On August 17, Francis S. Collins was sworn in as the 16th director of the National Institutes of Health. In addition to identifying genes that contribute to diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s and type 2 diabetes in his own research laboratories, Collins led the Human Genome Project. At the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in October in Chicago, Collins discussed NIH funding and answered questions from reporters, including Science News writers Tina Hesman Saey and Laura Sanders.
In introducing the NIH budget, Collins said: “We had this remarkable deluge of funding from the Recovery Act. And the response to that in terms of applications coming to NIH … was just overwhelming. When the dust all settled, of course, we weren’t able to fund more than a small percentage of these great ideas.... The exciting part was this outpouring of creativity from the scientific community.”
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