NIH Pavilion Scientific Themes

Select a title to view activities for each theme.


Explore the medical innovations created by advances in technology – from seeing through your skin to replacing damaged tissues and organs.


Catch the BEAT! Imaging the Human Heart (SEPA)

Scan the live beating heart of our patient with a high-tech ultrasound probe! Watch the heart valves open and close in real time as blood is pumped through his body. Take home a souvenir photo of your ultrasound scan of his heart. Use a touch screen computer to see 3D reconstructions of a patient's heart after bypass surgery or implantation of a pacemaker or stent. Play with an Augmented Reality (AR) app on an iPad to learn the inner workings of the heart. Check out our display to learn how high blood pressure can affect your health.

Patient Recruitment; Under Your Skin (CC)

  1. Clinical Study Registration
    We have clinical studies for healthy volunteers and for people with medical needs. Become a partner with us in the research and discovery of cures for tomorrow. Many studies also offer compensation. We’ll help you find the study that is right for you.
  2. The High-Tech Revolution
    A fun, educational, interactive, hands-on exhibit showcasing the innovative science and technology used at the Clinical Center to look inside the body and help perform medical diagnosis, surgery and other procedures.

Robotics to Improve Research (NCATS)

Staff from NCATS will demonstrate the precision and speed of robotics and discuss how it applies to scientific research and engineering. A mobile robot will be used to recognize locations, pick up and move objects and run multiple processes at the same time.

“Want to be a Bioengineer?” Video game challenge! (NIBIB)

Play our “Want to be a Bioengineer?” iPad video game and rack up the points as you learn about Rehabilitation Engineering, Tissue Engineering, and Biomedical Imaging. Then try your luck at the new “Lightning Round,” a race with the clock to score those final points by answering rapid fire questions about the hottest topics on biomedical engineering and human health. Finally, check out and download our new apps, “Surgery of the Future,” and “Understanding Medical Scans,” and talk to our experts in biomedical engineering as well as our app developers.

Zebrafish on the Move: Tour the Tank (NICHD)

‘Tour the Tank’ gives kids a close-up view of the small fish that have a big impact on our understanding of human disease and development. Peeking into a fluorescent microscope, kids see a zebrafish brain at work, a beating heart, lungs pumping, even blood cells traveling through a vessel. Scientists are on hand to explain how zebrafish help advance our knowledge. A handful of kids can walk through the dark-room exhibit at a time, checking out the fish tank, while kids and parents outside the exhibit can ask questions of scientists and watch a video featuring short clips of zebrafish discoveries.