Today, President Barack Obama nominated Francis S. Collins as the new Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Collins served as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at NIH from 1993-2008. He is a physician-geneticist noted for his discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project. Dr. Collins received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Yale University, and an M.D. with Honors from the University of North Carolina. Prior to coming to NIH, he spent nine years on the faculty of the University of Michigan, where he was an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Collins must now be confirmed by the Senate.
If confirmed, Collins will head a $31 billion agency with roughly 18,000 employees. NIH is on course to receive a modest increase (1.4%) in funding in FY10, over FY09, because of significant funding ($10.4 billion) provided in the Recovery Act. NIH continues to serve as the University of Washington’s largest source of federal grant funding.