Helmsman of the Genome Project to Resign
research has led to new medicines such as Tarceva, the Genentech Inc.lung cancer drug and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s Velcade.
Collins, 58, best known for piloting the human genome
project, took the helm of the NHGRI, part of the U.S. National Institutes of
Health in Bethesda, Maryland, in April 1993. The reason behind
his decision is his wish to explore writing projects and other professional
opportunities and not, as some voices inside the institute would say, problems
with NIH leadership.
“I am not leaving because of any problems of disagreements
with NIH leadership,” the Washington Post quotes him. Dr. Collins wanted to
express his confidence in the institute’s researchers that they will continue
to “achieve notable success” in biomedical research.
NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. had only praising words
to describe Collins’ activity inside the institute.
“Francis has provided 15 years of outstanding leadership to
NHGRI and has been a trailblazer in the scientific community at large. His
contributions to the world of genomics and medicine have been enormous. He has
been a tremendous colleague, friend, and brilliant visionary. I know that he
will continue to make groundbreaking advances in biomedical research,” Zerhouni
said in a statement on the institute’s Web site