Speaker Profile

Advancing Precision Medicine by Leading Sequencing of the Human Genome and Other Major Government Initiatives
M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Francis S. Collins is a highly revered physician-geneticist who, as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, oversaw the successful 15-year multibillion-dollar effort to sequence the human genome. Often considered the most significant scientific undertaking of our time, researchers around the globe are now able to use genomic tools to expand understanding of human biology, combat disease and improve health through Precision Medicine.In 2009, Dr. Collins was named Director of the National Institutes of Health and went on to lead the Precision Medicine Initiative, now All of Us, to study the DNA and medical histories of one million American volunteers to better predict disease risk, understand how diseases occur, and find improved diagnosis and treatment strategies. Dr. Collins advised President Obama on the creation of many other prominent health initiatives, including the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neuro technologies (BRAIN) Initiative and the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Dr. Collins received his education at the University of Virginia, Yale University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served on the faculty of the University of Michigan. Collins developed a more effective method to isolate disease genes called positional cloning and was one of the first to identify the specific genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, and Huntington’s disease. Among the numerous awards, Dr. Collins has received are the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science and the Inamori Ethics Prize.

Session Abstract

Session Synopsis: This session will provide an update on the PMI and the participant-engaged and data-driven All of Us Research Program (formerly known as the PMI Cohort Program). The “All of Us” Research Program is an effort led by the NIH to build a national, large-scale research enterprise with over a million participating volunteers to extend precision medicine to all diseases.