President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Francis S. Collins as Director of the National Institutes of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services in a press release from Washington yesterday. The press release also stated:
‘President Obama said, “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.”
Francis S. Collins, Nominee for Director, National Institutes of Health, Health and Human Services Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project, served as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health from 1993-2008. With Dr. Collins at the helm, the Human Genome Project consistently met projected milestones ahead of schedule and under budget. This remarkable international project culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book.’
This announcement is good news for genetics in health care as it continues the challenge to raise awareness of its relevance and importance in health professional practice. I have had the privilege to hear Dr Collins speak on a few occasions and found him to be inspirational, as well as a witty and down-to-earth person. I know this will be welcome news to collaborative colleagues in the US.