Francis Collins Nominated for NIH Director


On July 8, President Obama nominated Dr. Francis S. Collins to be Director of the National Institutes fo Health. Dr. Collins, a physician and geneticist, served as the Director of the National Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) from 1993 to 2008, leading the Human Genome Project to completion.

In addition to his achievements as the NHGRI Director, Dr. Collins’ own research laboratory has discovered a number of important genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease, a familial endocrinal cancer syndrome, and most recently, genes for adult onset (Type 2) diabetes, as well as the gene responsible for Hutchison-Gilford progeria syndrome.

Dr. Collins received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Yale University, and an M.D. with Honors from the University of North Carolina. Prior to coming to NIH in 1993, he spent nine years on the faculty of the University of Michigan, where he was an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007.

Congress is now considering his nomination.