Spotlight: Frederick National Laboratory

This sign (photo taken circa 1991) shows the facility’s name when it was the Frederick Cancer Research Facility; this name change occurred in December 1981.

Marking the First 40 Years

By Carolynne Keenan, Guest Writer


Forty years ago, a single act by former President Richard Nixon created what we now know as the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) at Fort Detrick. What began as a small facility with a staff of about 20 people in the early 1970s grew into the multi-facility, nationally distinguished laboratory for cancer research that it is today.

FNLCR may have changed names a few times over the years, with the most recent change in March 2012, but even through the changes, the mission has been the same: to speed the translation of laboratory research into new diagnostic tests and treatments for cancer, AIDS, and other infectious diseases.

FNLCR has spent many of the last 25–30 years “putting its resources into place to serve the nation in general,” said Craig Reynolds, Ph.D., director, Office of Scientific Operations, NCI.

Many discoveries have been made over the years in developing treatments for cancer, AIDS, and other infectious diseases. In the early 1980s, FNLCR (then known as the Frederick Cancer Research Center) played a part in developing a blood test to protect the nation’s blood supply from HIV infection.

Read the full article in The Poster.