Situated equidistant from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, N.C.--smack in the middle of the Research Triangle--sits the only National Institutes of Health institutional campus outside of the Washington, D.C., Beltway. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is currently responsible for nearly 50 percent of all federally funded research on such subjects. It commands a diverse research agenda that covers populations and geographical boundaries far beyond the triangle or the Beltway.

Working with the sixth smallest budget of the 17 NIH institutes--$273 million for fiscal year 1995--NIEHS investigations cover thousands of environmental agents, affecting almost every human system, and conditions that afflict humans at every stage of life. At the same time, institute director Kenneth Olden, who was appointed in 1991, is in the midst of redefining the institute's approach to environmental health research in light of new advances in molecular biological techniques.

Olden, the first African American to...

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