February 12, 2020

NIH director, Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., to visit School of Medicine in March

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Francis-CollinsFrancis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health, will visit the School of Medicine on March 6. Collins is physician-geneticist who has identified several disease genes, such as those responsible for cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and type 2 diabetes. His laboratory investigates the function of genes involved in both rare and common human diseases with the goal of identifying new therapeutic solutions for patients. Likewise, Collins helped pioneer the Human Genome Project, a 13-year-long publicly funded project that began with the goal of sequencing and identifying all three billion chemical units in the human genetic set. The project concluded with a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book.

Collins graduated from the University of Virginia in 1970 with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and from Yale University in 1974 with his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. He completed his M.D. and residency at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Finally, he concluded his fellowship studying human genetics at Yale. Collins has published or co-published over 500 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. His research has made remarkable strides in genetics, and he has been instrumental in orchestrating several impactful programs such as the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies.

In addition to his genetics research, Collins studies the link between spirituality and science. Frequently compared to best-selling author C.S. Lewis, Collins explores how logic and faith can intermingle in his bestselling book The Language of God. In his free time, Collins enjoys riding his motorcycle and playing guitar.

The School of Medicine is looking forward to hosting Collins on Friday, March 6 for a campus visit. He will be giving a lecture at the Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium on Friday, March 6 at 8 a.m. that will focus on “Exceptional Opportunities in Biomedical Research.” The lecture will be available via livestream here: https://www.uab.edu/medicine/home/nih-director-visit