Francis Collins, MD, PhD, will continue to serve as director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for at least part of President Donald Trump’s administration. NIH Jan. 19 indicated that the president had returned the resignation letter Dr. Collins had submitted previously to the president, per custom as a political appointee of the previous administration. The White House has not provided additional details about whether Dr. Collins’ tenure is temporary or is expected to extend through President Trump’s full four year term.
Dr. Collins was confirmed unanimously as director of NIH in 2009, after the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced the nomination to the full Senate for a voice vote. In December, the chairs of four congressional committees with jurisdiction over NIH sent a letter urging the incoming administration to keep Dr. Collins at the helm [see Washington Highlights, Dec. 9, 2016].