Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., currently serves as the Special Advisor to President
Biden for Special Projects. In this role, he is leading a bold program to help eliminate
Hepatitis C in the United States. Prior to this, he served as the Acting Science Advisor
to President Biden, steering the administration’s plans and programs to advance scientific
solutions to humanity’s needs, especially for health issues. In that role, he worked
closely with Dr. Alondra Nelson, the former Acting Director of the Office of Science
Technology Policy (OSTP). Dr. Collins also maintains his longstanding position as a
Senior Investigator in the intramural program of the National Human Genome Research
Institute, pursuing genomics research on type 2 diabetes and a rare disorder of
premature aging called progeria.
Dr. Collins previously served as the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health
(NIH), appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009. In
2017, President Donald Trump asked Dr. Collins to continue to serve as the NIH
Director. President Joe Biden did the same in 2021. For those 12 years, serving an
unprecedented three administrations, Dr. Collins oversaw the work of the largest
supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to
clinical research. Dr. Collins stepped down as Director on December 19, 2021.
Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes
and his previous 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 NIH from 1993-2008.
Dr. Collins is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the
National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in
November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009. In 2020, he was
elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (UK) and was also named the 50th
winner of the Templeton Prize, which celebrates scientific and spiritual curiosity.