NIH director Francis S. Collins to step down by end of year

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The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis S

“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.”

A formal announcement was expected Tuesday from NIH. The Post and Politico reported Collins’ plans Monday night.

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, and a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, NIH is the nation’s medical research agency and operates more than two dozen institutes and centers. It lays claim to being the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world.

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.

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