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Dr. John I. Gallin earned his undergraduate degree from Amherst College and his MD from Cornell University Medical College. He completed his internship and residency at New York University-Bellevue Hospital Medical Center and received training in Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Gallin previously served as scientific director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief of the Laboratory of Host Defenses of the NIAID. He currently serves as director of the NIH Clinical Center. His tenure as director has seen the development of a new curriculum for clinical research training, the formulation of a new clinical research information system, and the construction of the new Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center.
JIM: The last several years have marked a number of important events on the NIH campus, including the fiftieth anniversary of the Clinical Center and the opening of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center. Please describe for us the significance of these changes for the intramural and extramural clinical research communities.
Dr. Gallin: The fiftieth anniversary was an opportunity to take stock of accomplishments at the Clinical Center. The NIH Clinical Center is headquarters for intramural clinical research conducted by the institutes at NIH. Intramural clinical research makes up about 10% of NIH's clinical research portfolio. Taxpayers have received a good return on their long-term investment in clinical research at NIH. A short list of accomplishments within these walls includes the first chemotherapy, initially targeting choriocarcinoma, and later treating childhood leukemia and Hodgkin's disease. This was home to the first artificial mitral heart valve replacement surgery, first use of immunotherapy to treat cancer (melanoma), first use of AZT for the treatment of AIDS, first gene therapy, first controlled trials of lithium's effect on depression, and first use of immunosuppressive …
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