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Trump to Retain Collins as NIH Director

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – President Donald Trump yesterday announced that Francis Collins will continue to serve as the director of the National Institutes of Health.

Collins assumed leadership of the NIH in 2009 after serving as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute from 1993 to 2008. A physician and geneticist, Collins is credited with the discovery of several important genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, and Huntington's disease. He also led the international Human Genome Project.

President Trump had previously asked Collins to remain NIH director on a temporary basis.

On Twitter, Collins said he is "honored" to be selected to continue as NIH director and called it "a privilege to continue to lead this noble enterprise."

Despite last month's call by conservative legislators for Collins' replacement due to his support of embryonic stem cell research, the NIH director remains popular with many on both sides of the aisle.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate health committee, called Collins' retention as NIH director "good news for the country," adding that "there's nobody better qualified than Francis Collins to help accelerate the medical miracles that have the potential to help virtually every American family."