The Korea National Institute of Health (KNIH) was founded in December 1963 by absorbing the following separate entities: the National Quarantine Laboratory, the National Chemical Laboratory, and the National Biological Medicine Testing Center.
The KNIH, which was recognized by WHO as a National Influenza Centre in 1972, launched the virus diagnostic systems of rubella and mumps in that year.
The economic development of the nation had raised the need to establish national institutions specializing in diverse biomedical disciplines. Accordingly, the KNIH’s functions were transferred to other national agencies. The Department of Sanitation was moved to the National Institute of Environmental Research in 1978; the Department of Safety Research to the National Institute of Safety and Health in 1987; the Center for Biomedical Sciences to Korea Food & Drug Administration in 1996; and the Department of Health and Welfare Training to the Korea Human Resource Development Institute for Health and Welfare in 1998.
In 2000, the KNIH was reorganized with a paradigm shift in medicine and health. The Center for Genome Science and the Division of Life Science Research Management were added to the KNIH respectively in 2001 and 2005, while significant progress was made in its expertise in medical and health research in 2004. The KNIH, which consisted of four centers and 20 divisions in 2009, continued its efforts to help improve the health of the public.
The KNIH relocated to Osong Health Technology Administration Complex (OHTAC) in 2011 and prepared for another rapid growth in a new era. As part of such preparations, the KNIH obtained national certification of its bio-containment facilities (BSL-3) in 2011.
The national institute continued to grow with the establishment of the following divisions: the Division of Vaccine Research (2012), the Division of Allergy and Chronic Respiratory Diseases (2014); and the Division of Medical Science Knowledge Management (2014).
The agency also opened the National Biobank of Korea in 2012 and the National Center for Medical Information and Knowledge in 2014. In 2017, the KNIH was reorganized into a more competent agency, intensively oriented towards R&D improvement and more fundamental studies. The KNIH currently consists of three centers and 19 divisions.
Establishment of the KNIH
The KNIH initiated through a combination of:
(a) the National Quarantine Laboratory,
(b) the National Chemical Laboratory,
(c) the National Institute of Health, and
(d) the National Biological Medicine Testing Center
Designation as the WHO NIC (National Influenza Center)
Separation of the Department of Sanitation
(National Institute of Environmental Research)
Separation of the Department of Safety Research
(National Institute of Safety and Health)
Separation of Korea FDA
Foundation of the Center for Biomedical Sciences
Separation of the Department of Health and Welfare Training
(Korea Human Resource Development Institute for Health and Welfare)
Foundation of the Center for Genome Science
The KNIH reformed and expanded into the KCDC
Foundation of the Division of Life Science Research Management
Reorganization of the KNIH: 4 centers and 20 divisions
Relocation to Osong
Reorganization of the Center for Infectious Diseases
Foundation of the Division of Vaccine Research
Foundation of the Division of Allergy and Chronic Respiratory Diseases and the Division of Medical Science Knowledge Management
MERS Preparedness & Response
Establishment of the National Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
Enactment of the Act on the Promotion of Collection, Management, and Utilization of Pathogen Resources
Reorganization of the KNIH for improvement of R&D capacity and establishment of the Division of Rare Diseases: 3 centers and 19 divisions
Start of the construction of the Vaccine Research Center