Director of National Institutes of Health Francis Collins announces he will step down at end of year

The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis S. Collins, says he is stepping down by the end of the year.

“There comes a time where an institution like NIH really benefits from new vision, new leadership,” Collins, 71, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “This was the right timing.” The Post quoted “an NIH official” as saying no decision has been made on an interim director. Politico reported Monday night, citing three unnamed sources, that Collins will announce his resignation after having led the agency for 12 years.

Collins served as director of NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute from 1993-2008 and led the international Human Genome Project, which in 2003 completed a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book.

Dr. Collins has been on network shows urging vaccinations, although Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been the Institutes’ most visible face.

Last month, Dr. Collins backed the Food and Drug Administration in its refusal to make booster shots for COVID-19 broadly available, instead limiting them to vulnerable populations such as the elderly even though the Biden administration had vowed to have them broadly available by Sept. 20 [The Federalist]. 



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