. The original divisions of the old National Institute of Health
were divided into two newly created institutes: the National Microbiological
Institute (NMI) and the Experimental Biology and Medicine Institute (EMBI).
The tradition of using such academic medical names, however, was being
transformed by the conviction that institutes named after diseases stood
a better chance for being funded by Congress. In 1950, the EMBI was absorbed
by the newly created National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases.
In 1955 the NMI similarly became part of the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases. By 1960 there were ten components. This number
increased by 1970 to 15, and by 1998 the NIH had 27 institutes and centers.
In addition, specialized offices such as the Office of AIDS Research,
were created but subsumed administratively under existing components.