NIH director will step down by end of 2021

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

October 5, 2021 -- Longtime U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins, PhD, will leave his post by the end of the year.

Dr. Francis Collins, PhD, outgoing director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Francis Collins, PhD, outgoing director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Image courtesy of the NIH.

Collins is the longest-serving presidentially appointed NIH director. He has held his position for more than 12 years and served three U.S. presidents since his first appointment was confirmed in August 2009.

In Collins' 12 years at the helm, the NIH's budget reached $41.3 billion in 2021, up 38% from $30 billion in 2009. He proposed and established initiatives ranging from fundamental basic science, translational science, and focused projects for issues that included Alzheimer's disease, cancer, opioid use disorder, rare diseases, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the NIH said.

Before becoming the NIH director, the physician-geneticist was director of the National Human Genome Research Institute from 1993 to 2008 and led the International Human Genome Project.

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