President-elect Donald Trump has met with both current National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins and Representative Andy Harris (R-Md.), who is also vying for that spot, Stat News reports.
Typically presidential appointees like Collins step down when a new administration comes in, but the Trump transition team has expressed its interest in possibly keeping Collins, and Collins has said that, if asked, he'd continue to serve. Collins has the support of Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
Harris, an obstetric anesthesiologist, has also expressed his interest in a position in the new administration, particularly at the biomedical agency. Harris has conducted NIH-funded research, Stat News notes, and has called for lowering the average age at which researchers receive their first grant and for a greater focus on high-risk, high-reward projects.
Stat News adds that venture capitalist Peter Thiel is thought to be involved in the selection process.