Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Francis Collins SteepingStepping Down from NHGRI

Just got forwarded this email from Francis Collins to multiple people. Collins is stepping down. I wonder what specifically triggered this ... my guess is he is being recruited by one of the presidential candidates to be some sort of advisor. Nothing like having a prominent scientist who also is born again being on your team ....
From: FSCollins (NIH/NHGRI)
Date: Wed, May 28, 2008 at 11:58 AM
Subject: News

Dear friends and colleagues in the many wonderful team projects that I have had the privilege of being part of,

I am writing to let you know of my plans to step down August 1, 2008 as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, a position that has been both a joy and privilege to hold for the past 15 years.

The key to success is having wonderful scientific opportunities and stellar colleagues with whom to work. Many challenges lie ahead as genomics increasingly becomes a leading force in medicine, and I leave my position supremely confident that NHGRI and NIH will continue to achieve notable success in meeting them.

Looking back, I'm tremendously proud of our collective work in leading the Human Genome Project (HGP) to its successful conclusion in 2003, and of our wide range of large-scale projects that built upon the foundation laid by the HGP. Collectively, these projects and the priceless data they generated have transformed biomedical research and empowered researchers all around the world. I'm also proud of these projects' commitments to protecting the privacy of genetic information and addressing the ethical, legal and social implications of genome research.

My decision to step down as NHGRI Director came only after much personal deliberation and was driven by a desire for an interval of time dedicated to writing, reflection and exploration of other professional opportunities in the public or private sectors. Rest assured that NHGRI's leadership will be in good hands. Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., the current deputy director of NHGRI, will become acting director of NHGRI on August 1, and Mark Guyer, Ph.D., the long-time director of the Division of Extramural Research will continue his able leadership. A formal search process for a permanent NHGRI director will get underway shortly.

Finally, I'd like to let each of you know that while I may be leaving the NHGRI Director's office in search of other challenges, I will be cheering for the success of your dedicated and creative scientific achievements over the coming weeks, months, and years.

Keep up the good work!

Francis

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