Francis Collins Biography – Francis Collins Wiki
Francis Collins (born Francis Sellers Collins) is an American physician-geneticist who discovered the genes associated with a number of diseases and led the Human Genome Project. He is the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He was appointed the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. He was sworn in on August 17, 2009. In 2017, President Donald Trump asked Dr. Collins to continue to serve as the NIH Director. President Joe Biden did the same in 2021.
Born in Staunton, Virginia, on 14 April 1950, the youngest brother of four, Francis Collins grew up on a farm and was home schooled until the sixth grade by his mother, Margaret Collins, a playwright, and by his father, Fletcher Collins, a drama professor. He attended the Robert E. Lee High School and planned a career in physical chemistry, in which he majored as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.
After he graduated from Virginia in 1970, Collins entered a PhD program in physical chemistry at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. At Yale, Collins studied quantum mechanics and mathematical descriptions of collisions of atoms and molecules. He later reported that a graduate seminar in biochemistry, taught by Peter Lengyel and Bill Summers, sparked Collins’s interest in molecular biology and genetics in 1972. Collins began to study biology and medicine, but he finished his PhD in physical chemistry in 1974 with R. James Cross, Jr. as his advisor.
Collins then went to medical school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. After he graduated with his MD in 1977, Collins completed a residency in internal medicine at Chapel Hill, and then he returned to New Haven for a postdoctoral fellowship in human genetics at Yale Medical School. During his fellowship he worked with Sherman Morton Weissman, with whom he developed the technique of chromosome jumping in 1984. Chromosome jumping is a molecular biology technique where scientists cut and rearrange sections of large strands of DNA to identify and map genes.
After his fellowship at Yale, Collins joined the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1984, later securing a position as professor of internal medicine and human genetics. While at Michigan, Collins developed another technique in genome mapping, called positional cloning, in which researchers identify a gene for a specific phenotype by its approximate location on the chromosome. Drawing on the techniques of chromosome jumping and positional cloning, Collins worked with several other scientists to identify the genes relevant to cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, neurofibromatosis, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, and the M4 type of adult acute leukemia.
Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH from 1993-2008.
Dr. Collins is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009. In 2020, he was elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (UK) and was also named the 50th winner of the Templeton Prize, which celebrates scientific and spiritual curiosity.
Francis Collins Age
Francis Sellers Collins was born on April 14, 1950, in Staunton, Virginia.
Francis Collins Wife
Francis Collins is married to Diane Baker, a genetic counselor. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence’s Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics. After studying at Sarah Lawrence College, she went on to become a founding faculty member and director of the genetic counseling program at the University of Michigan. She has also served as president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), and in 2004 was the recipient of the Natalie Weissberger Paul Achievement award from the NSGC. In 2010, the University of Michigan established the Diane Baker Alumni Lecture and Award in Genetic Counseling in honor of her contributions to the profession.
Francis Collins First Wife
Francis Collins married his first wife Mary Lynn Harman in his junior year at the Virginia. The marriage ended in divorce.
Francis Collins Family
Francis Collins is the son of Margaret Collins, a playwright, and Fletcher Collins, a drama professor. He has three siblings – three brothers.
Francis Collins Daughter
Francis Collins and his wife Diane Baker have a daughter, Margaret Collins.
Francis Collins Religion
Francis Collins is a Christian. Dr. Collins, who was not raised with any religious training, said he became a Christian at age 27, when he was an intern in medical school. He told the New York Times that he is “sort of a nondenominational type,” and that he has been, at various times, a Lutheran, a Baptist and a Presbyterian.
During college, Collins identified himself as an agnostic, later writing that his family life never involved the practice of faith. Collins later said that as a medical student working at the bedside with patients, he started to contemplate questions about the existence of God, and he became a Christian.
Collins’s outspoken religious faith caused controversy when US President Barack Obama appointed him director of the NIH on 8 July 2009. A number of scientists criticized Collins’s appointment because of his religious beliefs. Collins said that he supports stem cell research, though with the caveat that it should happen via somatic cell nuclear transfer. Collins argues that there is an important moral distinction between this technique, which he has calls a purely manmade event, and the development of an embryo via the union of sperm and egg. In October 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Collins to The Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Catholic Church in the Vatican City.
Francis Collins Salary
Francis Collins was paid $203,500 in 2019, according to FederalPay. He received a salary of $199,700 a year from 2009 until 2018.
Francis Collins Net Worth
Francis Collins’ net worth is estimated to be $5 million.
Francis Collins Height
He is 1.9 meter (6’3″) tall.