U.S. NIH director Francis Collins to step down by year-end

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Collins, a genetics pioneer, was appointed as the head of NIH in 2009 by the then President Barack Obama, and the 71-year-old went on to serve the agency under three presidents.

President Donald Trump in 2017 and President Joe Biden in 2021 asked him to continue in the role. The position of the NIH director became presidentially appointed from 1971 and Collins is the longest-serving NIH head since the enforcement.

Collins, who has been one of the leading faces in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, had joined the NIH in 1993 and he helped lead work that identified genes associated with Type 2 diabetes.

He had worked at the NIH till May 2008 and then left to pursue writing projects, before being appointed as the director.