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APLU Statement on NIH Director Collins’s Retirement Announcement

Washington, D.C. — Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement on National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins’s announcement that he will retire as director at the end of the year.

“Francis Collins is an outstanding scientist and public servant whose leadership of NIH has contributed to a profound number of treatments, innovations, and cures that have and will continue to improve and save lives in the U.S. and around the world. His career is nothing short of legendary. In addition to directing NIH, his past leadership of the Human Genome Project and relentless pursuit of genomic research to halt or reverse some of the world’s most devastating diseases and illnesses are things for which all of us should forever be grateful. I am pleased that he will continue to lead research aimed at better understanding and preventing Type 2 diabetes. Francis Collins has embodied what public service is all about and he’s done so with grace and humility that inspires and serves as a model for others.

“Under his stewardship, NIH has made major strides in life-saving biomedical research. Dr. Collins has been a forceful champion of the vital role science plays in saving and improving lives. His vision, capacity to communicate complex science to the public, and fierce and effective advocacy for significant and growing public investment in biomedical research is part of his legacy. The impact of his leadership and his direct work in the lab will endure for many generations to come. We thank Dr. Collins for his many years of service and congratulate him on his retirement from the Director role.”

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