The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) invests approximately $3 billion annually in medical research related to heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. More than 89 percent of NHLBI's annual budget supports researchers at more than 520 research institutions across the country and in other parts of the world. About seven percent of the NHLBI budget supports projects conducted by nearly 80 scientists in NHLBI laboratories located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2016, NHLBI released its Strategic Vision, which will guide the Institute’s research activities for the coming decade. Read the NHLBI Strategic Vision.
The NHLBI receives the vast majority of its funding through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress. The NHLBI is also authorized by Congress to accept donations and bequests to support its mission. Learn more about the NHLBI Gift Fund.
Each year, when the President submits a budget request to Congress, federal agencies including NHLBI prepare a Congressional Justification for the House and Senate appropriations committees. This document helps justify the President's request by detailing the Institute's past investments and advances in research, active research programs, evolving scientific priorities, and proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.
Once the House and Senate have agreed on an appropriations bill (or bills), the President signs it into law. The public can check the status of the various appropriations bills online. Because the NHLBI is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, its budget is a component of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bills.
Additionally, each year, Congress issues directives to Federal agencies, including NIH, in the reports accompanying House and Senate appropriations bills. These directives, called Significant Items, are assigned for response to the Institutes and Centers (ICs) according to their areas of expertise; some topics may be relevant to several ICs’ research portfolios. The responses are published with the Congressional Justification in the following year’s Presidential Budget Request.
Each year, the NHLBI Director may be called upon to testify before the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS). The Director may be asked to either appear in person, submit a written statement related to the Institute's Congressional Budget justification, or both.
LHHS Appropriations for FY 2016 (March 3, 2015)
LHHS Appropriations for FY 2015 (March 26, 2014)
LHHS Appropriations for FY2018 (June 22, 2017)
LHHS Appropriations for FY2016 (April 30, 2015)
Full Committee Hearing on FY2015 NIH Budget Request (April 2, 2014)
LHHS Appropriations for FY 2014 (May 15, 2013)
NHLBI is accountable to keeping Congress informed about Institute-funded research. Occasionally, NHLBI subject matter experts are asked to testify before Congress, participate in Congressional briefings and events, or lead the preparation of state-of-the science reports. The following are examples.
The National Heart Institute was established in 1948 when President Harry S. Truman signed into law the National Heart Act, Public Law 80-655, which authorized the Institute to conduct, assist, and foster research; provide training; and assist the states in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart diseases.
The Institute was renamed the National Heart and Lung Institute in 1969 by the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, after a major National Heart Institute reorganization that created a pulmonary disease branch, along with branches for other cardiovascular diseases, therapeutic evaluation, and epidemiology.
Congress further expanded the Institute’s authorities in 1972, with the enactment of the National Heart, Blood Vessel, Lung and Blood Act, Public Law 92-423, to augment the national effort against heart, lung, and blood diseases.
In 1976, the Health Research and Health Services Amendments, Public Law 94-278, authorized research and training on blood disease and the use of blood products and the management of blood resources. The law also changed the Institute’s name to the NHLBI.
In 1993, the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research was established as part of NHLBI, with the enactment of the NIH Revitalization Act, Public Law 103-43. The Center remains under the leadership of the NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases.
For more information about the NHLBI's history, visit The NIH Almanac.
Learn more about some of NHLBI's major programs, partnership activities, as well as recent advances in research funded by the institute. The information is presented by program area and showcases how NHLBI is implementing the objectives established in the NHLBI Strategic Vision.
Science Policy, Outreach, and Reporting (SPOR) Branch
SPOR Branch Chief: Daniel Stimson, Ph.D., J.D.
Legislative Lead: Jean Berube, J.D.
Office of Science Policy, Engagement, Education and Communications
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute