By John Ballard
This is a fun post. As this election year unfolds, it's important to look at a few of the lesser-known developments that have taken place under this president's leadership.
Dr. Collins was nominated by President Obama in 2009 to be Director of the National Institutes of Health, replacing Dr. Elias Zerhouri who held the post since 2002. Here are snapshots of both men.
President Obama yesterday nominated Francis S. Collins, a physician and scientist who helped guide the Human Genome Project to completion, to be the next director of the National Institutes of Health.
Collins, 59, developed an important technique for identifying genes and went on to identify those involved in cystic fibrosis and neurofibromatosis, among other conditions. He was the first director of NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute.
In recent years, he has been a champion of "personalized medicine," which hopes to harvest the fruits of the genomics revolution in the form of better and safer clinical care.
Rare among world-class scientists, Collins is also a born-again Christian, which may help him build bridges with those who view some gene-based research as a potential threat to religious values.
Collins resigned as director of NIH's genome institute last August and has since finished "The Language of Life," a book about the dawning era of personalized medicine, which will be published next year.
A resident of Pasadena, Maryland, Zerhouni is of Algerian descent. He was born in Nedroma in Tlemcen Province. He emigrated to the United States at age 24, having earned his M.D. at the University of Algiers School of Medicine in 1975.
Soon after becoming the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in May 2002, Zerhouni convened a series of meetings to chart a "Roadmap for Medical Research" in the 21st century. The purpose was to identify major opportunities and gaps in biomedical research that no single Institute at NIH could tackle alone, but that the agency as a whole must address to make the biggest impact on the progress of medical research.
In his June 4, 2009 speech at Cairo University, US President Barack Obama announced a new Science Envoy program as part of a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world." In January, 2010 Zerhouni, Ahmed Zewail, and Bruce Alberts became the first US science envoys to Islam, visiting Muslim-majority countries from North Africa to Southeast Asia
Progeria link here.
The average life expectancy for a child with progeria is about 13, but some with the disease die younger and some live 20 years or longer.