Beacon of Hope: Growth Years
A Revolution in Clinical Research
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Founding Years 1944-1953
Growth Years 1953-1969
Years of Change and Renewal 1969-1993
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The clinical services flourished after 1960 largely because Congress was committed to raising health care spending nationwide to $2 billion in 10 years. However, Director Shannon in 1958 and 1959 tried to enforce a no-growth budget on the Clinical Center, in the belief that, “The era of rapid expansion of intramural programs at Bethesda has come to an end.”80 Senator Hill and Representative Fogarty would not accept a no-growth strategy, and they succeeded in raising the NIH’s budget by about $150 million in 1960 and again in 1961. Under this fiscal sunshine the research revolution resumed.81 Cancer chemotherapy studies received a large extramural appropriation, spurring intramural investigators who developed a four-drug cure for childhood leukemia and a “Life-Island” isolation system to protect debilitated patients from infection.82 An upsurge in cardiovascular studies followed the opening of a new surgical suite in 1963. Heart Institute clinicians successfully tested alpha-methyl DOPA on patients with hypertension, and surgeons under Dr. Andrew Morrow performed thousands of operations relieving stroke symptoms in human patients and repairing congenital defects and atherosclerotic damage. The blood bank emerged as a separate department in 1965; a platelet separator was developed; and investigators Harvey Alter and Baruch Blumberg isolated the Australia antigen in leukemic blood samples. 83

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