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NIH’s Collins to Retire, Leaving Void in U.S. Pandemic Team (1)

Oct. 5, 2021, 3:27 PM

Francis Collins, the doctor and geneticist who has led the U.S. National Institutes of Health through three presidential administrations, said he plans to retire by the end of the year, leaving a key position to fill in the government’s pandemic response team.

Collins, 71, was appointed as the 16th director of the NIH by President Barack Obama in 2009. Lawrence Tabak, the agency’s second in command since 2010, would be in line to serve as acting director until the Biden administration nominates a permanent replacement.

Francis Collins holds up a model of Covid-19 during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, on May 26, 2021.
Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Bloomberg

The move adds to concerns about leadership at the nation’s health agencies. ...

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