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Taking the Helm

Francis Collins was sworn in yesterday as the 16th director of the National Institutes of Health. He then held an hour-long town hall meeting and talked about his plan for NIH. His top priority is funding and he will ask Congress to keep the NIH budget predictable and stable. According to USA Today, Collins' five areas for NIH itself to focus on are:

  • Emerging areas of research, such as computational biology, genetics, and nanotechnology
  • Translational research
  • Comparative effectiveness studies
  • Global health studies
  • Keeping young researchers


Collins also noted that he stepped down from his role at BioLogos and told the Associated Press that, as director, he will focus on science. "Personal interests … will not interfere with the judgments that I will need to make as the director of the NIH," he added, according to Science Insider.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.