The close relationship between basic and clinical research at the NIH reflects Louis Pasteur's observation that science is indivisible: "There is only science and the fruits of science." On the NIH campus, intramural clinical investigators interact with their basic science colleagues with the aim of developing improved intervention strategies for treating the knottiest disease problems. The NIH also holds Consensus Development Conferences of investigators and physicians from around the world at which panels of experts appraise new modes of therapy or evaluate existing therapies about which questions have been raised. The first, held in 1977, recommended mammography as a routine diagnostic tool for breast cancer in women over fifty. Since then more than 100 Consensus Development Conferences have rapidly channeled research findings on devices, drugs, and medical or surgical procedures to practicing physicians.
Poster for a 1995 Consensus Development Conference
Poster for 1997 Consensus Development Conference on biomaterials