Dr. Francis Collins

Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In that role he oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH from 1993-2008.
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Forgetting More Things? There’s Something You Can Do

July 7, 2016 We all know that exercise is important for a strong and healthy body. Less appreciated is that exercise seems also to be important for a strong and healthy mind, boosting memory and learning, while possibly delaying age-related cognitive decline. How is this so? Researchers have assembled a growing body of...

Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine

September 25, 2015 Readers of the NIH Director’s Blog know how excited I am about the potential of precision medicine for revolutionizing efforts to treat disease and improve human health. So, it stands to reason that I’m delighted by the positive reactions of researchers, health professionals, and the public to a much-anticipated report...

President’s Visit to NIH Highlights Research on Ebola

December 4, 2014 On Tuesday, we had the great honor of welcoming President Obama to the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland—to see firsthand the progress that biomedical research is making against Ebola virus disease. The president toured the NIH Vaccine Research Center and met with scientists who are...

Creative Minds: Tackling Chemotherapy Resistance

October 28, 2014 For many young scientists, nothing can equal the chance to have a lab of one’s own. Still, it often takes considerable time to get there. To help creative minds cut to the chase sooner, the NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards this year will enable 17 outstanding young researchers to skip...

Cool Videos: Rapping for Research

October 9, 2014 Many entries in the NIH Common Fund video competition highlight particular research projects. But in the original rap video that I’m featuring today, a group of New York researchers deliver a message about the central importance of collaboration for moving scientific breakthroughs from the bench to the bedside. Or, as...

Imagine If Thousands of Medical Researchers Could Have a Quick Conversation

August 8, 2014 Today’s scientists find it tough to keep up with all of the latest journal articles, innovative methods, and interesting projects of colleagues in their fields. That’s understandable, because there are tens of thousands of journals, hundreds of conferences in major fields, dozens of emerging technologies, and huge geographic distances separating...

NIH’s Formula for Innovation: People + Ideas + Time

July 24, 2014 In these times of tight budgets and rapidly evolving science, we must consider new ways to invest biomedical research dollars to achieve maximum impact—to turn scientific discoveries into better health as swiftly as possible. We do this by thinking strategically about the areas of research that we support, as well...

At NIH, Biomedical Research Is Enough to Make You Break Into Song

July 7, 2014 Happy 10th anniversary to the National Institutes of Health’s Common Fund! It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since I joined then-NIH Director Elias Zerhouni at the National Press Club to launch this trans-NIH effort to catalyze innovation and speed progress across many fields of biomedical research. Allow...

How Big Data Can Improve Your Health

May 21, 2014 Biomedical researchers and clinicians are generating an enormous, ever-expanding trove of digital data through DNA sequencing, biomedical imaging, and by replacing a patient’s medical chart with a lifelong electronic medical record. What can be done with all of this big data? Besides being handy for patients and doctors, big data...

Creative Minds: Making Sense of Stress and the Brain

March 20, 2014 Right behind your forehead lies the most recently evolved region of the human brain: the prefrontal cortex, also called the PFC. It’s a major control center for abstract thinking, thought analysis, working memory, planning, decision-making, regulating emotions, and many of the things we most strongly associate with being human. But...

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