Francis Collins steps down as director of NIH – WashPost

The director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, is expected to announce his resignation on Tuesday after 12 years in the post, Politics first reported.

Why is this important: The 71-year-old pioneer physician-geneticist is the only appointed presidential NIH director to serve in more than one jurisdiction. Collins has served longer than anyone in this role and has been at the forefront of the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Driving the news: Collins told the Washington Post on Monday that he made the decision to retire by the end of the year after retiring on his own in May.

  • He realized he didn’t want to get too far into the Biden administration. Collins concluded that the NIH was in “a fairly stable place” in its response to the pandemic, with vaccines and other tools.

What else does he say: “There comes a time when an institution like the NIH really gets a new vision, a new leadership, ”Collins told WashPost. “It was the right time.

  • Reflecting on resigning at a time when science was politicized, Collins noted: “With each problem the polarization gets deeper and deeper, the tribes have formed their point of view and it is very difficult to see how we are doing. remove. “

The big picture: Under Obama-appointed Collins, the NIH budget grew from $ 30 billion to $ 41.3 billion thanks to continued support from Congress, WashPost notes.

  • He spent nearly three decades with the NIH and made landmark discoveries about disease genes and previously served as director of the agency’s National Human Genome Research Institute until 2008.
  • Collins also led the International Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a complete sequence of the Human DNA Instruction Manual, by the NIH.
  • NIH officials did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.

Go further: “Axios on HBO” interviews Collins

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