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Clinical Center News
Fall 2021

Collins Steps Down as NIH Director

Frances Collins playing piano in June 2020

Dr. Francis S. Collins announced he would be stepping down as NIH Director by the end of 2021. Collins served for over 12 years, becoming the longest tenured director since the 1950s.

As a physician-geneticist, he was noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, campaigning to grow NIH's budget grew by 38%, embarking on the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, and most recently, spearheading numerous COVID-19 research and engagement initiatives.

Less known was his quiet compassion and love of music. Occasionally, without fanfare, he would come to the NIH Clinical Center's atrium and play the piano to brighten the mood and promote tranquility for patients, staff and visitors.

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