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Thank You, Dr. Collins

NPF and our fellow scientific community members bid farewell to a great leader and innovative visionary.

The scientific landscape has been forever changed for the better by the work of Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the last 12 years. In early October, Dr. Collins announced his intention to conclude his tenure as director by the end of 2021. He is the only NIH Director to have served under more than one administration, having held the position for three U.S. Presidents.

Since President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Collins as director on August 17, 2009, the NIH has seen a 38% increase in budget. Before his appointment, Dr. Collins had already been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 [1] and the National Medal of Science in 2008 [2].

Prior to becoming the Director of the NIH, Dr. Collins served as the Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for 15 years, and he will now return to his lab at the institute. He is known for his accessible and straightforward approach and manor. “I have a deep level of respect and gratitude for the work of Dr. Collins and for the enthusiastic and collaborative way in which he has served the entire scientific community,” says Stacie Bell, Ph.D., Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF). “He empowered leaders throughout the NIH to accomplish so much. Through all of it, his passion, integrity, and thoughtfulness were palpable.”

NPF and many collaborators encouraged Dr. Collins and his team to include psoriasis in the second phase of the NIH Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP®) program. NPF is an AMP® 2.0 partner, working alongside the NIH, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and other partners to increase the number of new diagnostics and therapies for patients and to reduce the cost and time spent developing them. [3]

“The vision of Dr. Collins for AMP® was remarkable,” says Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., MPH, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Ritchlin is co-chair of the NPF COVID-19 Task Force and a member of the NPF Scientific Advisory Committee. “He was able to progress the related research at a rate that we have never seen before. Because of this partnership, the positive impact of Dr. Collins on the lives and health outcomes of patients will live on for decades after his tenure.”

NPF looks forward to continued partnership with the NIH on the AMP® 2.0 program and other key research initiatives. Though Dr. Collins leaves a lasting legacy, his presence will be sorely missed. NPF wishes him all the best for what lies ahead for him. Those who know Dr. Collins well, know that his future will be full of music, people, and plenty of sharing about advances in science.

National Psoriasis Foundation Stands with Science

At NPF, we stand with the scientists and researchers finding new paths to understanding disease and treatment.

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