FROM THE ARCHIVES: Francis S. Collins Nominated to Lead the NIH (July 13, 2009)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news.

On July 8, the White House announced the nomination of Francis S. Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Collins replaces Raynard S. Kington who was thanked by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for his service as Acting Director…

The long-rumored nomination of the former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has been expected by the scientific community. In the release announcing Collins’ nomination, President Obama stated that “The National Institutes of Health stands as a model when it comes to science and research. My administration is committed to promoting scientific integrity and pioneering scientific research and I am confident that Dr. Francis Collins will lead the NIH to achieve these goals. Dr. Collins is one of the top scientists in the world, and his groundbreaking work has changed the very ways we consider our health and examine disease. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead.”

Collins, who stepped down in the summer of 2008 to work on writing projects and other professional opportunities, also worked on the Obama Administration’s transition team. He is a physician-geneticist noted for his leadership of the Human Genome Project and as Director of NHGRI from 1993-2008. Collins has a longstanding interest in the interface between science and faith, and has written about this in The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. He has just completed a new book on personalized medicine, The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine, scheduled for publication in early 2010. He has 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 supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007…

Collins’ nomination needs the consent of the Senate in a confirmation process that may take some time

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