World Teen - Main Article
Signup Teachers & Parents
Director of NIH Steps Down
News Bytes 10/7/2021 6 Comments

The director of the National Institutes of Health is stepping down. During his career, Dr. Francis S. Collins directed crucial research into the human genome and the fight against serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and COVID-19. Collins has also worked to demonstrate how religious faith can encourage serious scientific research.

President Barack Obama appointed Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2009. Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden both asked him to remain in that post. Collins is the only presidentially appointed NIH director to serve under multiple administrations.

Before joining the NIH, Collins taught at the University of Michigan. Colleagues called him the “gene hunter” for his groundbreaking technique used to isolate disease-related genes. His research teams helped discover the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and others.

Collins also served as director of the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute from 1993-2008 and led the international Human Genome Project. That project completed a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book in 2003.

Now-President Biden called Collins “one of the most important scientists of our time.” President Obama asked Vice President Biden to launch an effort to fuel innovation and accelerate new treatments after his son, Beau Biden, died of cancer at age 46 in 2015.

The NIH, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s the nation’s medical research agency and operates more than two dozen institutes and centers. Some say it is the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world. Most recently, Collins  has researched treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

Besides his much-heralded work for the NIH, Collins is known widely for writing on religion and science and reconciling the two. Last year, he was awarded one of the world’s leading religion prizes, the Templeton Prize, for demonstrating how religious faith can motivate scientific research.

His book The Language of God “argues that belief in God can be an entirely rational choice.” Collins says, “The principles of faith are, in fact, complementary with the principles of science.” One of his goals in writing was to encourage religious people to embrace scientific discoveries to enrich and enlarge their faith.

In accepting the Templeton Prize, Collins said, “The elegant complexity of human biology constantly creates in me a sense of awe. Yet I grieve at the suffering and death I see all around, and at times I confess I am assailed by doubts about how a loving God would permit such tragedies. But then I remember that the God who hung on the cross is intimately familiar with suffering. I learn and re-learn that God never promised freedom from suffering—but rather to be ‘our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’” (Psalm 46)

Collins says he is “grateful and proud of the NIH staff and the scientific community, whose extraordinary commitment to lifesaving research delivers hope to the American people and the world every day.” He calls the decision to step down at year’s end “a difficult one.”

“I fundamentally believe, however, that no single person should serve in the position too long,” Collins says, “and that it’s time to bring in a new scientist to lead the NIH into the future.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra lauded Collins for his work, “Few people could come anywhere close to achieving in a lifetime what Dr. Collins has at the helm of NIH,” he says. “It takes an extraordinary person to tackle the biggest scientific challenges facing our nation—and under three presidents, amidst three distinctly different chapters of American history.”

The NIH says Collins will continue to lead his research lab at the National Human Genome Research Institute.

(Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, appears before the U.S. Senate to discuss protecting public health during the coronavirus pandemic on Capitol Hill, on September 9, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)

Leave a comment
  • Be respectful of everyone, including other readers as well as individuals in the news stories. Disagree politely.
  • Do not post links to websites outside of WORLDteen.
  • Keep personal information such as full name, age, location, and contact information private.
  • Read your comment before posting to be sure you have typed what you wish to say in public.
Sorry you are not allowed to publish comments. If this is the first time you are seeing this message please log out and back in. If you continue to see this message and believe this to be in error please reach out to member services.

Most recent comments

1st comment!

Hey that is pretty cool!!

2nd comment!!!!! this is Micah

Cool! Hope you guys are having a great day!

3rd Comment

Nice! That’s kinda funny, I just read about the HGP in Biology yesterday




You Sent the Money
By Amelia Price Ayres
You sent the money across the sea,
That bought a Bible for young Sing Lee;
And young Sing Lee, when he'd read therein,
Proceeded to turn his back on sin;
Then he rested neither night nor day,
Till his brother walked in the narrow way;
And his brother worked till he had won
Away from their gods his wife and son.
The woman told of her new-found joy,
And Christ was preached by the happy boy.
Some of the folks who heard them speak
Decided the one true God to seek.
It wasn't long before half the town
Had left its idols of wood and stone.
And the works not ended yet, my friend,
You started something that neer shall end,
When you sent the money across the sea,
That bought a Bible for young Sing Lee.

Sry not second


Check out one of the interesting topics below
Explain IT!

Explain-IT trains you to understand the how’s and why’s of man-made inventions and ideas.

Learn More
Pop Smart

Pop! SMART provides tools that equip teenagers with the kinds of insights they need to wisely navigate today’s popular culture in a way that’s fun and engaging.

Learn More
Pie in the Sky

Everyone daydreams, and as it should be. Good dreams aside, our culture is a natural enemy of serenity and hope. God has equipped you for great things.

Learn More
People Mover

True stories are incredibly powerful. They bring meaning to our lives—communicating the truths we can’t afford to live without.

Learn More
Mud Room

Mud Room helps you relate to the news by exploring the details behind the stories in the headlines that relate to earth sciences.

Learn More
Globe Trek

Globe Trek will take you from the living room sofa to the mountains of Uzbekistan and from the screen of their smart phone to a Chilean plantation.

Learn More
Ka Ching!

ka-Ching! takes a look at important principles of money and economics through relatable examples from everyday life.

Learn More
Law 'N Order

Law ‘N Order captures your imagination through civics, focusing on the idea that everyone can make a difference in life.

Learn More

User login