December 13, 2021
United for Medical Research Releases Video Tribute to NIH Director Francis Collins
Leaders from Patient, Medical and Research Organizations and Life Sciences Companies Thank Dr. Collins for his Decades of Public Service and Leadership of NIH
DEC. 13, 2021 (WASHINGTON) – In recognition of his remarkable career and countless contributions to public health, biomedical research and the National Institutes of Health, United for Medical Research today released a video tribute to NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins. Dr. Collins plans to step down as NIH director this year.
“Few people in recent history have done more to advance public health and bring hope to patients in the United States and the world over than Dr. Collins,” said UMR President Chol Pak. “He has profoundly changed the trajectory of the NIH during his tenure as director – largely through his infectious excitement about the possibilities of biomedical science and unique ability bridge divides and build congressional champions.”
The NIH received its sixth consecutive budget increase in FY21. While the mission of the NIH is to improve health, the research funding awarded through the NIH also has a major economic impact. Last year, NIH research funding supported 536,338 jobs and drove $91.35 billion in economic activity.
In the tribute video numerous luminaries from the biomedical research community comment on Dr. Collins’ career, lauding him for his scientific contributions and steadfast commitment to the betterment of human health, as well as for being a “trusted voice” who can bring leaders together and who has been able to “make NIH a bipartisan priority” with “great charm and elegance.”
Dr. Collins, a physician-geneticist, is the longest serving presidentially appointed NIH director, having served three U.S. presidents over more than 12 years. Under his leadership, the NIH has undertaken some of the most pressing health issues facing Americans, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, opioid use disorder, rare diseases and the COVID-19 pandemic – and the NIH budget has grown from $30 billion in 2009 to $41.3 billion in 2021. Dr. Collins is known for his deep commitment to developing and retaining young researchers and working to make biomedical research more accessible and equitable, recently using his stature to encourage an end to “manels” – all-male speaking panels. Dr. Collins will continue his research at the National Human Genome Research Institute after stepping down as NIH director. View the video here.
Leaders from the following organizations participated in the video: Alzheimer’s Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Corning Life Sciences, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, Stanford University, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Washington University in St. Louis. A transcript of their full statements is available here.
UMR is a coalition of leading research institutions, patient and health advocates and private industry seeking steady and sustainable increases in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to save and improve lives, advance innovation and fuel the economy. See our full list of members here.