The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.
The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.
The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.
A part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH is the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.
The goals of the agency are:
+ to foster fundamental creative discoveries, innovative research strategies, and their applications as a basis for ultimately protecting and improving health;
+ to develop, maintain, and renew scientific human and physical resources that will ensure the Nation's capability to prevent disease;
+ to expand the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences in order to enhance the Nation's economic well-being and ensure a continued high return on the public investment in research; and
+ to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.
The examination of biological factors is fundamental in understanding the development and progression of diseases and has traditionally been the focus of research on minority health and health disparities. The NIMHD has been a leader in increasing the scientific community’s focus on non-biological factors such as socioeconomics, politics, discrimination, culture, and environment in relation to health disparities. NIMHD invests in research and fosters collaborations and partnerships to promote and support evidence-based science to inform practice and policy. Its programs and initiatives provide a leading edge in enhancing the scientific knowledge base and designing interventions to improve health outcomes to reduce and ultimately lead to the elimination of health disparities. Through the NIMHD’s leadership, over the past decade, health disparities has become a recognized scientific field of study, which has evolved from documenting and investigating differences in health status and risk factors among affected populations, to addressing health disparities using traditional and non-traditional research approaches.
WHO began on 7 April 1948 – a date now celebrated every year as World Health Day. WHO is now more than 7000 people working in 150 country offices, in 6 regional offices and at the headquarters in Geneva. WHO's primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations’ system.
These are WHO's main areas of work:
+ Health systems
+ Promoting health through the life-course
+ Noncommunicable diseases
+ Communicable diseases
+ Corporate services
+ Preparedness, surveillance and response.
WHO supports countries as they coordinate the efforts of multiple sectors of the government and partners – including bi- and multilaterals, funds and foundations, civil society organizations and private sector – to attain their health objectives and support their national health policies and strategies.