The Senate confirmed on Aug. 7 President Barack Obama's pick to head the National Institutes of Health. Francis S. Collins will now head the nearly $30 billion-budget-per-year agency.
Nominated by President Obama in early July, Collins has a long history with NIH (C&EN, July 13, page 5). He was the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and led the Human Genome Project.
"Dr. Collins is one of our generation's great scientific leaders," said Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement. He "will be an outstanding leader," she said, adding that his confirmation is good for both NIH and for "science in this country."
Collins holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale University, and an M.D. from the University of North Carolina. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.