Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Francis Collins

Director, National Institutes of Health

Francis Sellers Collins was born in April 1950 in Staunton, Virginia. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at Yale University. He earned a Doctor of Medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served a residency in internal medicine at North Carolina Memorial Hospital at Chapel Hill, later returning to Yale where he was a Fellow in Human Genetics at that medical school.

He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan, rising to the rank of professor in internal medicine and human genetics. He worked on or discovered the genetic components for cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, neurofibromatosis, multiple endocrine neoplasia, the Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, and others.

He was appointed the Director of Human Genome Research for the National Institutes of Health, and he later founded that agency’s Division of Intramural Research. He worked for a time as a volunteer physician in a rural missionary hospital in Nigeria, and helped establish the Human Heredity and Health in Africa initiative.

He was nominated to be Director of the National Institutes of Health by President Barack Obama. He was approved by the Senate and sworn in by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in August 2009. The directorate has a limited term and in June 2017, President Donald Trump announced his selection of Collins to continue to serve as the NIH Director.

An author, the holder of numerous awards and honors, Dr. Collins has described himself as a “ferocious Christian.”

In the News…

During a Senate hearing, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, addressed the reasons behind the clinical hold on a coronavirus vaccine by one of the companies developing it. He said it is not unusual, especially during a pandemic. He also confirmed one person experienced an adverse reaction to the vaccine during the trials.

“To have a clinical hold, as has been placed on AstraZeneca as of yesterday, because of a single serious adverse event is not at all unprecedented. This certainly happens in any large scale trial where you have tens of thousands of people invested. Some of them may get ill. You always have to try to figure out: Is that because of the vaccine or are they going to get that illness anyway?” he said.

He added that the reason there are investments in several vaccines is because there is an expectation they won’t all work.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Dr. Collins today? You can let him know at:

Dr. Francis Collins, Director
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD  20892


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