NIH Director Francis Collins to Step Down by the End of the Year

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins announced on Oct. 5 that he will step down from the position by the end of the year after serving for over 12 years.

“It has been an incredible privilege to lead this great agency for more than a decade. I love this agency and its people so deeply that the decision to step down was a difficult one,” Collins said in a statement.

Collins added that he believed “no single person should serve in the position too long, and that it’s time to bring in a new scientist to lead the NIH into the future.”

Collins is the longest serving presidentially appointed NIH director. He took office as the 16th NIH director in 2009 after being appointed by then-President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. Then in 2017, former President Donald Trump asked him to continue the role, and in 2021, President Joe Biden asked him.

Biden described Collins as “one of the most important scientists of our time.”

“I understand his decision to step down from his post at the end of this year after an incredible and consequential tenure,” Biden said in a statement.

Biden will nominate Collins’ replacement, who must be confirmed by the Senate.

An interim NIH director has yet to be named.

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