NIH Director Francis Collins To Deliver Keynote At 2018 NYSCF Conference
This year’s NYSCF Conference will feature a keynote address from National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD. The NYSCF Conference is an annual meeting that convenes hundreds of leading stem cell scientists to share advances in translational research.
As NIH Director since 2009, Dr. Collins oversees the largest biomedical funding agency in the world. Prior to this role, Dr. Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is known for his leadership of the Human Genome Project—an international effort that successfully mapped the entire human genome. Dr. Collins is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science.
A physician-geneticist by training, Dr. Collins has made a lasting impact on disease research. His lab and their collaborators discovered a number of important disease genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, and Huntington’s disease. Dr. Collins maintains an active lab at NIH that is currently investigating the function of genes involved in diseases such as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (which causes premature aging) and type 2 diabetes. The lab’s ultimate goal is to identify new avenues for treating these diseases.
Dr. Collins is a proponent of stem cell research and has expressed enthusiasm for advancements in stem cell-based disease modeling by NYSCF – Robertson Investigator Feng Zhang, PhD, and regenerative medicine by NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Raphael Lis, PhD. He was also instrumental in establishing the National Center for Advanced Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH and increasing NIH support for Alzheimer’s Disease research. Dr. Collins plays leadership roles in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative as well as the Precision Medicine Initiative.