May 21, 2018

Trump says he's keeping Dr. Francis Collins as NIH director

07 June 2017, 05:26 | Rodolfo Wallace

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Dr. Collins becomes the first NIH director in a generation to serve under two USA presidents, having been appointed in 2009 by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations health subcommittee, literally jumped up and down in excitement when told by STAT that the administration had made a decision to retain Collins.

President Donald Trump announced this afternoon that he is keeping Francis Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health. But today's announcement gives him a bit more job security. The group, led by Rep. Jim Banks of IN, argued IN a May letter that Collins' past support for embryonic stem cell research and comments on the moral status of cloned embryos should disqualify him from serving IN an administration committed to anti-abortion policies. Collins has said he would return to full-time research if Trump asked him to step down.

The White House announced Tuesday that Francis S. Collins will stay on as director of the National Institutes of Health, extending Collins's tenure even as the administration proposes deep cuts to the government's premier biomedical research center.

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"This is good news for the country and one of President Trump's best appointments", Alexander said in a statement.

"This is a time of unprecedented scientific opportunity in biomedical research, as we seek together to advance health and relieve suffering", Dr. Collins continued.

In a memo to NIH staffers, Dr. Collins elaborated: "I am truly grateful for the president's vote of confidence, and I will be honored to continue to serve this noble institution". It's also known as the nation's medical research agency.

University of California, San Francisco biologist Keith Yamamoto also cheered the news. Trump surprised many this year by proposing cuts of almost 20 percent in the budget of the NIH, which normally has support from Democrats and Republicans alike.

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