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December 20, 2016

Advocacy Groups Urge President-elect Trump to Retain Dr. Collins as NIH Director

2016-12-20 | December 20, 2016

(Washington, DC) – Scores of advocacy groups, researchers and universities came together to urge the Trump administration to retain Dr. Francis Collins as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The letter notes that, under Dr. Collins’ Direction, NIH research has not only improved public health, but has also produced high rates of social and economic return. For example, the United States government’s $3.8 billion initial investment in the Human Genome Project, led by Dr. Collins, has resulted in nearly $1 trillion in economic growth—a 178-fold return on investment—and more than 4.3 million job-years of total supported employment.

Prominent GOP congressmen have likewise urged President-elect Trump to retain Dr. Collins; a letter sent on December 2 noted that “Dr. Collins is the right person, at the right time, to continue to lead the world’s premier biomedical research agency.” The letter was signed by House and Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton; Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander; Senate Labor –HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt; and House Labor-HHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole.

Dr. Collins has confirmed that he would continue his service in the Trump Administration, stating, “if were asked to stay on, I would consider it a privilege to do so.”

NIH oversees several new, major research projects, including the Cancer Moonshot and the Precision Medicine Initiative. “These projects are integral to our national investment in patient-centered research, and deserve uninterrupted leadership to maximize their returns,” said NPAF CEO Alan Balch, PhD. “Dr. Collins is a distinguished national leader and an exemplary scientific mind. Under his continued direction, the NIH will continue to boost the national health and produce world renowned scientific research.”

The full text of the letter is available here.