Infectious Disease

Collins resigns as NIH director

October 05, 2021

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Neither Becerra nor Collins report any relevant financial information.

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NIH director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, who has served under three US presidents, will step down from office by the end of the year, according to a press release from the agency.

During his 12-year tenure, he led many efforts to combat opioid use disorders, rare diseases, and the COVID-19 pandemic. He also launched the All of Us Research Program, which will use health data from hundreds of thousands of Americans to enhance efforts to prevent and treat disease. the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative, which aims to understand the causes of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, psychosis, and other serious brain diseases; and the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which aims to “drive innovation and accelerate new treatments to reduce cancer incidence and improve patient outcomes,” the press release said.

Collins, the longest-serving president-appointed NIH director, said the opportunity to take on the position was an “incredible privilege.”

“I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved,” added Collins. “However, I fundamentally believe that no person should stay in office too long and that it is time to bring on a new scientist to lead the NIH into the future.”

He also expressed gratitude and appreciation to his colleagues at NIH and others in the scientific community, “whose exceptional commitment to life-saving research gives hope to the American people and the world every day.”

A successor to Collins was not named immediately, but he or she needs Senate approval.

Whoever that person is will have difficult footsteps to fill, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra called.

“Few people could get anywhere near what Dr. Collins has at the helm of NIH in their lifetime,” Becerra said in the press release. “DR. Collins, master of scientific breakthroughs and scientific reason – from mapping the human genome to fighting the most devastating pandemic of a century – has routinely set foot on the ground to save countless lives while unleashing innovations that humanity will benefit from future generations benefit. “

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