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New NIH Director Includes Global Health On Priority List

Francis Collins, the new NIH director, on Monday outlined his top five priorities for the U.S. research agency during a town hall meeting with NIH staff, Science’s blog “Science Insider” reports. Collins emphasized the agency’s commitment to “high-throughput technologies,” “translational research,” “health care reform,” “global health” and “empower[ing] the biomedical research community,” the blog writes (Kaiser, 8/17).

The Associated Press/Boston Globe writes that Collins – “best known for unraveling the human genetic code – said he wants a practical focus for the nation’s premier research agency: that new discoveries may even help save precious health care dollars. ‘We should be completely bold about pushing that agenda,’ Collins said, saying the goal was to advance not just U.S. health, but global health, too.”

“Here we are at a circumstance where I think our country is seeking maybe to redefine our image a bit in the world, from being the soldier to the world to being perhaps the doctor to the world,” Collins said (Neergaard, 8/18).